In a second night of rioting in Nottingham, five police stations have been fire-bombed and violent disorder spread to extensive areas of the city. From 6pm Tuesday onwards, groups of masked and hooded youths caused over 10 hours of violent disturbance, criminal damage and arson.
The police stations at Canning Circus, The Meadows, Oxclose, Bulwell and St Ann’s all suffered exterior damage as a result of home-made incendiary devices. Shops were also targeted by groups throwing fire bombs, stones and bricks, including a jewellers in the city centre which was broken into and had several items stolen before the culprit was detained by police. House windows were smashed, and dozens of cars were set alight in residential and commercial premises, including ten police cars. Wheelie bins and skips were also set on fire and there was one report of children burning a tree.
Pre-emptive rumours of rioting had started circulating on Twitter early Tuesday afternoon and these continued throughout the night, prompting Nottinghamshire Police to launch a social media campaign to help quell false reports and keep local residents informed about true events in the city. The police provided a real-time account of how the night unfolded, and their Twitter account @nottspolice gained an extra 9000 followers overnight. A similar rise in support was seen on Facebook, and a page called “Supporting Nottinghamshire Police against the idiots trying to start riots” has now attracted nearly 6000 supporters. Throughout the night these social media platforms were used to exchange information about events unfolding, but this morning they are primarily being used by people posting messages of support and gratitude.
Three police officers were injured whilst arresting men outside the Victoria Centre, but they managed to remain on duty. Throughout the night, the police responded to approximately 600 more incidents than they normally have to deal with, leading to around 90 arrests — a figure that is expected to rise throughout today. Police presence in the city had been reinforced by off-duty officers who volunteered to help maintain order, as well as forces from across Nottinghamshire and beyond.
The eagerly anticipated football match at the city ground went ahead as planned, despite the threat of violence in the city and the stretch on police forces. The game was the first between Nottingham Forest and Notts County in almost two decades, and police later admitted that “there was much at stake and amid such tension it was possible that emotions could have spilled over”. A joint statement was read out before the game that thanked fans for their support and asked them to “go home safely and walk away from any sign of trouble.” It also urged them to report any disorder to the police. When the statement was read out to the crowd of 23,000 people, fans on both sides got to their feet and applauded. Despite the game itself being incredibly tense, no disorder was reported in relation to the game, and Superintendent Mark Holland called the fans “an absolute credit to the city of Nottingham and the county of Nottinghamshire and to every true sports fan in the country…the fans behaved impeccably.”
Timeline of last night’s events
18:00: Disorder begins with reports of rowdy behaviour in housing estates and in the city centre. Police use their Twitter and Facebook accounts to give Nottingham residents official information about disorder.
19:45: Despite similar sporting events cancelled across the country, the Nottingham Forest vs Notts County game kicks off at the City ground unaffected.
20:30: Following a disturbance at Bulwell Police Station earlier in the evening, two males, aged 18 and 17, are arrested for throwing rocks at the station. Elsewhere in Bulwell, the Blenheim pub is damaged by a group of youths.
20:40: Youths attempt to damage an off-licence in Radford
20:45: A number of youths are arrested at Nottingham High School, after a group of around 20 people make their way onto the roof of the school. A police helicopter monitors the situation and within half an hour, ten youths have been arrested for disorder offences.
20:54: The Golden Fleece pub on Mansfield Road is damaged by a group of 10 youths.
21:30pm: A man in Sherwood with 3 unused petrol bombs is arrested.
22:00: Clarendon College in Sherwood Rise is fire bombed, causing considerable damage. Cars are fire bombed on Carlton Road and Woodborough Road, Mapperley.
22:05: Canning Circus Police Station is fire bombed by a group of 30-40 males. Around 6 police officers are inside the building. They are uninjured and are able to run out of the station and detain some of those responsible.
22:30: The fire at Canning Circus Police Station is extinguished, and the scene is preserved for forensic evidence. There are no reported injuries, and damage to the building seems to be limited to smashed windows and external damage. At least 8 males are arrested in connection to the fire bombing.
23:10: Meadows Police Station is attacked by 20 men, and a police vehicle outside is set ablaze.
0:05: Six Ways community centre in Broxtowe is broken into.
01:00: Police prevent a group of males from breaking into Carphone Warehouse.
01:15: A man is arrested following a reported looting of a jewellers.
02:30: Officers turn their primary attention to the Meadows area of Nottingham.
3-5am: Some incidents, but disorder winds down.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and there were hundreds of separate incidents throughout the night.
In a message to Nottingham residents who may have woken up to find damage to their property or vehicles, police said they should contact them immediately to help them trace those responsible. They added that those with information about those who are responsible for last night’s disturbances should also get in touch. (Police: 0300 300 99 99). The police also urged local magistrates to “carry out the Prime Minister’s promise and to deliver swift punishment”.
(Image from Twitter: http://yfrog.com/khpnmudj)
Follow @impactbreaking on Twitter for the latest updates.
Are you in Nottingham? Do you have any reports, photos or videos? Impact News would love to hear from you. Please email [email protected].