Trends & Features

Foot Locker and JD Sports stores looted

Branches of Foot Locker and JD Sports have been targeted by looters, who have also ransacked mobile phone shops, supermarkets, electronic goods outlets and off-licences around the country.

16,000 police officers were deployed on the streets of London on Tuesday night to help contain rioting that has affected parts of the city.

So far London has been the worst affected part of England, but disturbances have also been reported in Birmingham, the West Midlands, Nottingham, Bristol, Manchester and Liverpool.

The British Retail Consortium has condemned the rioting, saying community difficulties will not be helped by torching shops.

Stephen Robertson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, says: “I deplore the violence and property damage inflicted by these criminal actions. I have the greatest sympathy for those who’ve lost businesses, staff whose jobs are now in jeopardy and customers now without local services.

“There may be genuine economic or community relations grievances in these areas but they will not be helped by torching shops.

“Retail is at the heart of thriving communities. Clearly, with high streets under pressure anyway, at least some of the businesses destroyed will not be able to re-establish themselves, causing long-term damage.

“And at a time when some of London’s most deprived areas are looking forward to a substantial spending boost from visitors to next year’s Olympics, this sends an appalling message to would-be tourists around the world.”

West Midlands Police reported sporadic incidents across the region on Monday night, with the most serious concentrated in Birmingham city centre and the Handsworth area of the city.

Chief constable Chris Sims says: “National issues were imported into the West Midlands, which endured several hours of wanton theft, damage and disorder.

“It was not an angry crowd that caused this last night, it was a greedy crowd and we are dealing with dishonesty and disorder.

“At the height of the disorder there were between 700-800 people involved and we estimate around 30 premises were damaged – goods stolen were mainly electrical items and high value clothing.

“There is shock, anger and disgust about what happened and many of the people involved were astonishingly young. The tragedy is that young people without any previous criminal record will now be criminalised.”

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