The BBC reports the deployment of 1,700 police in London where looting and fires continue for a fourth day. There have been 334 arrests, including three people who were arrested for attempted murder of a police office when they struck the officer with their car. CNN reports running battles between gangs of youth and police and are stretched thin.

Prime Minister David Cameron has returned abruptly from his Italian vacation to deal with spreading violence. He will chair the government’s emergency committee Cobra to discuss the riots and meet Home Secretary Theresa May and Metropolitan Police Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin. Boris Johnson, mayor of London, also cut short his vacation in North America is expected to arrive Tuesday morning.

In London, cars were smashed, fires set and stores looted by men, women and groups of teenagers as young as 14. Shops have been stripped of foods, clothes and other goods.

Acting Metropolitan police commissioner Tim Goodwin made a direct appeal to parents to get their children off the streets.

A police station in Birmingham was set ablaze, and 100 people arrested in violent looting (including a Louis Vuitton store), while in Nottinghamshire a police station was attacked and 200 tires set alight in the street. In Bristol police arrested 150 for rioting and looting..

The riots began during a march protesting the shooting death of a man by police, and are in a large part a reaction to cuts in public services, a downturn in the economy and joblessness.

photo: screenshot from CNN. Riot police in Hackney approach a looted supermarket.

Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.

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