Disorder: Updates and Advice from Sunday 7 August

07 August 2011

New Scotland Yard

23.04hrs on Sunday 7 August

Operation Withern is now dealing with 56 arrests. We believe that 51 arrests were made in connection with the disorder last night, and 5 have been made for offences committed today.

At this stage we cannot give an exact breakdown of what the arrests are for - the majority were for burglary, and other offences include violent disorder, robbery, theft and handling stolen goods.

19.53hrs on Sunday 7 August

The Metropolitan Police Service has an operation in place across London tonight, with additional resources geographically deployed on high visibility patrols.

Additional officers are on duty in Tottenham, and cordons remain in place around the primary crime scene.

A team of senior officers responsible for the operation will be on duty throughout the night to manage our operation and ensure we have a swift response to any reported incidents.

Officers from Haringey Borough have met with members of the local community and that dialogue will continue. Community representatives from across London came together today at New Scotland Yard to be briefed on our operation so far, and so we could receive their feedback.

Commander Christine Jones said: “We do have extra resources out tonight on duty across the Capital. We are carefully monitoring any intelligence and ensuring we have our resources in the right places. No one wants to see a repeat of the scenes that we witnessed last night in Tottenham.

“Our investigation team are continuing their work and those people responsible for the violence, disorder and crime we saw last night will be identified. Anyone else who thinks they can use the events from last night as an excuse to commit crime will be met by a robust response from us.

“If you know anything about those who broke the law please let us know.”

19.17hrs on Sunday 7 August

Operation Withern is now dealing with 55 arrests. We believe that 51 arrests were made in connection with the disorder last night, and 4 have been made for offences committed today.

At this stage we cannot give an exact breakdown of what the arrests are for - the majority were for burglary, and other offences include violent disorder, robbery, theft and handling stolen goods.

16.20 hrs on Sunday 7 August

A major investigation team has been launched by the Met following the disorder in Tottenham last night - the investigation is codenamed Operation Withern.

The team is being led by Detective Superintendent John Sweeney, and is made up of detectives from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, specialist investigators from the Public Order Branch, and police support staff.

The team is currently dealing with the 48 people who were arrested during the course of the disorder.

Officers are in the process of reviewing hours of CCTV and taking witness statements. There is a primary crime scene that runs from Monument Way to Lansdowne Road. Detectives are on the scene scoping out the number of buildings and businesses broken into and damaged. This will take some time, and we cannot currently estimate how long.

Forensic examiners will slowly and painstakingly work their way through this crime scene seeking to retrieve as much evidence as possible. We thank the local community for their continued patience and apologise for the inconvience caused, but processing this crime scene properly is of the utmost importance to our investigation.

Commander Adrian Hanstock said: "If you have been a victim of crime during the disorder please go to your local police station and let them know, we want to hear from you. Detectives from Operation Withern will then be in touch with you to make sure that the crime is investigated.

"Anyone who has any information about those responsible for these offences that rocked the heart of the local community please get in touch with us. The disorder and violence we saw last night was pure criminality and cannot be justified. We are determined to arrest those responsible.

"If you know of anyone who was involved or may be planning a repeat of the scenes we saw last night, please let us know. Any information can be passed to police anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

We are aware of various reports on social media networks of further disorder being planned and any intelligence will be assessed and actioned. A policing operation is in place across London and local officers are on the streets in Tottenham.

Total number of arrests is 48. There have been no new arrests, but the rise from 42 to 48 is because the Investigation Team has now collated the exact details from the numerous custody suites in London.


15.00hrs on Sunday 7 August

Commander Adrian Hanstock made the following statement at New Scotland Yard at 15.00hrs today: "There has been some speculation on social media sites and we are actively posting accurate information to correct this. What we would ask for is anyone who has information about those who committed these offences or anyone intending to, then please let us know and help us to protect your community.

"We continue to work closely with the local community in Tottenham and are grateful for their assistance. We recognise that they abhor the levels of violence and crime shown, however it is not the wider community who are committing these offences and they do not represent local people's views. We also continue to work closely with a number of partner agencies, including IAG, local authorities and the GLA.

"Officers from Tottenham are on the streets and will remain there, working alongside the community to restore calm to the area. Should we have any indication of further violence or other offending, we have a
policing plan in place and will respond appropriately.

"A wider policing operation is in place which has seen extra resources being made available to support communities and the investigation which has commenced to examine the criminal matters. There is an extensive crime scene and this will take some time to examine thoroughly. 42 people have already been arrested for a variety of offences, and we are actively examining CCTV footage with a view to making further arrests.

"We recognise public concern in relation to the shooting of Mark Duggan and because of this, it is absolutely right that the IPCC independently investigate the circumstances. The community clearly want this and deserve it."


Sunday 7 August

Last night’s disorder and violence in Tottenham is completely unacceptable. The behaviour by a criminal minority put police officers, fire brigade personnel and the public at significant risk.

The death of Mr. Duggan is extremely regrettable and will be the subject of an independent investigation by the IPCC. It is absolutely tragic that someone has died, but that does not give a criminal minority the right to destroy businesses and people livelihoods and steal from their local community.

There was no indication that the protest would deteriorate into the levels of criminal and violent disorder that we saw. We believe that certain elements, who were not involved with the vigil, took the opportunity to commit disorder and physically attack police officers, verbally abuse fire brigade personnel and destroy vehicles and buildings. We do not believe that this is something that the vast majority of law abiding citizens in Tottenham would condone or would want.

As the disorder developed, we immediately deployed, but such was the level of violence against police officers that we were also supported by officers from surrounding forces, as is in line with our planned contingency as would be expected for such a significant incident.

Our officers were subjected to bottles, petrol bombs and other missiles being thrown at them.

Our priority will always be to try to preserve life, with the numbers of people on the street and violence being directed at the police and fire service this had to remain our priority. We are aware that a number of shops were looted and this is very regrettable. We are very aware of how disruptive and costly this will be for large and small businesses and the negative impact on the local community.

We have recovered excellent CCTV and those who committed disorder and criminal acts will be identified and held account for their actions. We would appeal to anyone who has information about those who may have been involved in the disorder to contact police.

As a result of last night's disorder 26 police officers were injured, two remain in hospital. There have been 42 arrests so far for offences including violent disorder, burglary and theft.