London Police Arrest Man Over Riot Death
By Robert Hutton and John Simpson – Aug 12, 2011 5:22 AM ET
Police in London arrested a 22-year- old man on suspicion of murder following the death of a pensioner assaulted on Aug. 8 during riots in the western suburb of Ealing.
Officers dealing with unrest in the area saw Richard Mannington Bowes, 68, being attacked, the Metropolitan Police said in an e-mailed statement today. The suspect was arrested on suspicion of murder, rioting and carrying out three burglaries, the force said.
“This was a brutal incident that resulted in the senseless killing of an innocent man,” Detective Chief Inspector John McFarlane of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command said.
Outbreaks of looting and arson started on Aug. 6 in the north London suburb of Tottenham and spread across the city the following night. When a third evening of disorder began, Prime Minister David Cameron broke off his holiday in Italy to return to Britain.
Cameron convened a meeting of the government’s emergency response committee at his Downing Street office and recalled Parliament. Police more than doubled the number of officers on London’s streets, preventing a fourth night of unrest.
Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, rejected criticism of the police handling of the riots. Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson have said officers weren’t tough enough during the first three nights of disorder.
“The fact that politicians chose to come back is an irrelevance in terms of the tactics that were by then developing,” he told BBC television’s “Newsnight” program. “The more robust policing tactics you saw were not a function of political interference; they were a function of the numbers being available to allow the chief constables to change their tactics.”
Bowes is the fifth person to have been killed in the rioting. Three men died in Birmingham when they were hit by a car on Aug. 9. A 26-year-old man died after being shot in his car in Croydon, south London.
A total of 1,051 people have been arrested in London in connection with rioting in the city, police said, adding that 591 have been charged over the disorder. In Manchester, northwest England, 176 people have been arrested. West Midlands Police, who cover Birmingham, the U.K.’s second-largest city, have arrested 445 people.
A 17-year-old boy from Luton, north of London, was charged by Bedfordshire Police with using social media networks to encourage others to commit burglary in the form of looting.
Police in the southern port city of Southampton charged a 20-year-old man with inciting violent disorder after a probe into postings on Facebook Inc.’s social-networking site.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at email@example.com.