U.K. Riots: 3 Dead as London Police Go on Offensive


In Manchester hundreds of youths tore through the city, terrorizing police and vandalizing stores. A women's clothing store on the city's main shopping street was set ablaze, along with an unused library in nearby Salford, according to the Associated Press.

"Greater Manchester police officers have been faced with extraordinary levels of violence from groups of people intent on shameful criminality," Garry Shewan, Assistant Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police.

"We want to make it absolutely clear -- they have nothing to protest against," he told the Associated Press. "There is nothing in a sense of injustice and there has been no spark that has led to this," he added.

Sales of aluminum baseball bat sales on amazon.co.uk have shot up 50,000 percent since the riots began.

The wave of rioting now entering its fourth day was sparked by the shooting death of 29-year-old Mark Duggan in the Tottenham section of North London last Thursday. Police have said the man shot at them first. Angry protesters demonstrated against the fatal shooting in the multi-ethnic neighborhood Saturday, and the march soon degenerated into chaos.

Many however are pointing to radical cuts to social programs initiated by the year-old coalition government, led by Cameron, to explain the violence. Many social programs have been slashed across Britain since the new government formed mid-2010, including youth sports and summer programs.

"The economic stagnation and cuts imposed by the Tory Government inevitably create social division," former London Mayor Ken Livingstone said on Monday. "This creates the threat of people losing control, acting in completely unacceptable ways that threaten everyone, and culminating in events of the type we saw in Tottenham."

In July, U.K. unemployment stood at 7.7 percent, or 2.45 million. 917,000 of the unemployed are aged 16 -24. This number fell slightly in the last quarter but the total number of unemployed young people is at a two decade high.

Speaking from 10 Downing Street Tuesday morning, Cameron said that he will be meeting with the Metropolitan Police commissioner and the home secretary to discuss the crisis.

"We will do everything to restore order to Britain's streets. ... This is criminality pure and simple and has to be confronted and defeated," Cameron said, adding that it is "quite clear that we need much more police on our streets and more robust police action."

Cameron had a message for those rioting and breaking the law across the country.

"You will feel the full force of the law, and if you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the consequences. ... You are not only wrecking lives of others, not only your community, you are potentially wrecking your own lives, too," he said.

ABC News' Lama Hasan, Miguel Marquez Simon Mcgregor-Wood and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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