Youths run amok against police on horseback as riots continue in Manchester

On the scene report by Liam Barnes, Amy Senior and David Keane

Police are involved in a game of cat and mouse with hooded youths as rioters run amok around central Manchester.

After windows were smashed in the Arndale Centre, around 100 people crashed into Foot Asylum before several shops on Market Street, including Marks and Spencer and Thomas Cook, were damaged.

Miss Selfridge was then set on fire, leading to a police charge to remove bystanders and protestors from the area.

A door on the Ugg store on Exchange Square was smashed in, while neighbouring Reiss on New Cathedral Street suffered internal damage. Other nearby shops to suffer included the Co-operative and Tesco Express branches in Church Street.

Several charges and chases between riot police and gangs occured in and around Market Street throughout the evening before a fire forced the police to evacuate the area as acrid smoke began to fill the streets.

One eyewitness said as police forced us away from the scene: “It’s gone completely f***ing crazy in Manchester. Insanity has taken over. Everyone should get out of here – I am.”

Some people were running away in any direction possible from the police, who were walking towards us with batons out. One family we met while being ushered away from the area were anxiously attempting to get to a hotel on the other side of the Arndale with their children, one of a number of arriving train passengers caught up in the confusion.

Mounted police then made their way down Piccadilly Gardens towards Whitworth Street in pursuit of a crowd of hundreds, many of whom had bricks in their hands and their hoods up.

Recent reports have said that music shop Dawsons and a bar on Portland Street have been looted and people have been attacked as the rioters head towards Oxford Road.

As well as the arson attacks in Manchester, Salford precinct has also suffered, with gangs of rioters breaking into shops and stealing alcohol as the chaos around the city continues into the evening.

The Metrolink tram and as well as buses have stopped running and pubs and clubs have shut down for the night. Everyone is advised not to travel into the city centre. Please remain safe. 

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