My Big Mouth: The Spirit of Manchester

By Jack Travers

Last night Manchester became the most recent city to fall into violence and looting. It was a sad scene watching it unfold – mindless thugs rampaging through the city in gangs causing as much damage as possible.

Shops were broken into and gutted, one even set on fire, Miss Selfridge on Market Street, and dozens of windows smashed in as these opportunistic criminals took to the streets.

What motivates them? Who knows, although I agree with the commentators saying it is too much to ask these people to have politically-based motives.

It seems to be as simple as how the police are laying it out – they are copy-cat criminals who see safety in numbers and a chance to cause some damage. Since when was setting fire to shops and cars a ‘fun’ thing to do?

Well, the safety in numbers argument is slowly and surely being blown out of the water by the Greater Manchester Police who, after a slow start to the night, gradually got on top of the rioters before they dispersed around 3am.

By 9am this morning, 110 people in the city had been arrested and many more were due to follow them into custody.

Hundreds more had their faces caught on cameras and the police are in the process of finding them and making them pay the consequences for their actions.

GMP’s Assistant Chief Constable, Garry Shewan, sent out a strong message to those responsible when speaking from the starting point of the Manchester clean up in Piccadilly Gardens.

He said: “Last night was one of the saddest of my career but seeing all these people gathering in the city centre to clean up and show defiance makes me very proud.

“We have arrested 110 people already and many more are being arrested this morning.

“We have hundreds of faces on cameras and all we need to do is for people to come forward and tell us who they are. We will catch them and they will be punished.

“People who acted in a criminal fashion will have to face the repercussions. This is the case not just in Manchester but across the whole of the UK.

“We need to send that message out to these mindless criminals. We cannot allow this mentality to take hold.

“On a positive note, look around us. This is what Manchester needs today. It needs crowds of people in our city to get behind us all and to send out the right message.”

More than 100 people had already gathered in the city centre by 9:30am, armed with their brushes and bin liners with many having their faces painted with the slogan, ‘I love Manchester’.

Assistant Chief Constable Shewan was applauded by the crowds as he delivered his message of defiance.

He said that the city’s police force will be boosted by national assistance tonight and the number of officers on the streets will be in the thousands.

However, he did say that they will not stoop to the level of the criminals.

He said: “You cannot fight violence with violence. It brings us down to their level and we are not going to do that unless absolutely necessary.

“If people want to stand shoulder to shoulder with the police then fair enough.

“It is important that it is not just police officers out here but it is about local people demonstrating against this violence. If it gets dangerous then we will have to ask people to leave but until then you can stand with us.

“It is time that we got our city back on track.”

While the police operation goes on, Manchester is uniting together to clean up the streets, proving that it takes a bit more than a few hundred hooded youths to remove the spirit of this great city.


More related stories:


Greater Manchester Police claim evening a ‘success’ following over 100 arrests


Looting is rampant in Manchester – Piccadilly Gardens rioting in pictures


Piccadilly Gardens in lock down as rioters smash and loot Manchester shops


‘Unprecedented’ violence one of ‘worst days in Manchester history’, say police


Greater Manchester MPs condem riots and looting


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