London riots was social media a factor?

The 2011 London riots are a series of ongoing public disturbances and lootings in London which began initially in Tottenham, North London, on 6 August 2011 following the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old civilian, Mark Duggan, by officers of the Metropolitan Police Service.

Rioting Breaks Out Across London

Disturbances continued into the following days and spread to other areas of the city, including Wood Green, Enfield Town, Ponders End and Brixton. Vandalism, arson, looting and violent disorder were also reported in several boroughs of London, extending as far south as Croydon. At least 35 police officers have been injured. On 9 August 2011, the rioting spread to parts of Birmingham, Liverpool, and Bristol.

In response to the escalating rioting, Prime Minister David Cameron, Home Secretary Theresa May, and London Mayor Boris Johnson cut short their holidays to return to England.

London’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Kavanagh told CNN that smart phones and social networks like Twitter had been used by criminals to liaise. “It’s a group of individuals using modern technology to cause chaos,” he said.

Other reports say BlackBerry’s messaging service was a popular means of communication to spread news about the violence.

Ugly scenes of violence, rioting and looting have spread across the length and breadth of the capital since erupting three days ago.

• Clashes between looters and police across London
• Violence spreads to Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool
• Fires in Clapham, Croydon, Enfield and Peckham
• Prime minister returns early from holiday
• Twitter movement #riotcleanup gets under way

London riots 2011 Video (25.22 mins)

Follow today’s development in guardian latest live-blog

); ga('send', 'pageview');