The Metropolitan police’s embattled public order unit, CO11, once prided itself on being the world leader in containing disorder. At 3am yesterday, its exhausted officers slept in police vans lined up in Enfield town centre, bruised, exhausted and, for the second night running, entirely out-manoeuvred.
For hours they had been chasing groups of youths around Enfield, Ponders End and Edmonton, in north London, using dogs and batons to disperse anyone seen looting shops.
Any doubt that police were unable to control the violence was dispelled hours later, around 5pm yesterday, amid further outbreaks of looting in Hackney and other areas of the capital in broad daylight.
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