The London riots have spread to Hackney as gangs of youths destroy shop fronts and throw missiles at police.

Shops in Dalston have been looted and a police car had its windows smashed.

Gangs of youths, many in masks, attacked riot police. There have been reports of an injured policeman being treated at the scene.

Live footage from a BBC helicopter showed gangs smashing the windows of bookies Ladbrokes, emptying the contents of a lorry and hurling large pieces of wood and chairs at the police line.

Police armed with shields pushed forward across the road, attempting to control the escalating riot.

Watch the Hackney riots here.


People are being evacuated from the area and businesses closed as the riots that began in Tottenham swept through east London this afternoon.

A BBC travel alert has been issued warning that the riots have shut down Hackney Central station. Part of Mare St has also been closed.

There have been reports that the riots in Hackney kicked off in protest over a police stop and search in the borough.

Meanwhile, shops and businesses in Southgate and High Barnet have been told by police to close early amid reports of more unrest in north London.

Rioting is expected to begin again tonight and Southgate High Street is already closed off.

The violence is being followed closely on Twitter.

aaronjohnpeters  wrote: “Youths in balaclavas around #hackney going for police cars. Its 4:30 – its going to really kick off there tonight.”