While London endured a third night of riots, the crime spree spread to other cities in the UK, with Liverpool and Birmingham also affected last night.

Violence flared in Liverpool for up to five hours overnight as rioters took to the streets in the south of the city.

Cars and wheelie bins were set alight during the disturbances which spread from the city centre to Toxteth, Dingle and Wavertree.

There were reports of hundreds of youths on the rampage. Merseyside Police said they had arrested six people so far.

Andy Ward, Assistant Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, said the violence was a "copycat issue", as London saw its third night of rioting.

"It is a very saddening picture to be honest," he said.

"We had a situation last night where a number of young people decided to gather and they have decided to go on a spree of disorder and violence across parts of south Liverpool."

He said the youths had organised on social networking sites, which he conceded made the force's job more difficult.

It is understood the windows of Admiral Street police station were smashed in and a police van burned out.

The force tried to contain the troublemakers rather than get involved in running battles.

As the night progressed, the group became more fragmented as officers in riot gear and wielding batons, supported by police vans, sealed roads off.

However, there were several stand-offs as rioters pelted officers with missiles, from golf clubs to bricks and bottles.

One confrontation took place near Admiral Street police station. Officers came under attack from about 100 youths, as residents looked on.

In Birmingham, shop windows were smashed and stores looted, during what police described as "mindless thuggery".

A police station in Handsworth, nearly three miles out of the city centre, was later reported by police to be on fire.

Among the shops damaged was a city centre McDonald's restaurant and an Armani store at the Mailbox shopping centre which was looted.

Police said about 100 people had been arrested, many of them juveniles.

Eleven people have been taken to a number of hospitals in the city.

The disturbances started during the early evening. Later that evening, West Midlands Police confirmed the police station in Holyhead Road was on fire.

The force also reported some of its cars had come under attack on Holyhead Road.

Ambulance crews said they had been called to 24 incidents – mostly treating people who had been assaulted.

Injuries included cuts and bruises to the head and a dislocated knee.

Police urged parents to contact their children and get them to return home.

The violence in Birmingham followed a third evening of rioting across London, with a number of fires being lit and stores being looted in a number of areas.

West Midlands Police said four people were arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary, four for violent disorder and one for a breach of the peace.

West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe said she still had a significant number of officers in Birmingham city centre.

"There is still outbreaks of violence and looting of shops is still taking place," she said.

"We will continue to make arrests while this mindless thuggery takes place in our city centre. It is totally unacceptable."