Rioting and looting has spread to Manchester and the Midlands from London with plans to prevent a fourth night of violence on the streets of the capital appearing to have worked.
Prime Minister David Cameron flew back from his holiday early to join police chiefs in warning rioters they would face the full weight of the law. He chaired a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee, with another due to take place at 9am on Wednesday.
Businesses and shops across the capital shut down early in a bid to avoid attack from the gangs of youths who have ransacked buildings across the city over the previous days.
The Metropolitan Police flooded the streets with officers - nearly three times as many as were on duty last night - to quash concerns they were losing control of parts of London.
Some 30 other forces lent officers to bolster the numbers for a massive policing operation intended to put a stop to the horrific scenes witnessed across the country since Saturday.
The situation appeared relatively calm in London, with a handful of arrests reported in the Canning Town area.
In Manchester however, rioters set fire to a branch of fashion store Miss Selfridge in the city centre. Hundreds of youths rampaged on the streets, leading to running battles with riot police.
Greater Manchester Police said it was engaged in outbreaks of disorder in both Manchester city centre and Salford. Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney vowed: "We will not allow such mindless criminal damage and wanton violence to go unpunished."
In Salford Shopping City, a Bargain Booze off-licence was targeted and windows of a branch of the Money Shop smashed.
Elsewhere in England, West Midlands Police said they were dealing with sporadic disorder in Wolverhampton and the arson of two vehicles in nearby West Bromwich.