Prime Minister David Cameron arrives back at Number 10 in the early hours after cutting short his family holiday in Italy, Downing Street says. He will meet Home Secretary Theresa May and Acting Scotland Yard Commissioner Tim Godwin before chairing a Cobra emergency meeting at 09:00 BST.
London Transport says all Tube stations affected by unrest overnight will be open as normal this morning. The only exception is Ealing Broadway, which is inside a police cordon, meaning some of its entrances will be closed.
that appears to have been taken in Woolwich, south-east London, showsrioters outnumbering and charging police.
Scotland Yard say three people were arrested earlier on suspicion of attempted murder after a police officer was injured by a car in Brent, north-west London, while trying to stop suspected looters.
The riots also dominate the front pages of Britain's tabloid newspapers. The Sun's print edition sums up events in a single word: Anarchy, while its website opts for Descent into hell, over a dramatic picture of a woman leaping to safety from a burning building.
The print version of the Daily Mirror, whose web story focuses on the spread of unrest outside of London, keeps it short and simple with "Yob Rule".
Understandably, coverage of the riots dominates the British newspapers, with much debate about the root causes of the civil disobedience that has gripped London and other cities.
Claims by ex-London mayor Ken Livingstone, who aims to unseat Boris Johnson next year, that government cuts are to blame are rejected by the Daily Mail.
However, the Guardian feels the unrest is a product of the lives which the rioters choose or feel constrained to live.
writes: Young people were dragging boxed flat screen TV's in their hands with impunity. I saw a convoy of police cars driving past. The officers were clearly stretched. No cars stopped. I also saw Seba Electronics being ransacked; two or three TV's were stolen by one person. His audacity brought gasps from onlookers. I feel awful for the owner and his wife who are always pleasant and helpful and have had their business there for years. They do not deserve what has happened. Carphone Warehouse is engulfed by plumes of smoke. Wilkinsons, Boots, Cash Converters and other stores in the area were also attacked. It was simply pure greed.
How the riots are being reported around the world: The Washington Post calls them the worst bout of urban violence to hit Britain in more than two decades, with parts of London "morphing into lawless no man's lands". The Times of India says the disturbances raise questions about whether London is safe enough to stage the 2012 Olympics. France's AFP press agency says the riots point to deeper social unease in poor areas of Britain's capital. Canada's Globe and Mail blames a "lost generation of young high school dropouts" but says the riots are a mystery to all - even the rioters.
tweets: What DC shd announce 2moro, some inner city investment, no matter how indebted we are, or areas will be lost for yrs. Without investment now, areas affected will become like toxteth, still damaged 30 years on this month from riots there
tweets: Unbelievable scenes of burning buildings Croydon. PM coming home tonight not sure what he can do apart from showing moral support. This has simply turned into a mass looting exercise to steal goods nothing at all to do with a protest.
tweets: Enjoy that pillaged pair of trainers, #LondonRiots - you will be wearing them when you are forty. Because why would anyone give YOU a job?
A pub in Woolwich was one of the buildings that burned down during unrest in that part of south-east London.
writes: I am at home with my family in West Ealing, 300 meters from the shops that are being attacked. There are hooded teenagers walking past our house with bottles and bats. The shop owner from the corner shop is standing up in front of his shop to defend it in case it is attacked. We are starting to talk about ways to defend our house because there are people shouting outside. We do not feel safe at all. We need help. I don't see any other way but to bring in the army.
Woolwich town centre, in south-east London, is visibly scarred after looters ran amok in its parade of shops.
A resident in the Toxteth area of Liverpool, where this image was taken, says about 300 people gathered to loot shops and many cars were set alight.
The Metropolitan Police has just issued an update on its current operations across London.
It says 334 people have been arrested, 69 people were charged and two received cautions in connection with rioting and looting across the city.
tweets: Good for Diana Abbott getting on the streets of Hackney and at least giving a toss...take note Boris and Cameron.
Eyewitness reports say a Tesco Express store was looted at Myrtle Street, on the fringes of Liverpool City Centre.
Tommy Thompson, who works at a pub next to the Sony warehouse in Enfield, north London, that was set alight tells BBC Radio 5 Live he saw youths carrying petrol bombs at the scene. "We heard a smash at the Sony centre and I went outside to have a look. It was youths just looting and taking loads of products like Wii consoles and stuff like that. They had petrol bombs in bottles. As I went back to work to tell everyone what's going on, about five minutes after that the whole Sony centre was ablaze."
writes: The common feeling in Hackney Central is that our community has been hurt and damaged by causeless violence. We spoke to looters trying to get home, the only explanation they gave for their behaviour was that they had no money today. It is sad to think that these people are thinking of only the next moment, and the moment they have created is a nightmare. As we watch them now moving on in small pockets, we hope that our community will unite together this morning to react against these riots.
Video: Tommy Thompson, who works in a hotel neighbouring the Sony distribution centre in Enfield, tells BBC News what he saw and how he was assaulted by a suspected looter.
Here are the latest updates from the London Fire Brigade's Twitter site on major blazes currently being fought in the capital: 1. Timber yard fire on going in East Ham on Plashet Grove. The yard 100 x 50 is 50 per cent alight. 4 fire engines and 20 firefighters on site. 2. Shopping centre and offices of 4 floors fire on Woolwich New Road. Whole of the ground floor is alight. 20 firefighters attending. 3.The fire on Lavender Hill has now 8 fire engines and 40 firefighters at the scene. Most of the ground floor and part of first floor alight. 5. 40 firefighters at a fire in a warehouse on Solar Way in Enfield.
tweets: Huge fire in Sainsbury depot in Waltham Abbey - 750 people work there some must work nights - so scary.
tweets: Various road blocks now set up across #Toxteth. Reports that street after street trashed, windscreens smashed, cars & bins on fire.
In Birmingham, about 100 people have been arrested so far for offences including violent disorder and aggravated burglary, and are currently in custody, police say. There have been no reports of any major injuries to members of the public or police officers. Police are currently controlling access on some of the main routes into the city centre, including the inner-city ring road.
A 26-year-old man is in a serious condition in a south London hospital with gun shot wounds. Police found him inside a car at about 21:15 BST in Warrington Road, Croydon. Two other people, believed to be in their late 20s, were also at the scene. They were arrested for handling stolen goods and taken to a south London police station.
tweets: Turkish men armed with baseball bats are guarding businesses on Stoke Newington High Street #riots
Scotland Yard has said it is considering using more armoured police vehicles against rioters after they were used to push back more than 150 people in the Lavender Hill area of Clapham where shops and business were attacked.
More on the situation in Bristol. A spokeswoman for Avon and Somerset police said a number of shops and vehicles have been damaged and several main roads have been closed "to allow officers to take control of what is currently a volatile situation".
The BBC's Tamsin Curnow, in Bristol, says police there have reported disorder in the last few hours. Shops and cars have been damaged in several areas, including the city centre, St Pauls, Stokes Croft and St Werburghs. Officers are now working to keep people out of the city centre, urging them to go home. Most of the damage was caused by about 150 people who moved around the city centre in small groups, police say.
tweets: Contrary to earlier reports no looting at Westfield shopping centre, shepherds bush #Londonriots
A fire has taken hold of a distribution centre in Enfield, north London.
Mike Butcher, blogging at TechCrunch Europe, argues that Blackberry, not Twitter, has fuelled London's riots.
Sharon Rowe, of West Midlands Police, says: "We want to protect the people of Birmingham by restoring order and returning the city to normality as soon as possible. We will not tolerate mindless violence anywhere in the West Midlands and are working hard to ensure that the offenders are identified and caught as soon as possible."
tweets: Liverpool grove street man pulled from car and then car set alighthttp://t.co/Ee2Ao4t
writes: My flat is about 2 minutes walk from the main part of the town. I can see lots of black smoke billowing across the horizon and I can see looters trying to get into the Barclays bank. The old Wetherspoons pub has burnt down and barricades in the main square have been pulled down. The Wimpy restaurant, Wilkinsons and Primark are all on fire, whilst JD Sports, Burtons and Primark are all currently being raided. I went out to take photographs and I saw looters carrying boxes walking out of these stores. It's pretty scary.
Firefighters in Clapham Junction are attempting to bring a fire under control.
tweets: The mob looted Labrokes in Lavendar hill #Clapham junction. nvr seen chaos like this in my life b4. They seem to be excited to be on TV.
Back to the latest Met statement.
Commander Christine Jones says: "The violence we have seen is simply inexcusable. Ordinary people have had their lives turned upside down by this mindless thuggery.
"The Met will ensure that those responsible will face the consequences of their actions and be arrested."
So far, 225 people have been arrested and 36 people have been charged in London, according to police.
West Midlands Police says it has made about 100 arrests after rioters took to the streets across Birmingham city centre and some surrounding areas.
writes: I live a few minutes away from the main high street in Clapham. Every shop along the street was looted. Nothing was left unscathed. The rioters didn't bother to cover their faces. There were no police officers present to deter them. Some local residents stood and watched. Others were milling around surveying the damage. I've now returned home but I can still hear helicopters overhead.
tweets: Just spoken to police. No need to evacuate Clapham if you live on side of Battersea Rise. fire by station No fear of gas leak. #londonriots
The Metropolitan Police have just issued an update on their current operations across London. It includes:
Hackney: 250 - 300 people gathered in Pembury Estate, setting alight cars and throwing petrol bombs. Businesses in Mare Street were looted and officers contained the situation. Three officers injured but their condition is not believed to be serious.
Newham: Looting in Stratford High Street.
Lewisham: Roaming groups of youths were involved in disorder.
Bethnal Green: More than 100 people looted a Tesco supermarket. Two officers were injured.
Croydon: Fires burning at a number of premises, including a very large blaze at a sofa factory.
Tweets It is unbelievable that @UK_BlackBerry is not shutting down BBM right now #LondonRiots
BBC News producer Bill Hayton in Canning Town, east London, says about 25 people armed with hammers descended on a McDonalds restaurant. He says they took food and stole money from the tills, but nobody appeared to have been hurt.
BBC staff member reports hundreds of youths ransacking a Panasonic store in West Ealing - no sign of police.
Merseyside Police confirm they are dealing with a number of incidents in South Liverpool, including cars being set alight. Members of the public have been advised to avoid Smithdown Road, Lodge Lane and Upper Parliament Street. In a statement, Merseyside Police's Andy Ward said: "Officer have tonight dealt with a small number of incidents of violence across the city. We will not tolerate any violence on the streets of Liverpool and have taken swift and robust action in response."
There are reports of a fire at the Sony warehouse in Enfield, north London.
Patrick Wetergreen, a BBC IT technician, tells us he saw looters on Portabello Road, which is near his west London home. He says several car windows on the street were smashed, a moped was on fire and he saw about 50 people, the majority of whom had covered their faces.
West Midlands Police confirm that a police station in Holyhead Road in Handsworth, Birmingham, is on fire.
It's an extremely volatile situation here. On Lavender Hill, as we drove up, we were flanked by hundreds of young people, the majority of whom had their faces covered and were peering into cars. Local residents are telling us they have been extremely upset by what they feel is a lack of police presence.
West Midlands police confirm that they made 87 arrests on Monday evening.
Scotland Yard says 225 people have been arrested and 36 were charged in relation to the ongoing riots.
tweets: The first duty of the Government is to protect the people. The Government has failed. Clean up the mess & resign. All of you.
The BBC's Kevin Peachey in Camden, north London, says the main street has been closed off with police cordoning off the stretch from Camden to Chalk Farm underground stations.
He says: "There is an undoubted tension on the streets, with a number of groups of young men on foot and on bicycles in the area. Police officers said action was being taken to protect members of the public in the area.
"At one spot poles and pieces of wood supposed to be used for scaffolding appeared to be being taken from a lorry in the area. Some police in protective equipment arrived in Camden in an unmarked police car."
Guardian journalist Paul Lewis says looters in Camden have moved to nearby Chalk Farm. He says he has seen a group of up about 25 people taking part in the looting in that area.
tweets: The UK riots are not revolutionary. In a revolution you bring down a corrupted elite, not your hardworking neighbours.
tweetsthat 11 other forces now helping the Met deal with #londonriots