Adidas store Birmingham
The Adidas store in New Street, Birmingham, was broken into and looted
Gangs of masked youths have gathered in Birmingham city centre and some shop windows have been smashed.

A McDonald's restaurant, close to the city's cathedral, has had a window broken and eye witnesses have reported more damage in the Colmore Row area.

West Midlands Police said it was aware of some disorder, including vandalised shops and incidents of theft.

Nine people have been arrested, a spokesman said.

Police said officers were controlling access on some of the routes into Birmingham. One eyewitness said Broad Street, one of the main had been closed to traffic.

A heavy police presence has been seen in the city from late afternoon. Some shops in the city centre closed early amid rumours that trouble may break out.

'Mindless violence'

The spokesman said: "A number of arrests made. Small number of groups still causing trouble in the city centre, police working to arrest them."

An eyewitness said the window of Mills City Express store, in Colmore Row, was smashed by youths wielding a bin.

He said some then ran into the store before emerging with goods in their hands.

Vans of police in riot gear soon arrived and the youths dispersed.

Soon after, another group broke through the metal security shutter of the Jessops store in Temple Row and cameras and electrical equipment were taken from inside.

In New Street, a front window of the Adidas store was smashed and empty coat hangers littered the street outside.

Police in riot gear were positioned in several parts of the city centre, with some advising onlookers to get off the streets.

Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe said several premises in the centre had been attacked, with some shop windows smashed and property stolen in various locations.

"We will not tolerate mindless violence and damage anywhere in the West Midlands and are working to ensure that the offenders are identified and caught as soon as possible," she said.

"A policing operation is in place with extra officers in Birmingham to restore calm in the city centre, and protect local people and businesses.

"Our communities have made it clear to us that they do not want this kind of violence in their city and we will continue to work with them to bring anybody who commits acts of crime or anti-social behaviour to justice as soon as possible."

Police have also asked people to think twice before calling emergency services with non-urgent calls as there is high demand for services.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said it was aware of incidents of disorder and was working with police and the NHS to make sure a normal 999 service continued.

It said so far, no-one had been taken to hospital.