POLICE chiefs have warned Bolton residents not to believe “unhelpful gossip and speculation” about rioting on social media networks.

Ch Const Terry Sweeney said there was no specific intelligence to suggest there were going to be riots anywhere in Bolton or across Greater Manchester.

He spoke as extra police officers were called in to patrol the streets of Bolton to make sure the town was ready for any potential disorder.

Mr Sweeney said: “People may read some of the things being said on the internet and believe it - there absolutely was not any rioting in Greater Manchester last night.

“Rumours that were spreading were completely untrue and completely unhelpful.”

Reports began to circulate on Twitter and other websites at about 1.30am this morning.

Officers in Bolton are now working extended shifts and patrolling the most vulnerable areas to reassure the public and make sure they are prepared for any scenario.

London has witnessed unprecedented scenes of violence over the last few days as yobs went on a wrecking spree, setting fire to cars and buildings, while looters plundered goods from shops.

Police and other emergency services all over the country are on standby after the violence spread to Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol, Nottingham and Leeds last night.