The Home Secretary Theresa May has returned to the UK early from her holiday and is today meeting police chiefs in the capital in attempts to deal with the violence which has spilled over into a third day of trouble in London.
After a weekend of riots and looting more than 100 people have been arrested and thirty five police officers have been injured. The disturbances began after the fatal shooting of Tottenham resident, Mark Duggan by police on Saturday.
A spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron said, “We are very clear that those responsible for that violence and looting will be made to face the consequences for their actions”.
The violence which began in Tottenham has spread to other areas of London over the weekend and Monday. On Sunday three police officers were injured after being hit by a vehicle whilst trying to make an arrest in Chingford Mount in North London, and fighting later broke out in Enfield, also in North London.
In the south of the city several hundred youths charged ranks of police and partook in widespread looting and destruction of shops in the centre of Brixton, whilst youths gathered in Oxford Circus, vandalising shops on London’s most famous shopping street. There was also vandalism and looting in shops in Walthamstow, East London with up to thirty young people causing the damage.
The London Fire Brigade reported receiving 445 emergency calls on Saturday night as distraught locals watched their communities go up in flames. Fire crews were called to a dozen large blazes in Edmonton and Brixton and three fire engines were damaged by the mobs.
Deputy Prime Minister, speaking in Tottenham at the scene of some of the worst destruction said, “We need to start talking together to identify everything that happened so we can rebuild, not just physically but socially. I think the government has to engage actively at all levels and on an ongoing basis”.
Metropolitan Police Commander Adrian Hanstock said that the violence was not perpetrated by the local communities but was an attack on those same communities. He said, “This is individuals who are actually attacking communities, businesses, properties and houses and actually causing a huge amount of upset and criminality”.
It has also been reported that the violence was perpetrated through the use of social networking sites such as Twitter and that the police are considering arresting people for inciting violence through social media.