Reports are still coming in with the press, police and other agencies doing their best to sift through the debris to establish what happened and why.
What is clear though is that at time of writing, twenty-six police officers have been injured and two are hospitalised. Numerous shops have been ransacked, vehicles destroyed and many innocent people’s homes gutted by fire.
Furthermore what is clear is that what apparently started as a small, peaceful demonstration outside a police station was soon hijacked by a criminal minority who chose to use as cover tensions over recent events in the capital to commit large scale disorder that have led locals observing the aftermath to liken it to the Blitz.
Each and every police officer, fireman and paramedic sent the to the scene last night has a family. They work long hours in roles that are often unpleasant and do so because they joined their jobs with one thing in mind – to protect the public.
That a band of hooligans saw fit to turn on officers and turn on the residents of Tottenham itself says nothing about ‘community tensions’ – it shows only that a small group of people decided to exploit the opportunity to cause a great deal of illegal, totally senseless chaos.
They weren’t representing the communities of Tottenham, weren’t representing London and certainly were not ‘protesters’ in any sense of the word.
I was glad to read in the Met’s press release that forty two people have been arrested so far in connection with the riots. Here’s hoping that many more arrests will follow…
You can follow developments around this story both through the BBC News website and also by visiting the Met’s News & Appeals page. For news on the shooting of Mark Duggan both of the aforementioned sources can be consulted as can the Independent Police Complaints Commission who have been asked to investigate the incident.