London riots: Home secretary cuts short holiday, 100 held

August 8th, 2011 - 7:46 pm ICT by IANS  

David Cameron London, Aug 8 (IANS) British Home Secretary Theresa May Monday cut short her holidays after over a 100 people were arrested following a second night of rioting across London.

May, who was due to return to Britain Monday, slammed the unrest, saying those responsible will “face the consequences of their action”, The Sun newspaper reported.

She spoke after a series of “copycat” riots broke out in several boroughs across the capital in the wake of Saturday’s violence in Tottenham.

Brixton, Streatham, Enfield, Walthamstow, Islington and central London’s Oxford Circus were targeted. Shops in Enfield and the nearby A10 retail park were vandalised and looted.

In Brixton, the windows of a Gamesmaster store were also smashed and video games and consoles littered the pavement.

Six fire engines rushed there to deal with a fire at a Foot Locker shop. Witnesses said they saw riot police clash with looters at a Currys store nearby.

Around 50 youths gathered in Oxford Circus, central London, and caused damage to property.

“There is no justification for such behaviour. It is important now that the whole community pulls together, remains calm and moves forward,” the newspaper quoted Metropolitan Council leader Doug Taylor as saying.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, in charge of the country while David Cameron is on holiday, was expected to meet police officers and ministers to discuss the weekend’s violence.

Scotland Yard said that the looting was carried out by “small and mobile” groups. Violence spread across the capital after a peaceful protest Saturday following the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan, 29, turned ugly.

More than 60 people had already been arrested Saturday. The total number of arrests is thought to be topping 160, according to the newspaper.

May’s return to Britain comes amid growing anger over senior politicians and top cops failing to cut short their holidays despite this weekend’s events.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has come under fire for refusing to come back from holiday. Tottenham’s Chief Superintendent Sandra Looby was also criticised for jetting off just before violence erupted in her borough Saturday night.

Scotland Yard said at least nine officers were injured, including three who were taken to hospital after being hit by a fast-moving vehicle.

Police said 16 people have been charged with offences including burglary, theft, and violent disorder.

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