The outbreak of violence and looting began in London during the weekend when a protest against Thursday’s fatal shooting of a Tottenham resident in connection with his arrest got out of hand.
The disturbances soon spread from Tottenham to the districts of Enfield and Walthamstow in North London and to Brixton in the south. Over the course of Monday the riots and looting spread to Hackney, Croydon, Peckham, Ealing, Clapham and Lewisham.
According to Anika Digréus, the Sveriges Radio’s correspondent in London, the streets of Hackney were ablaze Monday night.
“As soon as the police left the scene, the youths that they had previously driven away came out of the side streets where they had been hiding – and the whole thing began afresh,” she said in a radio interview Tuesday morning.
“I saw for myself how the kids looted a shop as soon as the police left. The officers returned but by then it was already too late,” she said.
Since the beginning of the violence in London more than 450 people have been arrested and prime minister David Cameron as well as other officials have cut their holidays short to return to the UK capital to address the problem.
Meanwhile, riots have erupted in several of the UK’s largest cities including Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol.
The Swedish embassy in London is now urging Swedish residents and visitors currently in the British capital, as well as the other affected cities, to exercise caution, stay vigilant and to keep up with news reports to stay abreast of the developments.