‘It’s just mindless thuggary’

Rioting spread across the country last night destroying livelihoods with violence and looting as London experienced a third night of terror

More lives were thrown into chaos last night as London experienced yet another night of looting and violence which saw the well-known Reeves furniture store in Croydon, south London completely destroyed by a huge fire.

As an extra 1,700 police officers were deployed to control the riots in the Capital, owner of the furniture store, Trevor Reeves told Sky News: ‘It’s just completely destroyed.

‘Words fail me. It’s just gone, it’s five generations. My father is distraught at the moment. It’s just mindless thuggery.

His brother Graham added: ‘Our lives are destroyed, it will probably be someone else next week. It’s horrendous, 35 years I have been down here.

As unrest flared up across the breadth of England at least 400 people have been arrested following a wave of criminal activity, which first flared on Saturday after a peaceful protest in Tottenham over the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan by police.

‘The Met was stretched beyond belief in a way that it has never experienced before,’ says Met Deputy Assistant Steven Kavanagh as London woke up to chaos this morning.

Locals were forced to take the law into their own hands to protect their homes and businesses last night as police lost control of the streets. In Dalston and Hackney, north-east London, shopkeepers and their families fought back against looting youths and forced them from the streets.

‘The common feeling in Hackney Central is that our community has been hurt and damaged by causeless violence,’ says Hackney resident Catherine Holmes. ‘We spoke to looters trying to get home – the only explanation they gave for their behaviour was that they had no money today.’

David Cameron has cut his holiday short to return for crisis talks over the unrest while Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Theresa May have also returned early from holiday.

‘These have been the worst scenes of violence and disturbance on our streets for many, many years and this sort of violence, this level of criminality, this thuggary, this looting, this theft, is completely unacceptable,’ says the Home Secretary.

‘We can deal with this,’ she says. ‘We can deal with it with robust policing, with good use of intelligence, but also with the help and support of local communities.’

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