London enjoyed a second night of relative peace following the deployment of 16,000 police officers across the capital. The swollen constabulary will remain in place for an undisclosed time. 888 people have now been arrested in London, with 371 charged. The violence has reawakened debate about the proposed cuts to police services, with mayor Boris Johnson weighing in.
Despite the lock-down, one or two skirmishes occurred around town last night. Most notably, a crowd clashed with police in Eltham. Reports suggest that up to 200 middle-aged men were involved, throwing bottles and chanting in support of the English Defence League. They were quickly dispersed by the police. What might have developed into a serious residential fire in Chalk Farm was quickly quenched by emergency services early this morning (as a bleary-eyed Londonist can attest first hand). Businesses and homes across the capital retain their protective chipboard covers, as the danger of further violence persists.
Meanwhile the task of clearing up continues. Thousands of Londoners clubbed together to lend a hand, and various groups have been set up to help those who’ve lost homes or businesses. Demolition work has begun on the Reeves Corner furniture store in Croydon, whose burning structure became one of the tragic symbols of the Monday night troubles.