Prime Minister recalls holidaying MPs after London riots
16,000 police patrol streets tonight as retailers count cost of looting, fires
Prime Minister David Cameron has recalled Parliament after three nights of rioting, looting and arson on London's streets.
The Palace of Westminster is currently in recess until 5 September, but MPs have been told to return to the House of Commons for one day on Thursday.
Meanwhile, retailers across the capital are still counting the cost of the violence that erupted in London since a riot was sparked in Tottenham in the wake of a peaceful protest last Saturday against the police shooting of a 29-year-old man.
The Metropolitan police said that last night's riots, which led to the torching of buildings in Enfield, Croydon and other looting hotspots in London, "was the worst the MPS has seen in current memory".
As we reported earlier, Sony's sole content distribution warehouse in Enfield, north London, was burned to the ground as violence flared up in the early hours of Monday morning.
It's understood that many independent film-makers and record labels have lost stock in the fire and their businesses could face serious problems.
UK film distie Peccadillo Pictures has been updating its Twitter account all morning.
"Our warehouse in Enfield was burnt down last night. All our stock/catalogue/films have been destroyed. We're devastated. Bracing ourselves," it said earlier today.
Electrical stores, mobile phone outlets and clothes shops appeared to be the main focus of attack by looters overnight.
Dixons Retail, whose UK stores include PC World and Currys, gave The Register this statement:
"We [can] confirm that a number of stores have been affected to varying degrees. Our priority now is for the continued safety of our customers and our colleagues and in getting the stores affected back to business as usual."
Unconfirmed reports on Twitter suggest that the Currys store in New Cross, south-east London, was ransacked by looters last night.
Rioting spread to other parts of the UK late on Monday, with city high streets in Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds being brazenly looted by thugs.
Cameron – who only returned to the UK from his holiday last night, following intense pressure from the British public – said this morning that 16,000 police officers would be patrolling the streets of London tonight.
Tonight's friendly football match at Wembley between England and the Netherlands has been cancelled in light of the unrest.
"It is with regret that tomorrow's (Wednesday 10 August) international fixture with Holland at Wembley has been called off," said the Football Association in a brief statement last night.
Meanwhile, the #riotcleanup hashtag is "trending" on Twitter this lunchtime, as well-meaning citizens take to the social network to urge others to help tidy up the mess left behind by the rioters.
Perhaps more importantly, Scotland Yard has begun publishing a gallery of rogues captured on CCTV overnight. It's so far posted 15 images on Flickr of individuals seen attacking shops in Croydon and West Norwood as part of Operation Withern. ®