Tonight’s Enfield riots have spread to Ponders End, and there are unconfirmed reports that Oxford Circus in central London could be next.
Multiple sources say that a handful of police vans have been stationed at Oxford Circus, and that the police presence in the centre of London has been visibly building over the past hour or so. Given that police reportedly got advance warning of the Enfield disturbances thanks to social media, it’s entirely possible that they have also picked up on Twitter rumours of trouble spreading to the Oxford Circus area.
Cynical voices on Twitter have suggested that the police response to threats against businesses in the Oxford Circus area would be much stronger than the response to threats against businesses in the north of the city.
If the riots do spread to Oxford Circus, it would mean that the riots are moving to a whole new level. Around the world, images of some of London’s landmarks being attacked would make this a much more telegenic disturbance.
Meanwhile, shops targeted in Enfield tonight reportedly include outlets of TGI Friday, Krispy Kremes, Nandos and Tesco. However, the rumours of a Krispy Kremes ‘burning to the ground’ might not be true.
But in the middle of all this, few people are talking about Mark Duggan, the man whose shooting by police sparked the violence. It seems that the riots of generated a life of their own. In which case, we should ask why so many people seem to enjoy trashing our cities? You can’t dismiss all of this as the work of a few vandals. Something seems to be quite wrong with Britain at the moment.