Oxford Street: Those responsible for disorder should be ‘hunted down and locked up’ says Suella Braverman | UK News

The people responsible for disorder in London’s Oxford Street should be “hunted down and locked up”, Suella Braverman has said, as she likened it to “lawlessness seen in American cities”.

Nine people were arrested after an incident in the famous shopping street in the capital city on Wednesday, following posts on social media appearing to encourage mass disorder.

Sharing a video on X, formerly Twitter, of police making arrests, the home secretary posted: “We cannot allow the kind of lawlessness seen in some American cities to come to the streets of the UK.

“The police have my full backing to do whatever necessary to ensure public order.

“Those responsible must be hunted down & locked up. I expect nothing less from the @metpoliceuk and have requested a full incident report.”

Two people were held in Essex for conspiracy to commit robbery following the online social media posts, while others were arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and going equipped to steal.

Police also issued 34 dispersal orders as crowds gathered in the busy street.

Two young men were led away from an area near a McDonald’s fast food restaurant in handcuffs, close to a shop rumoured to be the target of the disturbance.

Police earlier announced they would deploy a “significant number” of officers to the central London shopping street over the next 24 hours – responding to reports of a “shoplifting” event on social media platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat.

A post on TikTok appeared to promote an organised “robbery” of an Oxford Street store, with a date, time and even a dress code.

“Don’t come if you can’t run,” the post said. It also urged people not to bring weapons.

Oxford Street shops, including an optician and pharmacy, briefly closed their shutters shortly after 3pm on Wednesday as crowds gathered.

Traffic in the packed street was temporarily brought to a halt, until four mounted police alongside security personnel were able to disperse onlookers.

There had earlier been a heavy police and security presence in the popular shopping street in the build-up to the disturbance.

In a statement, the Met said: “We continue to have a highly visible presence in the Oxford Street area.

“Our officers have issued 11 dispersal orders.

“We will deal robustly with anyone coming to the West End intent on committing crime.”

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Police had earlier issued a dispersal order for a large part of the West End which will be in place until 7am on Friday.

Dispersal orders provide the police with extra powers to break up groups of two or more people, where they believe their behaviour is causing a nuisance, harassment or distress.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan described the TikTok post as “nonsense” and urged people not to go earlier on Wednesday.

He said: “The police understand why some people may be tempted to go to that part of London because of the TikTok [post].

“I’d encourage anybody who’s seen it not to go to Oxford Street. Do not allow yourself to be sucked into an area that could be [a] high crime area.

“It won’t be [a high crime area] because the police work incredibly hard with the local community, with the retailers in that part of London, and with those citizens who want to have a good day out on Oxford Street rather than being worried about that sort of nonsense.”

Police officers on Oxford Street, central London. The Metropolitan Police has said there will be a heightened police presence following online speculation about opportunities to commit crime around Oxford Street on Wednesday afternoon. Picture date: Wednesday August 9, 2023.

Oxford Street is Europe’s busiest shopping street, with about half a million daily visitors.

Sky News has contacted TikTok for a response.


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