Tottenham riots: a peaceful protest, then suddenly all hell broke loose
Shops looted, vehicle torched and police injured in full-scale riot that spread across north-London suburbs
Asked if the Metropolitan were slow to respond to the riots, commander Adrian Hanstock replied: "No, not at all." That account, given outside Scotland Yard on Sunday morning, did not correlate with events that had unfolded several miles away in north London hours earlier.
What began as a gathering of around 200 protesters demanding answers over the death of Mark Duggan, who was shot dead by police on Thursday, culminated 12 hours later in a full-scale riot that saw brazen looting spread across north-London suburbs.
By 5.00am, at Tottenham Hale retail park, teenagers were still emerging from shops into the dawn sunshine, stuffing bags and trolleys with stolen goods and running into back streets.