Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, has asked for individuals involved in a suspected TikTok-inspired raid on businesses on London’s Oxford Street to be “hunted down” and imprisoned.
On Wednesday, footage showed police using batons and wrestling scores of young men away, as policemen on horseback helped disperse hundreds of people on Europe’s busiest retail boulevard.
During the looting raid, which was purportedly inspired by a social media frenzy pushing people to participate in a “Oxford Street JD robbery,” West End establishments were forced to close their shutters and lock customers inside.
Sharing a video on X of police clashing with youths, Ms Braverman said: “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.”
A Met spokesman said on Wednesday evening: “As of 20.15hrs officers have arrested 34 people with dispersal orders and made nine arrests.
“Four people were arrested on suspicion of breaching the dispersal order, one person was arrested on suspicion of going equipped to steal, one person arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, and one person was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence.
“Earlier in the afternoon, officers arrested two people in Essex for conspiracy to commit robbery following online social media posts.”
Mizzy, a TikTok prankster, claimed on X that he was stopped and searched on Oxford Street for “no reason” and given a dispersal order, stating in a video that he had “nothing to do” with the operation.
Earlier on Wednesday, the force warned of a significant police presence in the area due to “online speculation” about criminal chances, while London Mayor Sadiq Khan asked people not to participate and denounced the “nonsense” circulating on TikTok.
According to the Daily Mail, there were online banners promoting the event and pushing attendees to adhere to a “dress code” of balaclavas and gloves.