The London riots, which started in Tottenham Sunday, have been spreading across the city while growing in size and intensity. Violence and destruction have been reported in a number of peripheral neighbors, including Hackey, Brixton, Peckham and Lewisham.
The wave of unrest started as a peaceful demonstration in the northern area of Tottenham, but anger and suspected police antagonization quickly escalated the situation.
Demonstrators and hooded youths -- which are typical in London protests -- threw firebombs at police officers and torched property, while store windows were smashed and shops looted.
Additonally, whole buildings were burned to the ground, and rioters Monday afternoon set fire to a number of car in Peckham and Tottenham.
Authorities promised Sunday that further demonstrations will be met with the full power of the Metropolitan police force.
"Should we receive any indication that there will be any further violence or offending, there is a robust policing plan in place and we will respond appropriately with the resources available to us," Police Commander Adrian Hanstock told Reuters.
A total of 215 people have been arrested so far and 27 charged. Police reported at least 26 officers injured.
"The violence we've seen, the looting we've seen, the thuggery we've seen, this is sheer criminality ... These people will be brought to justice. They will be made to face the consequences of their actions," said Home Secretary Theresa May.
The neighborhoods most affected by the turmoil are traditionally low-income, multi-ethnic areas. The riots were spurred when police shot and killed Mark Duggan in Tottenham. Duggan was a suspected drug dealer and gang member, although few details have emerged since his death.
Metro police, as well as a private agency, are investigating the riots and the shooting.
Police officers wearing riot gear stand in front of a burning building in Tottenham, north London August 7, 2011. Reuters
Police officers investigate after riots in Tottenham in north London Reuters
Following the rioting and looting incidents spreading across Britain, the Metropolitan Police has released an advice guide for the general populace outlining how to stay safe during the civil unrest. Reuters
A man looks at broken glass in a door frame at a McDonalds restaurant after overnight looting in Brixton Reuters
A man with his face covered stands near to a burning car on a street in Hackney in London Reuters
Police officers in riot gear block a road near a burning car on a street in Hackney, east London Reuters
Looters rampage through a convenience store in Hackney, east London Reuters