Oxford Street: London looting explained, which Oxford Circus shops were affected by chaos - including Primark

Oxford Street was reportedly the scene of rioting and looting after gangs of youths were seen taking goods from shops and causing unrest in central London.

On Friday (12 August), the busy street, known for its vast array of flagship retail outlets which attract tourists from far and wide, became the scene of civil unrest.

Met Police confirmed a number of people had been arrested in connection with the incident, in which officers were assaulted and luxury sports cars were “jumped” upon.

What happened?

Videos shared online appeared to show the youths causing chaos on the street; at one point, a group is seen exiting an American candy shop with armfuls of stolen sweets.

At another moment, the gang jumps on the back of a Ferrari sports car as it attempts to make its way along the road. It is unclear whether any damage was caused to the vehicle.

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The videos have been widely shared on social media, including TikTok, and have been met with shock and surprise from Londoners.

“WTF is happening?” said one user on Twitter. "What’s all this I’m hearing about central London link ups. All this about Oxford Street, Ferraris, people stealing from those [American] sweet shops and police vans.”

It’s been estimated around 100 yobs took part in the disturbance.

How did police respond?

Police vans attended the scene, and a helicopter was seen overhead as officers attempted to quell the civil disobedience.

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It is not known why the disturbance started and whether it was pre-planned, or spontaneous.

A Met Police spokesperson said: “Police were called at 17:53hrs to Oxford Circus W1 to a group of youths gathering and concerned around a fight.

“Officers responded. Several pockets of youths are reported to have entered a number of shops and stolen various items. Several arrests have been made for theft and assault on police.

“Police continue work to disperse them. A Section 60 and Section 35 Dispersal Order are in place. The National Police Air Service provided assistance.”