UK government condemns London rioters as criminals

LONDON (Reuters) – British government officials branded rioters who fought police, looted shops and set fire to buildings at the weekend as opportunistic criminals and said the violence, the worst in London for years, would not affect preparations for next summer’s Olympic Games.

Police arrested more than 160 people across London in a weekend of mayhem that started in the multi-ethnic, lower-income neighborhood of Tottenham, only a few miles from the Olympic park that will welcome millions of visitors in less than a year.

“It was needless, opportunistic theft and violence, nothing more, nothing less. It is completely unacceptable,” said Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said he hoped the city would “have a fantastic Olympics no matter what happened last night.”

Home Secretary Theresa May was cutting short her holiday and returning to London for meetings with police officials in the afternoon, government sources said.

Nine police were injured in what police called “copycat crimi… >>>

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