FIVE men have been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence after a crowd of people were filmed burning an effigy of Grenfell Tower on a bonfire.
Scotland Yard confirmed the men, aged 49, 19, 46, 55 and 49, handed themselves in to a south London police station at around 10pm last night over the shocking incident.
Some 72 people died at Grenfell Tower when the west London tower block caught fire on June 14, 2017.
A video, circulated on social media on Monday, shows party-goers laughing and joking as they burn a cardboard cut-out of the building in a back garden.
In the background, revellers can be heard joking "jump out of the window", "help me, help me" and "that’s what happens when they don’t pay their rent", while laughing as the effigy is set alight.
One person appears to mock London Fire Brigade's response to the infamous blaze by shouting "stay in your flat", while another says: "Didn't it start on the 10th floor? We should have turned it upside down."
Cheering can be heard when the effigy collapses.
Such was the public outcry over the footage that Prime Minister Theresa May took to Twitter to condemn the "utterly unacceptable" act.
To disrespect those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, as well as their families and loved ones, is utterly unacceptable. https://t.co/i4PeM2cGBd
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) 5 November 2018
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also condemned the "sickening" video, describing the Grenfell Tower fire as "one of the most devastating tragedies our city has ever suffered".
I utterly condemn this sickening video. The horrific Grenfell Tower fire was one of the most devastating tragedies our city has ever suffered - and I urge social media companies to do the right thing and remove this content immediately. https://t.co/9w15RCynuE
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) 5 November 2018
Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy, who is leading the investigation into the tower fire, said he was "appalled" by the clip.
"So many people lost so many loved ones, and many more have been deeply affected. To mock that disaster in such a crude way is vile," he said.
"I can’t imagine the distress this video will undoubtedly cause to bereaved families and survivors."
Commander Stuart Cundy, who is leading the investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire, has released the following statement regarding the video circulating on social media today pic.twitter.com/ep6MgAoKXt
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) 5 November 2018
The Justice4Grenfell campaign group released a statement, which read: "We are disgusted and shocked at the inhumanity and callousness of those involved in this video.
"This was an unnecessary sickening act of hate against those who, through no fault of their own, have experienced the worst since June 14, 2017.
"This is clearly a hate crime and as a society we should never tolerate these types of blatant acts of hatred".
It added: "We have an expectation that the Police will look into this robustly and that the perpetrators will face the full force of the law."
— Justice4Grenfell (@officialJ4G) November 5, 2018
A survivor of the Grenfell Tower fire, Natasha Elcock, described the footage as "disgusting".
Ms Elcock, a campaigner for Grenfell United, said: "We hope that the police are taking this seriously.
"Not only is it extremely upsetting to survivors and people who lost family, it’s hateful and offensive to everyone that has been affected by the tragic events of that night."
The Leader of the Council has released the following statement in response to a video circulating online. pic.twitter.com/krkkOum0Og
— Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (@RBKC) November 5, 2018