Prosecuting the Grenfell Tower effigy burners may be hard


A video of a burning cardboard model of Grenfell Tower, the London apartment bloc that went up in flames previous year killing 71 people, has caused an uproar and led to arrests.

Three men, aged 19, 46 and 49, all from South Norwood, were arrested under section 4a of the Public Order Act along with a a 49-year-old from Lambeth and a 55-year-old from Beckenham after they handed themselves in last night. Among those arrested were teenager Bobbi Connell, his father Cliff and their neighbour Paul Bussetti.

The model has "Grenfell Tower" written across the top and paper figures of people in the windows. But as police were spotted bagging up evidence at the address today, former chief prosecutor for the north-west, Nazir Afzal, says mounting a prosecution may be hard. But raucous laughter can be heard off-camera, with several bystanders speaking with southern English accents.

"We have support and will carry on with dignity until we get justice".

The video has been particularly disturbing for many people because the Grenfell tragedy has raised hard issues about race and class in Britain.

'To mock that disaster in such a crude way is vile'.

The crowd of people could be heard shouting "stay in your flat" and "help me, help me" as the Grenfell Tower effigy went up in flames.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan voiced his disgust, saying, "I utterly condemn this sickening video".

"I am very pleased to hear that the authorities are taking the matter very seriously and that an investigation is underway".

"Not only is it extremely upsetting to survivors and people who lost family, it's hateful and offensive to everyone that has been affected".

Prime Minister Theresa May had called the video "utterly unacceptable".

Grenfell United, the official organisation for bereaved, survivors and community of Grenfell Tower, said: "It's a disgusting video". Police are still investigating the fire and could file charges of corporate manslaughter. By Monday evening, the video was trending in Britain, with thousands expressing shock and disbelief at the insensitivity of the group in the recording. "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".

"This is clearly a hate crime and as a society we should never tolerate these types of blatant acts of hatred" it said in a statement.

They have been taken into custody.