THE RIOTS last night in Tottenham have been condemned as the shocked community continues to survey the devastation.

Community and political leaders were swift to criticise the rioting, looting and arson that swept across Tottenham two days after a man named locally as Mark Duggan, 29, was gunned down by police.

After a peaceful protest by community members demanding "justice" for Mr Duggan, the mood turned nasty and buildings and vehicles including a double-decker bus and two police cars were engulfed in flames.

People were left destitute after being forced to flee their burning homes, and looters went on the rampage in a retail park near Tottenham Hale Tube station, grabbing whatever they could.

Teenagers and adults were said to have turned up in cars and filled their boots with stolen items, unimpeded by police, while others stuffed shopping trolleys with electronic goods. Every single handset was stolen from a mobile phone shop.

Scotland Yard said 26 officers were injured during the unrest, and 42 people were arrested for offences including violent disorder, burglary and theft.

Downing Street called the rioting "utterly unacceptable", while Home Secretary Theresa May said: "Such disregard for public safety and property will not be tolerated."

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said he was "appalled at the scenes of violence and destruction".

Local MP David Lammy said the community "had the heart ripped out of it" by "mindless, mindless people", many of whom had come from outside Tottenham to cause trouble.

The sense of anger at what the looters had done was clear among the local community, with Nadine Knight, 24, who works in administration at a planning and architecture firm, saying: "I'm completely and utterly disgusted by what the community has managed to do here.

"They need to come together a bit more and help the community, not damage it. I'm so upset, I can't believe it."