Police issue 11 dispersal orders after ‘mass shoplifting event’ advertised on TikTok


Police issued 11 dispersal orders in the Oxford Street area of London after a social media post appeared to advertise a mass shoplifting event.

Two young men were led away from an area near a McDonald’s fast food restaurant in handcuffs, close to a shop rumoured to be the target of the disturbance.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said they were not aware of any arrests in relation to the incident in the city’s West End.

Police earlier announced they would deploy a “significant number” of officers to the central London shopping street over the next 24 hours.

It came after a picture appeared as a post on social media site TikTok promoting an organised “robbery” of an Oxford Street store, with a date, time and even a dress code.

“Don’t come if you can’t run,” the post said. It also urged people not to bring weapons.

Oxford Street shops, including an optician and pharmacy, briefly closed their shutters shortly after 3pm on Wednesday as crowds gathered.

Traffic on the packed street was temporarily brought to a halt, until four mounted police alongside security personnel were able to disperse onlookers.

There had earlier been a heavy police and security presence on the popular shopping street in the build-up to the disturbance.

In a statement, the Met said: “We continue to have a highly visible presence in the Oxford Street area.

“Our officers have issued 11 dispersal orders.

“We will deal robustly with anyone coming to the West End intent on committing crime.”

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Police had earlier issued a dispersal order for a large part of the West End which will be in place until 7am on Friday.

Dispersal orders provide the police with extra powers to break up groups of two or more people, where they believe their behaviour is causing a nuisance, harassment or distress.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan described the TikTok post as “nonsense” and urged people not to go earlier today.

Mr Khan said: “The police understand why some people may be tempted to go to that part of London because of the TikTok (post),” he said.

“I’d encourage anybody who’s seen it not to go to Oxford Street. Do not allow yourself to be sucked into an area that could be high crime area.

“It won’t be (a high crime area) because the police work incredibly hard with the local community with the retailers in that part of London, and with those citizens who want to have a good day out on Oxford Street rather than being worried about that sort of nonsense.”

Oxford Street is Europe’s busiest shopping street, with about half a million daily visitors.

Sky News has contacted TikTok for a response.

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