Small businesses and homes were devastated and communities were in turmoil today (9 August), following a third night of rioting across the capital. Ordinary Londoners were left reeling in the wake of the sheer level of violence, which broke out across at least five boroughs, with masked gangs of youths setting fire to buildings, looting shops and terrorising local residents. Extraordinary scenes unfolded as people who had owned their own stores for generations saw them wiped out within 10 minutes and families were ushered to safety as the neighborhoods they had known and lived in for years erupted in mayhem.
Amid the chaos and confusion, there were also plenty of stories of heroics that underlined a strong community spirit in the face of adversity. In Croydon, a crowd of people gathered to help a woman jump from the front floor of her burning home. Over in Tottenham, a thinly spread police force helped local people find refuge against a spreading inferno. Elsewhere in Clapham and Peckham, shocked bystanders looked on aghast at the damage done to their surroundings and vowed to pull together and make it stop.
As the crisis continues, Stylist takes a look at some of the most shocking photos to come out of the riots - and the moments of incredible humanity that have arisen out of an event threatening to blight our city and our homes.
Click on the images below to launch the gallery.
Picture credits: WENN, Rex Features and Getty Images