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Five arrested over Grenfell Tower effigy burning

GRENFELL TOWER: Seventy-two people died as a result of the blaze in June last year

FIVE PEOPLE have been arrested in connection to the burning of a cardboard cut-out of Grenfell Tower on a bonfire.

In the footage which was shared online, a group can be seen setting alight a cardboard effigy of the tower, which features cut-outs of people at the windows.

A Met spokesman said: “Five men have been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence in connection with an investigation into a video posted online that showed an effigy of Grenfell Tower being burnt.

“The men, aged 49, 19, 46, 55 and 49, were arrested after they handed themselves in to a south London police station at 10pm on Monday, 5 November. They have been taken into custody.”

Metropolitan Police commander Stuart Cundy, who is leading the investigation into Grenfell Tower, said: “I am frankly appalled by the callous nature of the video posted online. A total of 71 people died in the fire at Grenfell Tower, 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.

“I can’t imagine the distress this video will undoubtedly cause to bereaved families and survivors.

“The Met’s Grenfell Tower investigation team is taking this matter very seriously. Any offences that have been committed will be fully investigated.”

UTTERLY UNACCEPTABLE: A still from the Grenfell Tower effigy burning footage

The prime minister shared her reaction to the video on Twitter.

She wrote: “To disrespect those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, as well as their families and loved ones, is utterly unacceptable.”

Grenfell United, a group for bereaved Grenfell families and survivors of the tragic fire, tweeted: “It’s a disgusting video. 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.

“We try to keep our focus on the thousands of people across the country who supported us in the weeks after the fire, the hundreds that walk with us every month on the 14th and everyone who is backing our fight for justice and change.”

A Grenfell survivor appeared BBC Victoria Derbyshire, where she said: "To me it was a shock to see that. They have no human feelings, it's very insensitive. You could hear the laughing in the background and this is not acceptable. It's chilling, it's cold-blooded for a human being to record this."

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