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Five men arrested after handing themselves in over ‘vile’ Grenfell bonfire video

06 November 2018

A video of a burning cardboard model of Grenfell Tower, the West London apartment building where 72 people died past year, has drawn criticism, including from UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who called the act "utterly unacceptable".

The men, aged 19, 46, 55 and two 49-year-olds, were arrested on the suspicion of a public order offence, which covers intentional "harassment, alarm or distress" caused via the use of "threatening, abusive or insulting" words or signs.

The video, which went viral online, shows a group of people mocking the Grenfell Tower victims as an effigy of the low-income housing bloc, where many migrants lived, goes up in flames in a bonfire.

It was initially shared on the encrypted messaging service Whatsapp but is now being circulated on Facebook and Twitter.

A total of 72 people were killed in the blaze at the West London tower block on June 14, 2017.

Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted that the video was "utterly unacceptable", while Home Secretary Sajid Javid dubbed it "disgusting, shameful, behaviour".

Earlier, Scotland Yard said its Grenfell Tower investigation team was "taking this matter very seriously".

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Speaking to Tom Swarbrick, Alex described the video as "hilarious".

Grenfell United, the official organisation for bereaved, survivors and community of Grenfell Tower, said: "It's a disgusting video". She said: "To disrespect those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, as well as their families and loved ones, is utterly unacceptable". The Met Police say they will investigate whether any offences have been committed.

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

"We can't change the way they think but they need to understand they are the minority".

A spokesman added: "We are disgusted and shocked at the inhumanity and callousness of those involved in this video".

London Mayor Sadiq Khan called the video "sickening" and urged social media companies to remove the content.

"The police have been made aware and I hope that they take tough and swift action".

Five men arrested after handing themselves in over ‘vile’ Grenfell bonfire video