A policeman has laid the blame for the recent riots in London at violent, crime-related video games.
Grand Theft Auto - game or real life?
Quoted in the London Evening Standard the unnamed police constable advised residents in Tottenham: “"Go home, get a takeaway and watch anything that happens on TV.
"These are bad people who did this. Kids out of control. When I was young it was all Pacman and board games. Now they're playing Grand Theft Auto and want to live it for themselves."
The newspaper reports that the police are hunting mobs of children who joined the riots across the capital “when parts of the city descended into lawlessness for a second night”.
Grand Theft Auto is set mainly in American cities but was created in the UK, with the original release featuring an expansion pack set in London.
The violent game in which players act out the crime-filled lives of various gangsters and lowlifes is frequently blamed for encouraging youths to commit crimes.
The looting and arson that has spread to several inner-city boroughs began in Tottenham on Saturday night, sparked by the fatal police shooting of a local man (reportedly armed with a replica firearm) on Thursday.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said that over 160 arrests had been made so far, and that 16 people have been charged for a range of offences including burglary and possession of weapons.