Many in London were hoping the riots in Tottenham, Enfield and Walthamstow over the weekend were a flash-in-the-pan, a quick release of pressure sparked by the police shooting of 31-year-old Mark Duggan on Thursday.
That could not have been further from the truth.
At around 5pm on Monday, rioters took to the streets of Hackney - attacking buses and police lines with bricks, sticks and metal bars.
Reports came in shortly after that rioters had attacked a bus in Peckham and a number of vehicles in Lewisham. Police in riot gear were seen patrolling the area as the Met announced it would be putting 30 per cent more officers on the streets over the course of the evening.
As the evening progressed, train stations and bus routes throughout London were shut down to try and protect commuters, and stop people from moving into trouble spots.
But that did not stop rioters and looters from moving through Croydon, Clapham Junction, Camden, and Ealing - burning cars and shops, and looting high-value electrical stores.
Meanwhile, police in Birmingham arrested more than 30 people after a crowd of around 300 gathered in the city centre, some of whom began looting mobile phone shops. New Street station, one of Britain's busiest transport hubs, was partially closed by the disorder.
The Metropolitan police were left chasing looters, who were filmed on mobile phones walking through affected areas at will with stolen goods under their arms, before melting into side streets when the police eventually arrived. Some unconfirmed reports from Clapham suggest it took officers up to an hour and a half to arrive at the scene.
Politically, David Cameron announced he would return to the UK overnight to chair a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee on Tuesday morning.
Earlier in the day, Home Secretary Theresa May arrived back from her own vacation, to thank police for their efforts and reiterate that the rioters would be bought to justice.
More anger was directed at London Mayor Boris Johnson, who initially refused to return to the capital from his own holiday. He eventually announced he would be back in his office on Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, the partner of Mark Duggan, the man whose killing by police officers in Tottenham on Thursday sparked the initial riots, says the situation is totally out of hand.
Semone Williams told reporters that the riots had nothing to do with Mark's death, and that it was tragic so many people were being affected.