There's no cause for excessive alarm yet, but good cause for caution and diligence if you're headed for London.
There have been three days of rioting, which began in the northern London districts such as Tottenham but soon spread to locations south and east of the central city, with even some disturbances reported in familiar tourist locales such as Oxford Circus. Elsewhere in the outer boroughs of the city and other places, gangs mostly comprised of young men, marshaling forces via cellphones, Blackberrys and social-networking sites, have been looting, smashing windows and setting fires.
Here's a link to the current coverage in the Daily Telegraph of London.
And here's the AP account.
Alas, U.S. newspapers no longer have a sensible appreciation of locator maps -- instead, they take up space with photos that photo editors think are dramatic and the rest of us think are the same generic old stuff. See one striking photo of orange flames seen them all, even in London.
But the Telegraph newspaper in London has a useful interactive map to locations of the trouble. Here's the link.
Rioting has also occurred in Birmingham, where a roving gang of about 300 caused police to shut road access to the central part of the city Monday. Trouble also was reported in Liverpool.
If you're traveling in London, there is no need to panic, but very good reason to be extra alert. And especially avoid any crowds of young men that you see forming on a street. During the rioting in some places, restaurants have been stormed and customers mugged.
There haven't been any travel alerts or advisories from the State Department yet. We'll see how willing State will be to warn Americans about traveling as trouble spreads in the capital and other cities in Britain, at the height of the tourist season.