The High Court has ruled that taxpayers must meet the costs of a fire at the Sony warehouse in Enfield which was burned down during the 2011 riots.
The building’s insurers took legal action against the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, arguing that as the capital’s police authority it was responsible under the Riot Damages Act.
The Act requires the police to compensate owners whose property has been damaged or destroyed as a result of rioting.
The Met received almost 4,000 compensation claims for damage caused in during the August 2011 riots. The cost of meeting the claims was later reimbursed by the Home Office.
Mr Justice Flaux ruled that the 25-strong crowd responsible for the fire were acting in a riotous manner, making the MOPAC liable under the provisions of the Act.
However the Judge said the insurers were not entitled to consequential damages, such as loss of rent.
The Court will set the amount to be paid at a later date, pending an appeal by MOPAC.
Speaking after the ruling was announced, a MOPAC spokesperson said: “While we are pleased that the court has recognised MOPAC is not responsible for covering consequential losses, it is immensely disappointing that they have ruled this was a riotous act.
“There is an important point of principle and public money at stake here and we have sought leave to appeal.”