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Amazon sales figures paint violent picture of equipment used in London riots

We’ve reported on the numerous technical methodologies—face recognition, cell phone pictures, etc.—the London police and non-rioting citizenry are using to apprehend the rioters. But maybe the suspect pool is as simple as a shopping list.

Going to Amazon UK, one can see a somewhat scary imprint of the riots using Amazon’s Movers and Shakers tool—which has nothing to do with rioting, but simply charts which products have seen sales spikes in the last 24 hours. Rucanor aluminum (or aluminium) baseball bats have seen a 13,741% sales increase in the last 24 hours to the 56th most popular item on Amazon—an amazing (or scary) feat considering the amount of goods sold on the site. (Note: all these statistics are changing by the minute.)

Baseball bats now occupy six of the top seven sellers in the Sports & Leisure department. The number one seller, with a 50,207% increase, are a type of baton, but the product description has since been removed indicating perhaps Amazon took it down.

Escape ladders and fire extinguishers have seen a 2,655% and 1,320% jump. One can’t help but feel a pang of queasiness at those implications. The rest of the Do It Yourself and Tools section is seeing similar spikes with rather ominous products.

Also of note is the spike in memory card sales. SanDisk 8GB 30MB/s Extreme HD Video SDHC Card has seen a spike of 2,156% in the last 24 hours. One has to assume that both rioters and riot-catchers are ensuring they don’t run out of pictures.

No word yet on whether the British authorities have considered asking Amazon for a customer list.

Now the question becomes, what has this done for the sales of Amazon Prime, the two day shipping service?

[Photo from bobaliciouslondon]

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