Update: Police on standby for copycat “riots” in Croydon

Monday 7pm update:

West Croydon station closed with dozens of passengers locked in for their own protection as missiles are thrown at police on North End. See below for more…

Croydon riots 2011: the picture shows a group of youths in central Croydon around 7pm on Monday

There were outbreaks of looting in Croydon on Sunday night, going through until 4am on Monday, under the guise of copycat riots following the incidents that began in Tottenham on Saturday.

The Croydon episodes involved gangs of up to 40 people. According to the council, shops in North End and on the Purley Way were “hot spots”, the targets for attacks by people looking for electronic equipment – hardly the stuff of civil rights and the Poll Tax.

James Collis, Croydon Council’s civil contingencies manager, sent out this memo on behalf of the chief executive, Jon Rouse, this afternoon:

Last night, Croydon, as with a number of other London boroughs, experienced some copycat criminal behaviour in the wake of the violence seen in Tottenham the previous night.

Croydon did not experience anything on the scale of Tottenham. There were no fires started and there was a quick and comprehensive response by the police and our CCTV team to curtail the looting and attempted looting behaviour.

There were a number of hot spots in North End and around the Whitgift Centre with gangs ranging up to the largest group seen of about 40 people. There was also some activity around the Purley Way stores. The common theme was the theft of electronic goods.

There have been a number of arrests, and there was in reality very little damage to shops.

The media have been focused on Brixton and Enfield this morning which experienced a great level of trouble.

Council officers are working with and meeting with the police throughout today to assist in keeping Croydon safe and seeking to ensure that this does not escalate or continue either tonight or over the coming weeks.

7pm update: West Croydon station was closed tonight just before seven o’clock, with at least 70 passengers, on their way home for the evening, effectively locked inside for their own safety, as the station entrance was in a no-man’s land between police and missile-throwing youths.

Rail services to West Croydon were suspended, while British Transport Police tried to hold order around the junction outside the station.

Inside Croydon reporters in the station and on the High Street estimated that there had been about 20 police patrolling the area around North End by 6pm, and several groups of youths gathering in the area. An hour later, and more police were on the scene, with the wail of sirens suggesting more were being called in.

Most of the shops had closed early for the night and brought their shutters down, while the police were closing some roads to better control the area, including to the southern end of the High Street.

On George Street, the Brief Pub closed its doors, locking in its customers as the situation deteriorated.

Looks like it could be a very messy night ahead.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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2 Responses to Update: Police on standby for copycat “riots” in Croydon

  1. Congratulations to the Inside Croydon team who have provided this excellent coverage of the situation in Croydon. I continue to recommend this blog to everyone. Whilst one local reporter has gone to lengths to draw attention to the danger in which he places himself in covering such stories, the Inside Croydon reporters have done so quietly, diligently and professionally. I’m pleased you warrant a mention in the national press: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2011/aug/09/local-newspapers-london-riots?CMP=twt_gu Keep up the excellent work!

  2. Thank you for your coverage. I lived in Croydon in the early 80s and am hoping those I knew then are all safe.

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