The local Tamil community, many of whom managed or owned the shops and businesses along London Road that were wrecked by the rioting on Monday night, has issued this statement:
The Croydon Tamil community feels doubly let down by the authorities in Croydon.
Tamil businesses are a key mainstay of the retail offer in London Road. Tamil traders in London Road are shocked and appalled by the destruction of Broad Green.
Many Tamils, before coming to Croydon, suffered during the civil war in Sri Lanka. Now some of Croydon Tamil businessmen have lost everything again.
The Croydon Tamil business forum feels that the authorities in Croydon have once again abandoned the Tamil and other ethnic minority businesses on London Road.
The Chairman of the Croydon Tamil business forum, Dr Jeyanthan says: “It is utterly disgraceful that a peaceful thriving business community was made to suffer because of some mindless thugs. There is no justification or rationale for this wanton destruction. This just reminds us bad memories of war-torn, lawless Sri Lanka.
“We feel doubly let down. There was no police protection for businesses down here in London Road during the riots leaving us unprotected while the town centre was defended.
“Now the media and politicians like David Cameron and Mayor Boris Johnson have concentrated their attention elsewhere in the town than in Broad Green where majority of ethnic minority businesses were hit, although we would concede that Ken Livingstone, Malcolm Wicks and Andrew Pelling came down here.
“The Croydon Tamil business forum feels that the authorities in Croydon have once again abandoned the Tamil and other ethnic minority businesses on London Road.
“Though we understand that the Croydon police were under resourced and not prepared for a situation like this, we as council rate-payers and business tax-payers expected the police to do more to protect us from this madness. Sadly we have been let down.
“There have been killings and other disturbances on London Road before and the businesses there have had to shut down shops all day after those instances. Now they face a longer period of closure.
“The heart has been torn out of our business community by the physical devastation.
“As shops repair the damage and count the cost of the looting we all have a duty to return to these shops in greater numbers in the coming days.
“We hope that the Business Secretary would provide state loans as a matter of urgency to rebuild London Road and other businesses in Croydon before they close permanently.”
- Croydon 8/8: Council chief admits mistakes were made (insidecroydon.com)
- “Clean Up Croydon” will need more than a dustpan and brush (insidecroydon.com)
- Croydon burns as looters storm the Whitgift Centre (insidecroydon.com)
- Looting Suspects Face Magistrates In Croydon (news.sky.com)
“Now the media and politicians like David Cameron and Mayor Boris Johnson have concentrated their attention elsewhere in the town”
I wouldn’t agree with this point, really. Reeves Corner rightly featured in most of the images broadcast on Monday night – taking precedence not just over London Road, but Peckham, Hackney, Lewisham etc as well. But since then the majority of TV coverage in Croydon has been based in London Road, talking to London Road residents and shop owners etc.
However, it’s true the police tactics appeared to abandon London Road somewhat. The community there has every right to question that. The problem still centres around the police being prevented from using effective riot control tactics. It’s disgraceful that the scummy elements out on Monday night were able to destroy lives and buildings in the way they did.