Organised riots planned on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook spread all over London yesterday, with areas including Enfield, Brixton, Islington, West London’s Westfield shopping centre, and even Central London targeted.
Messages were broacasted to many young people via Blackberry’s messenger service encouraging Londoners to meet in various locations and loot.
Everyone in edmonton enfield wood green everywhere in north link up at enfield town station at 4 o clock sharp!!!! Start leaving ur yards n linking up with your n*ggas. F*ck da feds, bring your ballys and your bags trollys, cars vans, hammers the lot!!
The trouble started in Enfield late afternoon with high street stores like H&M and HMV being smashed and looted. The violence carried on until the evening when police cars were smashed. There were allegedly around twenty TSG riot police guarding Enfield Town station and some 200 young people lingering around the streets. A Krispy Kreme’s, T.G.I Friday’s, Nando’s and McDonald’s restaurant were also allegedly affected by the rioting.
Bystanders uploaded videos onto YouTube that showed the pointless looting taking place in Enfield.
The violence and looting soon spread to south London. BBC Journalist Paraic O’Brien told BBC 5 live he had witnessed widespread looting in Brixton. He said
They smashed a William Hill, they set bins on fire… And now what we’re seeing as the night progresses is that replicated, sort of flashpoints all along Brixton High Street… I saw up to 200 youths charging at riot police… I’ve seen a Vodafone looted, I’ve seen a Foot Locker looted and set on fire, I’ve seen Marks & Spencers attacked… I’ve seen a striking number of mobile phone stockists that have been targeted… I’m standing outside Halfords on the other side of the road and they’ve just smashed through the doors of Halfords. They’re taking bikes out the front entrance. I have to say, what really struck me was the small number of police officers that there actually seem to be on Brixton High Street responding to this.
The London Fire Brigade confirmed that they sent six units to fight a fire in Brixton Road, believed to be in a Foot Locker store. Other stores attacked were Halffords, Currys and Body Shop. Many looters were seen carrying away stolen goods, including widescreen television sets and other electrical goods.
One Brixton resident told Sky News
We are watching hundreds of people walking up the street (Effra Road) with boxes of stuff, there is shouting and police helicopters but no sign of police.
Copycat criminal activity in other areas of London
What is being referred to as ‘Copycat Criminal Activity’ started to get out of hand as the looting and disorder spread further to a number of boroughs across London.
Three officers were injured after being hit by a vehicle in Chingford Mount, Waltham Forest, at about 00:45. There was looting and vandalism in Walthamstow, Waltham Forest, Ponders End and Oxford Circus, central London. A police vehicle was attacked in Islington and a mobile phone and sports shop in Streatham were also reportedly looted.
Other Areas attacked included Turnpike Lane and Leyton where a number of shops were vandalised and broken into. The Westfield shopping centre in Shepherds Bush was also reported to have been attacked.
The spreading of violence comes after mass rioting in Tottenham, north London, on Saturday night which saw dozens of people arrested and more than 25 police officers injured. The rioting occurred after a peaceful protest was held in response to the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan, after the 29-year-old father-of-four died on Thursday after he was shot by police.