London riots: Newham shop bosses talk of looting and mayhem

Business in Newham have been talking about the attacks on their shops during last night’s London riots.

At Argos in Stratford a window was smashed, but yobs failed to break-in

A senior staff member, who did not want to be identified, said: “It’s outrageous. Youths are out there taking the opportunity to be lawless. They are creating havoc to other people’s lives.”

Senior staff of JD Sports in the shopping centre said they found the premises in total disarray after the store was looted.

Clothing was scattered around the shop when staff visited inn the early hours of Monday morning following a police alert to the break-in. Clothing was also strewn around parts of the centre, dropped by fleeing thieves. They were never reached the stockroom of trainer shoes.

On the BBC’s Radio 5 Live last night, East Ham optician Bhups Bhattu was giving a dramatic account of the mayhem up to 150 youths were wreaking on High Street North when trapped with staff inside his own shop.

He told how the shop shutters were activated when the yobs stormed his Eye Clinic premises, forcing the gang to flee or become trapped as well.

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He told how the mob smashed windows of nearby banks and other shops and looted a pawnbrokers.

“They are walking up and down street, 150 of them maybe wearing balaclavas, covering their faces, don’t care at all,” he said.

“We are shut inside our shop with the shutters down and we don’t know whether to stay in here or get out,” he told the interviewer.

Police in riot gear later cleared the centre, allowing Mr Bhattu and staff to safely leave.