Damage on the streets of Newham in copy-cat attacks

Damage was done on Newham’s streets last night as youths broke windows and stole goods from shops in a spate of copy-cat attacks, mirroring other parts of London

East Ham MP Stephen Timms praised police for their efforts.

He said: “Last evening there was serious damage in High Street North, East Ham, affecting Argos, Primark, Tesco and banks. The current paving work in the High Street has made matters more difficult.

“An electrical shop in Katherine Road was looted, and there have been reports of small groups of teenagers elsewhere committing burglary.

“There can be no excuse for this. I applaud the work of the police in dealing with these outbreaks of disorder.”

This morning West Ham United announced they have postponed tonight’s Carling Cup clashes on police advice. The Hammers were set to host Aldershot at Upton Park.

Elsewhere, stones were thrown at the Argos store in Stratford and also police and there were reports of a store being looted.

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But the front of Stratford Centre was heavily guarded by police to prevent trouble.

They had advised shops in Stratford to close early yesterday

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales sent a message out to families last night.

He said: “You will be aware of the outbreak of pre-planned, violent criminal behaviour across London, including here in Newham.

“It is a particular challenge for the police to deal with this level of law breaking. I have already pledged our full support as a council for local police officers in arresting the perpetrators and restoring peace to our streets. You can be assured that we are standing shoulder to shoulder with them in our commitment to a safe borough.

“We have tasked the council’s CCTV operatives with identifying as many of the criminals as possible - either those who were not covering their faces or, where they did cover them, by following them on camera until we got a clear image. I have requested a special edition of the Newham Mag with every available image of a suspect so that everyone in our community can play a part in identifying the perpetrators and bringing them to justice. We are on the side of the vast majority of our residents in showing zero tolerance to this unacceptable and violent criminal behaviour.

“I have asked for our streets to be cleaned and damage repaired as early as possible tomorrow morning - as soon as it is safe for staff to do so. This will ensure the least possible disruption caused to our residents and demonstrate our determination in the face of these attacks.

Our officers - council and police together - are working tirelessly this evening to restore peace and assist our residents. I will be visiting people tomorrow across Newham - residents, shopkeepers, police officers and council staff - to communicate our fullest support and gratitude.

“In the meantime if you have any concerns about further activity or potential incidents then please call 101. If a crime is taking place, then call emergency services on 999.

East London based community anti-racist and police monitoring organisation, Newham Monitoring Project (NMP), called for the community not to be divided following the recent events in north London and Walthamstow, following the death of Mark Duggan:

“The family of Mark Duggan deserve answers for his tragic death. It is crucial that we understand how this incident has touched the nerve of a community who feel ignored and left to wallow in injustice and deprivation. At a community-level we must be cautious not to accept a simplistic version of events that reduces the responses on the streets, subsequent to Duggan’s death, to mere ‘outbursts of criminality’. We must not be divided as this will only serve to heighten existing marginisation. Our united efforts are needed to ensure the next step is not a counter-productive knee-jerk reaction from politicians or police, but instead a real attempt to deliver justice to the Duggan family alongside equality to the community.”

Shops at the Stratford Centre were shut last might following liasons with police about the disorder seen across London which could spread to the town centre.

Police numbers have increased around the centre precaution.

Newham Police attended a public meeting last might at St Marks Church and Community Centre in Beckton with Race Equality in Newham to reassure residents and discuss how to proceed.

Newham Police said: “Following the disorder and violence in Tottenham and surrounding areas over the weekend, Newham Police, Newham Council and partners would like to reassure the community that local officers are out on the streets in Newham to engage with the public and continue to protect our community.

“Criminality is never tolerated in Newham and any offenders putting the safety of local people at risk will be brought to justice.

“A London wide policing operation is in place to manage any further public disorder in the capital. We are working with our partners and the community with extra resources to ensure Newham residents can go about their daily lives in confidence.”

Operation Withern is investigating the disorder and violence in parts of London. An incident room has been set up and anyone with information should call the Major Investigation Team on 020 8345 4142 but in an emergency always call 999.