London Riots: ‘Our community in Newham will survive this’

Newham’s community leaders believe the borough’s community spirit is strong enough to withstand the violence and copy-cat looting that we have suffered

Shop windows were smashed and stores looted, some fires were set and frightened traders pulled down the shutters early to save their businesses.Police have come under attack from stones and bottles.

Violence did flare, though not on the scale experienced in other parts of London and the country. Most of the problems were confined to East Ham, though there were incidents in other parts of the borough in Stratford, Green Street, Canning Town and Custom House. Extra resources were drafted into the area.

Mayor Sir Robin Wales sent a message to all residents and pledged the council’s full support for their police.

“You can be assured we are standing shoulder to shoulder with the police in our commitment to a safe borough.

He also ordered a special clean up of streets yesterday morning to make residents feel safer.

“This will ensure the least possible distruption to people’s lives and demonstrate our determination in the dace of these attacks.”

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East Ham MP Stephen Timms praised the police for their efforts. West Ham MP Lyn Brown did likewise and cut short her holiday in Germany to fly home yesterday.

Mr Timms said: “There can be no excuse for this. I applaud the work of the police and we will now all stand behind their efforts.”

Ms Brown and Mr Timms appealed for calm in the community. Both MPs were meeting local people yesterday.

There were a number of arrests in Newham on Monday evening and last night, and extra officers were on duty in Newham.

Newham Superintendent Zander Gibson said: “The community spirit is strong in Newham and we ask people to continue to work with police to bring those responsible to justice. If people have any information or concerns I ask them to contact police. We have set up a dedicated number for the Newham community to report information or intelligence relating to disorder in Newham. That is (020) 8217 5078.”

Mr Gibson said that ahead of Monday night they put together a robust policing plan with their “main intention of protecting the community from any violence and disorder that may enter the borough.”

He added: “We priotised our resources and responded swiftly to reports of disorder. As a result we managed to prevent a lot of damage and violence across the borough, limiting damage to East Ham North.

“All available officers are being brought inand annual leave is being cancelled to continue to have a strong presence on Newham’s streets. Every single officer in Newham is absolutely determind to do their best to protect the people of Newham and their businesses. We ask the community to bear with us , particularly around our response to lower level crimes, as we prioritise our resources.”