There were serious disturbances on the East Ham highstreet North last night. The rioters reached the area in the afternoon and continued looting smaller retail shops, breaking into banks/supermarkets and then escaping easily.
The police was quite late to reach the area (probably because they were busy elsewhere) but were literally everywhere in East Ham until early this morning – I could not sleep last night for continuous sirens of police vans, ambulances and fire brigade. Later, when I left for work this morning they were policing the streets ensuring everyone reaches safe to nearby bus stops or the stations.
The rioters break in Barclays Bank on East Ham highstreet North and looted the local Western Union outlets as well in addition to several smaller retailers, primarily South Asian businesses. Other than these; Argos, Tesco, Primark and Pawnbroker Jewellers were the worst hit where the broke in and looted goods.
I just visited the high-street and its completely deserted – I have never seen it like this even in very early hours of the morning. Courtesy the late shopping habits of South Asians, this is one of the most lively and busy high-streets but I could only find a few small-scale retail shops still open for business while others were completely shut down. Some even made special arrangement like make-shift shutters and thick-wooden-boards to try to avoid further attacks.
According to latest reports, London’s jails are at maximum capacity and the Met will start shifting new arrestees to jails in Surrey.
London Riots 2011: Pictures from East Ham highstreet North
London Riots 2011: Pictures from Oxford Street