The night the looters stole from us all

“It’s just a bunch of bored children who saw the riot in Tottenham, saw there were no police, and decided to see what free stuff they could get from JD Sports.” – a caller on LBC just now.

I was in Greenwich on Monday night, starting in a west Greenwich pub where all was quiet, and gossip passed around about Lewisham, Catford, Deptford, and all places west and south. We moved to an east Greenwich pub where the landlord bolted the doors down at reports of kids roaming the streets nearby. But if the point was confronting police, we’d be fine, surely? Out with someone heading towards Woolwich, we elected to get a cab back. The driver talked about the trouble he’d seen and where he was avoiding. It was a quiet night

Pulling onto Trafalgar Road, we laughed at unfit kids on bikes riding as fast as they could down Trafalgar Road, one doing a wheelie as he passed us. Coming into Charlton though, we came across a swarm of kids at the alley to the retail park and Asda. One adjusted a handkerchief over his face as we turned into Victoria Way, which was covered in the wrappings from looted clothes. Moving up the road, we had to pull over as three looters’ cars sped up the road. Not a police car or vehicle in sight.

There’s been a lot of bullshit and rumours tonight – most laughably, Sky News earnestly discussing video from Woolwich as being evidence of violence in Liverpool. But on top of the well-reported trouble in Woolwich and Lewisham, and looting at the Charlton retail parks, there’s also been documented trouble in Deptford and Catford and smashed windows in Blackheath Village. And that’s just within walking distance of where I am.

Brockley Central has more on what happened across south-east London, and did a far better job than the News Shopper did:


There were no riots in Greenwich itself, although there are reports of damage to a mobile phone shop in the town centre. Not that it’s contained on the News Shopper’s site. Didn’t stop the misleading headline, though.


There was no fire at Asda in Charlton. Didn’t stop the News Shopper from reporting it though.

If you’ve first-hand experiences of what happened in SE London on Monday night, unlike the News Shopper, please feel free to share them below. Heaven knows what Tuesday will bring…

13 comments

  1. What we saw last night was mindless, wanton criminality – there were no excuses whatsoever. The only people to blame are those torching, looting, throwing missiles and destroying everything in their path causing mayhem and spreading real fear trough our local communities. It is the most vulnerable that suffer – the small business struggling to survive, those in low paid jobs and those who need high quality services. Goven it was boiling up for hours though, where were the police? Their HQ is only just along Woolwich Road. They have a really hard job but we ave a right to expect mnay times the 2500 odd out of 32000 on the streets reasuring our communities, stopping the loting and arresting these criminals. The response should not be to shut down but for decent Londoners to reclaim our City and neighbourhoods.

  2. I was in the Wetherspoons in Greenwich, they got wind of something coming to Greenwich (lots of posts on Twitter) and shut it down at 8.45pm, and a lot of the other shops were shutting around it. I was also in Lewisham earlier in the day. It seemed that the police were playing catch up with the rioters… When we got there it was dying down in Lewisham although a lot of places had been smashed up, and the police were leaving Lewisham to go somewhere else where the rioters had headed to. I am getting the feeling more and more that a lot of this is groups of 3 to 4 people who are just going round smashing shops up or whatever they want because police are distracted. Blackheath would be a good example of that. It clearly wasn’t a huge group, just a few people on their own…

  3. Yeah i heard there was a fire at asda but i found out from them that although they had a lot of bother they closed for a while and they have reopened, woolwich is just a mess, the wetherspoons pub was burnt to the ground along with jd sports and most of the other shops were trashed and looted

  4. Hey Darryl ,

    Charlton drinkers will be pleased to know that the Rose of Denmark looked to be untouched when I drove past this morning , but the Adsa retail park was affected , police tape everywhere at the entrances . Also the smaller retail park by the old Coach and Horses was hit quite badly , Currys , PC World and Halfords all with broken shutters this morning with police in attendance .

  5. Cheers for the videos, shocking stuff. I hate what’s happening but in some ways it’s not so surprising, a society based on consumerism with massive inequality

  6. Oh by the way, even in Eltham High St Argos got a big window smashed in last night and Poundland closed at about 1pm. They said all shops in the street were going to close but Lidl showed no signs of closing when I was there.

  7. Plumstead High Street has every shop closed, as does Abbey Wood and has since midday. Woolwich has been tapped off most of the day I believe. As bad as this is so far in many ways, if this carries on then the economic effects will be absolutely devastating for struggling businesses.

  8. There is a twitter page set up with the aim of collating all images of these looters in the hope they are recognised and caught. @wantedrioters

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