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Riots wreak havoc on London’s retailers


Retail businesses across the UK’s capital were targeted as part of the prolonged riots over the weekend.

Traders including JD Sports, Footlocker and Currys were victims of looting in copycat attacks last night in the London boroughs of Enfield, Waltham Forest and Walthamstow in north London and Brixton to the south of the city.

These attacks follow the riots in Tottenham on Saturday which broke out after a supposedly peaceful protest led by the family of a man who was shot dead last week, allegedly by police officers.

Violence and criminal damage was seen all along the Brixton High Road last night with Morley’s department store, Halfords and several other shops having their windows smashed and the local Footlocker being completely gutted by fire.

Press Association photographer Lewis Whyld witnessed looters fighting with police as they targeted a Currys store in south London.

He told the BBC: “A couple of hundred youths were rioting and looting. Riot police went in to get them out and there was a big fight in the street.

“Youths were throwing rocks and bottles and there was a bin on fire. They used a fire extinguisher to push the police back so they could get back into Currys and continue taking things out.”

Videos have also surfaced of people casually helping themselves to goods out of a damaged JD Sports store during broad daylight at Tottenham Hale Retail Park on Sunday.

More than 100 arrests have been made by police according to initial reports with 35 officers injured in clashes with rioters since the start of the weekend.

Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor of London and Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, described the violence as “disgusting and shocking”.

He added: “Obviously there are people in this city, sadly, who are intent on violence, who are looking for the opportunity to steal and set fire to buildings and create a sense of mayhem, whether they’re anarchists or part of organised gangs or just feral youth frankly, who fancy a new pair of trainers.”

The attacks could not come at a worse time for retailers with trading levels so low, particularly in town and city centres, and with a year to go before the London Olympic Games questions will be asked over the security arrangements for the international sporting event.

Any retail workers affected by the weekend’s disturbances can call the Retail Trust’s helpline on 0808 801 0808 for help and advice.

Published on Monday 08 August by Editorial Assistant

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