Lewisham braces for riots [Updated]

On Twitter, reports coming in that the recent riots that began in Tottenham have spread to areas including Enfield, Brixton and Hackney may reach Lewisham town centre this evening. It's been speculated for a while that Lewisham could be a target and now Cllr Mike Harris says:

"Threat from idiotic looters is causing stallholders on Lewisham Market to shut early."

UPDATE 17:00: Some reports on Twitter now suggesting that rioting has already begun, with one person saying that they're being kept inside McDonald's by police for their own protection.

UPDATE 17:15: The man who reported being locked inside McDondald's reports that it was a precautionary measure and that he has been allowed out, while one person was arrested.

UPDATE 17:19: Now Cllr Harris reports that the Town Hall is being closed early. Dogs and cats, living together!

UPDATE 17:23: Reports of groups of "school aged" kids running around. One window of McDonald's smashed. But also a very heavy police presence (and of course, Europe's largest police station next door).

UPDATE 17:32: Hannah, who tweeted earlier to say it was relatively calm, now says the air is full of sirens.

UPDATE 17:34: Gillian tweets this photo of a police line in Lewisham.

UPDATE 17:39: Sky News reports that police officers have come under attack.

UPDATE 17:43: Lewisham was obviously the last straw for Boris, who's finally decided it's worth interrupting his holiday to come and sort it out. Phew.

UPDATE 17:49: LeeLee has posted this photo of riot police running in Lewisham.

UPDATE 17:51: ITV journalist Charlene White says "This isn't on the same scale as Tott, or even Hackney for that matter For those who know Lewi, police station is by High St So got here quick."

UPDATE 17:59: Not for the first time on Brockley Central, the presence of kids in local cafes is contentious. Lots of comment on Twitter about how young many of the wannabe or actual rioters are. Charlene White again: "Amazing number of girls here. And they're loving it."

UPDATE 18:03: Ironically, Tesco now under attack in Lewisham according to several reports.

UPDATE 18:15: The unconfirmed list of shops hit by rioters includes: Primark, Tesco, McDonald's and a jewellers.

UPDATE 18:19: Sky News reporter says a lot of people running around (kids especially). Police say main rioting happened an hour ago. Police say they have "no idea" why this is spreading so fast and suspect this is a copycat act.

UPDATE 18:35: In another ironic twist, National Rail reports no delays to trains running via Lewisham.

UPDATE 18:43: A bus has been set on fire in Lewisham - pictures of burning vehicles in Lewisham (Albion Way) now being shown on BBC News.

UPDATE 18:50: Cllr Harris again, this time on BBC News talking about the cost to the Council which "can't afford" this. Scenes not seen in Lewisham "since the late 70s".

UPDATE 18:53: Interview continues, interviewer asks Cllr Harris "this isn't a time for political point scoring is it?" Obviously never interviewed a Lewisham cllr before. Helicopter shots of Lewisham High Street show a desolate scene scattered with debris.

UPDATE 18:55: Reports of shop closures in Catford.

UPDATE 19:04: Multiple reports that JD Sports (natch) in Catford has been smashed up.

UPDATE 19:05: Charlene White has just tweeted that missiles are being thrown at an ambulance in Lewisham. Classy.

UPDATE 19:55: Everyone wants in on the action. Channel 4 News confirms a building has been set alight in Deptford. One of our Twitter friends says it's the Greggs.

UPDATE 20:11: Shops and petrol stations closed in Brockley.

UPDATE 20:16: Damn you north London media know-nothings, according to London Fire, Channel 4 confused Deptford with Peckham, which is where the burning Greggs is located.

UPDATE 20:34: Rumour kicking around that the ELL is shut. It isn't. She's running as straight and true as ever, from Dalston to Croydon. Hang on... no not Croydon, since there is some rioting there. Terminating in Norwood.

UPDATE 20:52: @josephstash has mapped photos of the riots in Lewisham to the locations where they took place here. A couple of BC readers have reported a couple of scary moments in the area - shouting and scuffling on Brockley Road and two people threatening someone at their doorstep, but these seem to be isolated moments of high tension, rather than anything more large scale.

UPDATE 20:57: A low down dirty shame - Lee High Road's Dirty South got smashed up. Photo here.

UPDATE 20:59: Serious problems in Croydon. BBC News showing a huge fire to a building. Bus on fire too. Croydon Guardian reporter describing multiple incidents and minimal police. presence.

UPDATE 21:02: Multiple reports that New Cross rioting is taking place - Curry's being looted.

UPDATE 21:41: Photographer caught looters in action in New Cross... using an ACE van. Shocking parking.

UPDATE 21:47: East Dulwich hit - The Palmerston has tweeted a photo of its smashed window.

UPDATE 21:51: Lots of tweets claiming the Venue in New Cross is on fire. These rumours are false.

UPDATE 22:03: Video of Catford looting here (via Max)

UPDATE 22:11: An unprecedented outpouring of grief on Twitter at the rumours that the Catford Cat has been destroyed. Can't confirm yet, but we're willing to lay money that it has NOT been destroyed. Pretty sure this is another Venue-style rumour.

UPDATE 22:17: Greggs may have escaped, but there is looting in Deptford. A pawn shop is reported to have been hit and the High Street is reported to be being damaged.

UPDATE 22:25: Deptford looting appears to be getting worse. Among the targets is Ladbrokes and another pawn shop.

UPDATE 22:32: BBC News just described Lewisham as being "relatively close to central London." Every cloud.

UPDATE 22:36: Police MIA in Deptford by all accounts. Photo of one of the looted pawn brokers here.

UPDATE 22:39: Blimey, Lewisham MP Heidi Alexander interrupts the first day of her holiday to be interviewed on the BBC from New York about the damage done to Lewisham. Her office was smashed in to.

UPDATE 22:49: Keir reports that a police van has turned up in Deptford, only to have its windows smashed.

UPDATE 22:58: ITV News getting unconfirmed reports that a man has been shot in the head and killed in Croydon. UPDATE Now ITV pouring cold water on this story.

UPDATE 23:01: BBC reporting from downtown Woolwich (which can feel absolutely ghostly at nights) that there is widespread looting, with phone shops the main target.

UPDATE 23:03: Hope has four legs and a perky tail - as we thought, the Catford Cat lives!

UPDATE 23:09: Time Out has just told its followers to check this site for live updates. The pressure is on. It would be good if everyone could stop rioting so we can go to bed.

UPDATE 23:16: We've heard a few sirens going off outside our windows, as have other Brockley residents on Twitter, but it appears that in all cases, it is the police going elsewhere.

UPDATE 23:24: By the by, a friend in Lavendar Hill just sent us this photo of loot dumped in her garden. On a related note, one BCer reports seeing loot being divvied up out the back of a car in Brockley.
UPDATE 23:32: At least one car has been set alight in Deptford. Here's the photo.

UPDATE 23:42: BBC reporting that the Old Kent Road is being looted - including the large Tesco. Kids on bikes... Unconfirmed reports of fires in shops in Bromley, including Primark.

UPDATE 00:02: Report from one Brockley resident that he saw approximately 6 people attempting to break in to Brockley Cross Business Centre about an hour ago, which as he notes, is small beer by tonight's standards, "but still."

UPDATE 00:10: Woolwich looking in a really bad way. Whetherspoons burning, cars on fire, reports of shops / flats on fire.

UPDATE 00:15: Another burning car in Deptford - this one outside the Albany theatre (great venue for kids, folks!)

UPDATE 00:21: Woolwich now seems like the most serious flashpoint in SE London. A police car has been set on fire and The Great Harry pub has been set on fire according to Nigel Fletcher, Deputy Leader of the opposition at Greenwich Council.

UPDATE 00:30: A video of riots in action in Woolwich.

UPDATE 00:59: Our friend in Clapham Junction wanted to share this view from her window with you all - a fire in a shop. Almost Christmassy.
UPDATE 01:05 Right, that's it. Off to sleep. Just like the looters, we have work tomorrow. Thanks to everyone for their information and contributions throughout the evening. Plenty of time for analysis in due course over the next couple of days...