South East London Updates

UPDATE 23:15: Tonight appears to be the night when - in London at least - sanity was restored. A heavy and active police presence has undoubtedly been key, but it would also be nice to think that the huge public outpouring of grief and revulsion made a few people re-evaluate what they were playing at. Aside from one opportunistic incident this afternoon, Brockley's night has passed peacefully.

UPDATE 22:15: Lots of sirens in the night, but they all seem to be pre-empting, rather than responding to problems. No significant confirmed incidents.

UPDATE 21:32: Here are 'Team Eltham' reportedly on the march towards Lewisham (via Hamble). This is like the Springfield Bear Patrol. SORRY that is not what this picture shows. Ignore it. There's no evidence they're on the move. They're still like the Springfield Bear Patrol though.

UPDATE 21:21: Lots of BCers confirm a very large group of people (approx 50) gathered in Lewisham Way, up near the war memorial, but no sign of trouble.

UPDATE 21:11: The looters are giving birth to Cameron's Big Society - Millwall vigilantes, Squatters reclaiming Ladbrokes for peace and now, apparently, a vigil in the Railway Pub by the Blackheath Conservatives. Who needs Cobra, when a thousand community initiatives can bloom to solve the problem.

UPDATE 20:57: It looks like tensions may be ratcheting up along Lee High Road. Unconfirmed suggestions on Twitter that it's related to a march by the Millwall fans towards Lewisham.

UPDATE 20:40: Lots of Millwall fans turn out to 'defend' Eltham. Photo here. Hmm... wonder why they chose Eltham.

UPDATE 20:30: Deptford Plus, the guys who prevented the Deptford Project owners from opening a new social enterprise in Deptford by squatting in their premises and who have been uttering the most relativist, platitudinous rubbish about the riots on their Twitter feed are organising a flash mob for peace right now outside the Ladbrokes in Deptford if anyone fancies it, they say bring something to sit on...

UPDATE 20:21: Police have arrested someone at the top of Manor Avenue, by Lewisham Way.

UPDATE 20:!8: Our friend who sent us the photos of fires in Clapham yesterday was just on Channel 4 News (we just caught the +1 version) berating Boris about his leadership, saying she had to have the kitchen knives out to defend herself.

UPDATE 19:55: Brockley is like Manhattan during the 2003 blackout - none of you have anything in your fridges. So the following places are confirmed open for business at the current time: Budgens (Crofton Park), Costcutter (Brockley Station), Brockley's Rock (midtown), Fishby Business (Harefield Road), Bamboo Garden (midtown).

UPDATE 18:31: Here's an image of the Brockley Cross incident taking place, courtesy of Simon:
UPDATE 18:18: The Guardian quotes the Co-Op about the damage done to the Co-Op yesterday:

"Although the vast majority of our stores have now re-opened, around a dozen remain closed due to damage incurred, including the three most seriously damaged food stores – London Road (Croydon), Hilton House (Brockley) and New Addington, which was completely destroyed by fire."

UPDATE 18:12: Just been out to have a look at Brockley Cross and Brockley Road. Both proceeding normally, lots of ordinary people going about their business. One guy putting a lick of paint on his new barber shop (of which more when normal service resumes). Quite a few groups of youths loitering around, but then there always are.

UPDATE 17:52: We just took our swollen face out to speak to the police. Confirmed one man beaten up and it appears they have caught someone for it. The smashed car was a silver Vauxhall Zafira. We asked if Brockley was likely to be a particular target tonight and they shrugged and said not especially.

UPDATE 17:42: Police now gone. Brockley Cross back to normal. The police cars struggled a little bit with the double roundabout, by the way - who says the new system does nothing for traffic calming?

UPDATE 17:36: Police just turned up en masse. Three cars and a van. Kids gone. Pretty minor stuff and Brockley Cross has seen worse, but it does not bode well. The kids were chasing someone. Suggestions on Twitter that they caught him at Upper Brockley Road and attacked him.

UPDATE 17:30: A group of about 10 16-20 year olds fighting / mucking around just ran up Geoffrey Road and possibly on to Upper Brockley Road. A rear windscreen of a car was smashed on Geoffrey.

UPDATE 17:27: Kids running around Brockley Cross chucking things around the streets as we write.

UPDATE 16:44: Greenwich was never the same since they decided to move the meridian 500m west to run through Brockley... town centre boarded up, photo here.

UPDATE 15:15: Chris reports that Surrey Quays shopping centre is now closing.

UPDATE 14:46: This is not a riot. Don't be alarmed, the Brockley Road junk shop is supposed to be like this.
We're in Brockley at the moment and keep hearing sirens in the far distance, but it may be like phantom limb syndrome, we're so used to having them there, that our brain imagines them when they aren't. No confirmed incidents anywhere.

UPDATE 14:36: Paul reports that large chunks of the high street near New Cross Gate are now closed. Many busineses in Lewisham are already confirmed to have closed early and many shops in Forest Hill and Nunhead are now closed. Lee, Catford and elsewhere all preparing for the worst.

UPDATE 14:34: Despite rumours, Forest Hill station is not closed. Cllr Harris also confirms it is untrue that riots have begun in Lewisham.

Preparations for further looting have begun with unconfirmed rumours of disturbances in a number of areas and although we are taking all of them with a large pinch of salt at this stage, we are beginning live updates again using this thread, as per last night. We'll try to stick to the facts - stories confirmed by reputable or trusted sources or from multiple reliable witnesses.