Riots force businesses to close across London

Businesses across London have been destroyed and many more forced to shut as a result of the riots that have spread across the capital.

Fires raged and shops were looted in Clapham Junction, Croydon, Brixton, Peckham, Lewisham, Ealing and Hackney. The disturbances also spread outside the capital to Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol.

Meat Masters in Croydon, which is situated about 50 yards from Reeves, the furniture store that was set alight in last night’s disturbance said that, although it had escaped damage, the business was still heavily affected by the civil unrest.

A spokesman said: “We’ve had no deliveries in today because the area is cordoned off. We normally open at 3am, but couldn’t get in until 7am this morning, so we’ve lost 90% of today’s trade. But at least no-one’s hurt and the building is intact. Shops to the right of us are completely gutted and some have been looted – Argos and Lidl have been trashed and looted.

“Turnover has been slaughtered today, but we’ll be fully staffed and plan to be back in business tomorrow.”

Bob Dove, of Dove & Sons in Clapham, owns a retail butcher’s shop situated only a stone’s throw away from one of the worst affected areas. He was angry about the lack of police presence in the area last night, when hoards of people rampaged through the streets.

He said: “We were away from the actual damage – all the damage was down the road – but last night was a bit hairy and it is worrying. If anything happens tonight, we’ve no resources to deal with it.

“What do we pay these rates for? I appreciate the police have a difficult job to do, but it’s their job to protect people’s property and businesses.

“My shop isn’t a target, but looking at Ealing, it was the small trendy shops that were smashed up, including an organic deli, which was firebombed.”

The third day of violence came after a peaceful protest in Tottenham on Saturday, which followed the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan last week.