Posted below is copied email from Amanda Evans of the Darwin Safer Neighbourhood Panel, made publically available Tuesday, August 9th, containing a message from Bromley's Borough Commander Charles Griggs to Judith Cross, chair of the Bromley Community Engagement Forum (BCEF). They have requested that it should be circulated as widely as possible.
Monday night proved extremely challenging. With minimal resources intelligence suggested that the Town Centre, the Glades and the police station were going to be attacked. At about 2130 a large group descended on Market Square and began attacking shops. A rapid police response dispersed them. They re-grouped and attacked police, throwing stones and other items. A small number of Bromley officers in full public order gear, supported by the night duty team on foot, were able to hold the Town Centre, and protect life and property. However, they were unable to prevent some looting and damage in East Street and in The Mall. There followed sporadic attacks on police with rioters breaking up paving slabs and plant pots to use as missiles. Other key retail locations across the borough were attacked throughout the night with looting occurring at The Nugent Centre, Comet, and Currys in Cray Avenue; Currys and PC World in Homesdale Road, several shops in Beckenham High Street and Biggin Hill. We have 29 prisoners in custody, 19 of which are for burglary and other offences of disorder in Bromley, and a further 10 prisoners from other boroughs.
I was personally appalled and disgusted by the level of violence and sheer lawlessness that I saw on our streets over night. Officers have shown bravery and courage protecting our borough from these mindless thieving thugs; I am ashamed to think that they see their actions as justified. Whilst we have been unable to protect everywhere on the borough, we will not give up the streets. We will work tirelessly with our partners and the community to maintain order, and try and prevent a repeat of last nights awful scenes.
Many officers have already worked very long hours, and they will continue to do so. Every police officer and PCSO have had their rest days cancelled, and we have introduced 12 hour shifts to maximise our resources. Whilst I am providing significant aid to Tottenham and other high risk boroughs, I have a lot of resources available in Bromley. We will ensure presence and visibility in our Town Centres and other vulnerable locations. I do not want a repeat of last night. I do not want us to experience the ferocity of violence seen in the inner cities. We will not give up the streets, and we will maintain order in Bromley.
I do not intend to convene a public meeting, unless I have seriously under-estimated the amount of information available to the public. I am quite happy for you to share this e mail with the BCEF members.