London riots: gangs try and loot Romford Debenhams; video footage

Anarchists struck in Havering last night in an attempt bring the riots sweeping London to the borough.

YouTube footage shows a gang of around 30 would-be looters trying, but failing, to smash through windows at Debenhams department store in Market Place, Romford. Watch the video online here: www.youtube.com/user/TheOnlyRaconteur

Police said a number of other Romford businesses were targeted and windows broken, but yobs had not managed to gain access.

There have been further as yet unconfirmed reports of small-scale vandalism in major centres in the borough, including Harold Hill and Rainham.

Elsewhere fire crews were called to deal with a number of small blazes started deliberately.

Firefighters from Hornchurch fire station tackled a fire in a metal case filled with paper, at 10.58pm, in Victoria Road, Romford.

One fire engine attended and the fire was under control by 11.18pm.

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Crews also attended five rubbish fires around Leyburn Crescent, Harold Hill and Kingsbridge Circus, Harold Hill at around 11pm.

Harold Hill watch manager Roy Turp said: “It seemed to be someone going around deliberately starting the fires.

“Luckily they were not serious and we were able to put them out.”

Trouble was contained as police officers “acted on intelligence and moved quickly” to prevent flare-ups, a Havering Police spokesman said today.

Havering went into lockdown early yesterday afternoon as police warned shopkeepers to close early, with many owners boarding and barricading premises to prevent looting.

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