London riots: Stepped up police patrols in Havering tonight

Havering Police are tonight advising local residents and businesses: don’t panic, following yesterday’s petty violence in Romford Town Centre.

Officers were visiting shops and bars in town centres for the third night in a row to offer advice, a police spokesman said, but were not recommending shops close early.

“It’s up to individual businesses what they chose to do,” said a police spokesman. “Officers are simply offering advice.”

However, by early evening yesterday Romford was a virtual ghost-town with most of the bars shutting their doors well before kicking out time.

Today, however, it was business as usual.

Tonight will see stepped-up police patrols on the streets of the major centres, with help from central Met officers, the spokesman added.

Parents are being urged to ensure their children avoid becoming involved in any public place disorder and allow the police to carry out their duties effectively. Havering’s chief superintendant Mick Smith said “Police will not tolerate any form of behaviour that puts people in fear or prevents them from going about their daily business. My officers are currently working tirelessly to ensure that we deal with any form of potential disorder and prevent any escalation of violence as seen across London.”

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Police had written to businesses and councillors asking them to be vigilant after rioting, looting and violence spread from Tottenham to other parts of London on Sunday night.

It said: “Operation Withern is investigating the disorder and violence in parts of London over the weekend. An incident room has been set up. Anyone with information should call the major investigation team on 020 8345 4142.”