Havering Police praised for defending borough against rioters

As top Met officers have begun defending their actions following mass outcry over the riots, local officers have been inundated with messages of thanks and support from locals grateful that Havering escaped relatively unscathed from the unrest.

All Havering officers, PCSOs as well as scores of special volunteers patrolled the borough’s streets since rioting began fanning out from Tottenham, north London, on Saturday August 7.

Many abandoned their leave, as well as sleep, to keep the streets safe in the wake of the worst rioting seen in London in 30 years.

Some officers were drafted in to highly-dangerous flashpoints to help colleagues in more volatile parts of the capital.

But their efforts have not gone unnoticed: shopkeepers, business owners, councillors, and ordinary members of the public have felt moved to write to the police, recognising many have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

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A small selection of what’s being said will appear in Friday’s Recorder.

Officers, on visibility patrols last Friday night, were even treated to a standing ovation by appreciative pub-goers in Hornchurch High Street – a far cry from the more usual weekend tussling between police and revellers.

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Elsewhere, members of the public have shaken officers’ hands, or even pressed food and gifts into them; while restaurants have refused cash from hungry cops grabbing a quick snack before heading back out on the beat.

The words and deeds of appreciation have, officers say, helped keep them motivated through the long, difficult shifts.

A Havering police spokesman said: “Officers and staff and the Metropolitan Police Service Havering would like to thank the community for their offers of assistance and words of support in the aftermath of the London disorder.”

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