WALTHAM FOREST: Police injured as unrest spreads to borough

THREE police officers were taken to hospital after being hit by a vehicle in Chingford Mount, as rioting and looting broke out across London.

The officers were making arrests in connection with youths looting a shop, believed to be the Aristocrat clothes store in Chingford Mount Road, at around 12.45am this morning (August 8), when they were hit by the speeding vehicle.

Two of them suffered superficial injuries, the other has an injury to his knee.

Nearby resident, Angie Venner, 58, woke up to police cordons outside her Royston Avenue home, close to the junction with Chingford Mount Road.

She said: “I just think it is scary. What is this world coming to.

“I am sure the violence and vandalism is nothing to do with what happened in Tottenham.

“I am worried this sort of thing could happen again. It is just mindless violence.”

A resident who wishes to remain anonymous, said she called the police last night after hearing the shop alarm and seeing several black youths in cars, parked nearby.

She added: “I heard lots of doors slamming and I thought to myself something is going to happen, then I heard the alarm.

“The police came very quickly and they were here until about 7am this morning.

“It is horrible. It is almost like anarchy. These are just opportunistic criminals taking advantage but I am worried it could happen again.

Earlier yesterday evening, more than 30 youths, many in masks, vandalised shops in central Walthamstow.

A group of 30 youths also ransacked Tesco in High Road, Leyton, close to Bakers Arms, at around midnight.

Staff fled the building when the group entered the shop.

A member of staff, who asked not to be named, said: “When we started our shift, we were told the shop was under threat.

“We were instructed just to leave the shop if trouble started.

“About 30 people came in and started smashing the place up and stealing cigarettes.

“The customer services desk was also smashed.

“We left and waited for the police to arrive.”

Ccouncil leader Chris Robbins spoke to the Guardian this morning as he inspected the damage in High Street, Walthamstow.

He said: “I am appalled by what has happened.

“I think first of all the police did a brilliant job in anticipating this.

“The police response was excellent considering the pressure they are under.”

“It looks like there has been a small band who have come out to take advantage of the trouble over the weekend.

“This has got nothing to do with any particular grievances that people might have in Waltham Forest

“We see this as a limited exercise of violence by a small group of crooks.

“But I hope this doesn’t herald a bad August or a bad summer.”

Cllr Robbins said, despite the smashed windows and damage to BHS store and shops and banks, the unrest in Waltham Forest was limited compared to problems in Brixton and Tottenham.

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