'Fed Up' Residents Form Anti-Looter Patrols

Tom Parmenter, Sky News correspondent

Members of the public have taken to the streets of London to protect their communities from violence and looting.

On the streets of Enfield, in the north of the capital, a group of 70 men patrolled their streets late into Tuesday night.

They were one of several groups in the area determined to take a stand against rioting and to help the over-stretched police force.

Enfield was badly affected by the riots on Monday night, with a Sony warehouse set on fire.

One of those involved in the patrol, Nick Davidson, said a lack of action from police prompted their decision: "We've had enough of the police just standing there... while people are looting and ruining the whole area. 

"Everybody here pays tax and we've all had enough of it. We're sickened by the police doing absolutely nothing.

"They're not policing our streets, we have to police them."

On the patrol in Enfield, the men told Sky News that they were determined to take a stand for "as long as it takes."

Another participant told Sky News: "The real community of Enfield have had to come together and stick up for ourselves, the businesses, the places we come and shop, the places that we live and prevent any more damage happening."

They also believe they have struck a chord with their community.

Matt Skooly, 39, insisted that his group had had a positive response: "We've been cheered by pedestrians, other local people and the police cheered us on as well.

"Hopefully this is going to cap it, this is the last of the kids coming out like thugs and wrecking stuff, we'll look after our own streets in a responsible way."

As the evening progressed the crowd grew and was later estimated to number 300 people.


In Southall, west London, hundreds of Sikh men stood guard outside their temple and patrolled the streets.

They were located a few miles away from Ealing, which saw some of the worst of the riots on Monday night.

The temple's president, Himmat Singh Sohi, said they wanted to protect their community.

General secretary Dr Parvinder Singh Garcha told Sky: "We want to show them (the rioters) we are here together.

"We want for them to discuss if they have a problem, we will address that with them but certainly we will not stand for any kind of wanton violence."

Groups of people also congregated in Eltham, southeast London, where it was clear the English Defence League were involved in organising the gathering.