Gangs of youths launching fireworks 'terrorise' families and businesses in Canada Water

Robert Dex
·3-min read
A firework explodes as youths target diners at a bar in Canada Water
A firework explodes as youths target diners at a bar in Canada Water

Families say they are being “terrorised” by gangs of youths launching fireworks at people and businesses in south east London.

The area around Canada Water station has been plagued by anti-social behaviour for weeks, residents told the Standard, turning the neighbourhood into a "no-go zone".

On Saturday there were reports that a woman had been taken to hospital after being hit in the face by a firework as she got off a bus outside the station.

One resident said several attacks had targeted a local bar where families were eating outside to comply with Covid regulations. Video footage shows terrified diners fleeing inside as youths on pedal bikes launch rockets-style fireworks at the restaurant.

"There were families there on a Saturday afternoon and you could hear people running when they fire the rockets,” the resident said.

"My apartment is on the other side of the building and I could hear people screaming."

Other videos show what appear to be running battles between teenagers shooting the projectiles at each other and passers-by outside Canada Water library.

Earlier this month a 48-hour dispersal order was put in place in Canada Water and Surrey Quays in a bid to tackle the anti-social behaviour.

But this weekend locals called on police to beef up their response, saying they fear it is “only a matter of time until a fire is started by this reckless behaviour”.

The resident said: "They have actually started firing these rockets towards people's balconies and if one lands on a balcony that could be extremely dangerous."

Dozens of people living around Deal Porter Square have signed a petition demanding “urgent action” from Southwark Police.

“[The Safer Neighbourhood Team] are taking action but it’s not working, matters are escalating, people are being injured and it’s only a matter of time until a fire is started by this reckless behaviour,” the petition reads.

“The MPS response has been almost entirely reactive and as a community we request a much firmer proactive response, with an increased visible police presence.

“No more lip service from the MPS, enough is enough, we want to see urgent action.”

On Sunday, Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Matt Twist tweeted: “I will ask team at MetCC to see where we are, and also link with local team. Clearly dangerous and huge risk to others.”

The Metropolitan Police has been contacted for comment.

Watch: Woman lost an eye after firework exploded in her face - hundreds of other incidents also reported