August 9, 2011 in London

UK Riots

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Having spent my formative years on the mean streets of Boston, I am pretty fearless. I will go almost anywhere. Heck, I’ve flown into former eastern bloc countries on my own and have experienced all that these countries have to offer without knowing the local language or people personally.

Now after what happened on the streets of Bromley and elsewhere in the city of London last night, not so fearless. The violence, looting and arson are completely senseless and unjustified. And in that the youth (yobs) are getting bolder, it is major cause for concern.

Heck, last night in Bromley they were circling my street and the others surrounding the centre of Bromley all in an effort to get into the Glades Shopping Centre which has about 135+ shops – most of them high end. Thankfully the police were able to hold them back but they did cause a lot of ruckus. And for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel completely safe in not just my neighbourhood but my own house.

I actually ended up spending most of the evening with a neighbour as I was truly petrified. They offered to let me spend the night but in that I knew I would be worried about my own property, decided to sprint home and barricade myself in. But I wasn’t comfortable and my sleep wasn’t restful. I actually slept on the couch fully clothed with shoes on and had an emergency bag to my side — just in case I needed to quickly bolt from the house.

Now there are to be 16,000 police on the streets of London tonight. How many will be in Bromley not exactly sure but I image the number will be higher than last night. The chatter on the street is that the yobs will be back to finish what they started. The police must be aware of this plan as I saw more police on the High Street this afternoon than I’d seen all together in the three years I’ve lived here.

It’s all rather unsettling as not only is there cause for concern in Bromley, but also nationwide as the violence and mayhem has spread. No longer is it the Tottenham or London riots but now the UK riots. There is unrest in Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and beyond. Basically, things have escalated and are beyond out of control.

The police do not have control of the streets. They do not have control of this growing crisis. The looters who lack respect for other people’s hard earned personal property and businesses never mind rule of law are in charge. The lawlessness is just out of this world. It’s something you would expect to see in a movie or some war-torn city elsewhere in the world, not in London; not in Bromley!

Hopefully the increased police presence will make a difference and restore law and order — but thinking it will be some time before I feel so carefree about where I live, work and play.

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