UPDATE: Police out in Ilford to ‘show yobs we are in charge’

Police were out in full force on the streets of Ilford today to reassure businesses after last night’s riots

An increased police presence is on the streets of Ilford to help reassure the community the situation is under control.

Police were at Exchange Ilford earlier today to talk to business owners and offer advice on how best to prepare if any new outbreaks of violence and looting start up.

Sgt Seamus Hansford said: “This is a unique situation for the Metropolitan Police and I have never seen anything like this before.

“I have increased the number of officers in the town centre from four to eleven. We want to show the yobs that we are in charge.

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“We have big support from other forces as well as street pastors, councillors and youth workers.”

Worried members of the public were approaching the police for support and reassurance after what happened last night.

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Businesses have been provided with remote radios which have a constant and direct line to police officers who will react immediately to any new developments.

Mr Hansford said: “In what is a unique situation for Metropolitan Police, we will be polite and firm as always and re-evaluate the situation if anything happens. All we can do is plan.”

Many shops in Ilford Town Centre have closed for the day, with only some larger chains still open.

Labour Ilford South MP Mike Gapes was also in the town centre this afternoon to talk with the police and traders.

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