|35 Police Officers to Deal With Mob of 300 Rioters|
Report into Ealing riot says Met Police must 'urgently' review procedures
‘We were left sitting ducks with no protection due to all our riot police being away – this should not have happened'.
That's the verdict of one resident who commented to Ealing Council's Scrutiny Review Panel looking into last summer's riots.
As trouble started around 8.30pm on 8th August there were only 35 police officers available in Ealing's centre - none of them with specialist riot training.
44 level 2 shield (riot) trained officers, along with their equipment, had been deployed to Hackney to deal with disturbances there.
Additional officers from other boroughs were only made available at 11.30pm - and for several hours Ealing was 'overrun by lawlessness.'
Rioters armed with hammers attacked shops in Ealing Broadway and businesses in Ealing Green. A supermarket was set alight and cars burnt out.
Businesses in Greenford and West Ealing were looted.
Ealing Council's Scrutiny Review Panel report (pdf) into the events of last summer will be discussed at Cabinet on Tuesday (20th March).
The Panel, whilst recognising the bravery displayed by officers on the night, and understanding the difficulties faced by the Borough Commander, expressed two main areas of concern:
1) the inability of the Police to respond rapidly in deploying officers and recalling those that were off duty;
Recommendations in the report (21 in total) include that the Metropolitan Police urgently review its deployment procedures to 'develop the capacity to ‘expand’ rapidly, mobilising large-scale resources at short notice to maximise visible Police presence.'
There are also calls for the Metropolitan Police to include social media information as a source of intelligence in order to deal better with fast moving situations.
Chair of the Panel, Councillor Shital Manro, says:
'' During that weekend last August I observed with some concern the disturbances unfolding around London and elsewhere. Yet I never really expected the events of 8th August 2011 to take place in Ealing. I was horrified to see my familiar streets temporarily overrun by lawlessness.
''I hope we never see these scenes again; but should we do I hope this Panel has contributed, in some way, to improving our response.''
The report will be discussed at Cabinet next week.
15th March 2012