London riots: MPs respond to Bromley’s looting

Orpington MP Jo Johnson

Orpington MP Jo Johnson


MPs have responded to the unrest and looting which occurred in the borough.

Bromley and Chislehurst MP Bob Neill called last week’s events “absolutely disgusting” while Orpington MP Jo Johnson said the looters had “stolen from society.”

Mr Neill said: “I’ve been very shocked. What we’ve seen is absolutely disgusting. It’s pure and simple greed and criminality.

“They put lives at risk and it’s by sheer luck not judgement that we haven’t had a greater loss of life than other parts of the country tragically have.”

Mr Neill said he did not think police should apologise for deliberately failing to stop looting and insisted there are enough officers to quell any future break-outs.

Some areas were left unpoliced for hours at a time, including Sainsbury’s in Hayes where citizens sat on a drunk and violent looter for 90 minutes without assistance.

He said it was “absurd and infantile” to make any connection between government cuts and the events of last week.

Beckenham MP Bob Stewart agreed that the police had been too soft but said it was not theri fault.

He said: “I have watched reports of recent riots during which police officers seem to stand back and look reluctant to act. When I have asked police officers about this it is clear this reluctance is not because of a lack of courage on their part. Too often any action they take is widely criticised and they worry that they, not the rioters, will end up court.”

Mr Johnson walked around Petts Wood and Orpington last Tuesday where he met some of the shopkeepers who had been affected.

He said: “Walking around Orpington and Petts Wood, I was struck by the resolve of local shopkeepers and residents to make sure that the looters would not win. I share their sense of anger at what has happened in our communities.”

Mr Neill and Mr Johnson both denied cuts to the police service would affect the ability to cope with any future riots and looting.

Despite borough commander Charles Griggs already announcing a reduction of 30 police officers within the next year including five sergeants, Mr Johnson said: “There will be no reduction in police officers available to the public on the streets.”

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