Riots of summer 2011 still haunting many shopkeepers

As reports have been released that CS gas is being considered to deal with social unrest, the scars felt by many of those caught up in the riots of last summer (August 2011) are still tender.

A poll that was recently conducted on behalf of local radio station BBC London showed that more than half of those living and working in affected areas do not feel safe.

The survey, which was operated by ComRes, polled over 1,000 adults in the capital’s most badly affected boroughs. Most notable of these perhaps is Croydon, where the raging inferno and complete destruction of the House of Reezes store became the image of the riots.

In the south east London borough, 52% of business and private residents felt “unsafe”.

It is because of such concerns that the Metropolitan Police force is developing “more assertive” tactics, according to its own review into the riots entitled Four Days in August.

It is in this report The Met say that CS gas is an option, whilst other considerations such as water cannons are also on the table.

For the shopkeepers of London and throughout the UK, the news will be welcomed. Many have already taken their own measures, such as having robust and high quality security shutters professionally installed.

Any decisions over how to respond in the future will need to be taken carefully. Though all shopkeepers, whether they have security shutters or not, will simply not want a repeat of the mindless rampage that took place last year.

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