I have spent the morning out in Ealing and West Ealing trying to understand what has been going on. Last night’s violence was truly appalling but I thought that it was worth recording my actual experience rather than merely sounding off. I do not want to minimise what happened last night in Ealing but I am keen to keep it in perspective. I would be very interested to hear your actual experiences.
The only building that has been set fire to is the one that houses the mini-supermarket opposite The Grove (the old Queen Vic) pub on Ealing Green.
There were a number of frankly hysterical reports of fires on Twitter last night and although fire is extremely dangerous and frightening it was only one building in all Ealing as far as I have been able to find out. I would guess the rebuild cost would be in the order of Â£1 million. I talked to and thanked the fire crew that were packing up. They had been there since 2am and I talked to them at 9.30am.
There were probably around ten vehicles set fire to, including a bus near Ealing Green and a van on Carlton Road. Many cars were damaged on Mattock Lane, around Ealing Green and up Madeley Road.
Walking from Ealing to Ealing Common and back to the end of the West Ealing paprade there were maybe 100 shops and businesses with windows put in. About five businesses were extensively looted and another five or so suffered substantial damage. I will post some further reports on these later.
My summary of the morning is as follows:
The council had 45 men out at 5am cleaning up and the police have 57 people in custody. About 100 volunteers turned up to help clean up at 10am in the town centre but in reality there was not much to do. There is one burnt building – about Â£1 million of rebuild I would say. Maybe 100 broken shop windows across Ealing. Say Â£100K. Ten vehicles including a bus and a van burnt, say Â£300K. Another 100 car windows, say Â£50K. Maybe five business broken into and looted. Maybe another Â£500K of looted and damaged stock. Total damage in the order of Â£2 million. It was probably caused by 150 odd mainly black, mainly teenage boys. Some older. Some younger. Some women.
Although our town was taken over by a hundred odd feral scumbags last night a good proportion of them ended up in cells overnight and the good people of Ealing in their many thousands are calmly getting on with their business and helping each other out. The council is doing a good job too. I am sure that we are all thankful that there have been no reported injuries.
Apparently the police advice is as follows: They would like shops to close by 5pm and residents to be off the streets by 7pm in case of further disorder.
There were 6,000 police on the streets of London last night. There are due to be 16,000 tonight. Police leave has been cancelled and they have been put on 12 hour shifts. Thank you guys.
Update: Yesterday I said: â€œI am sure that we are all thankful that there have been no reported injuries.â€ I was wrong.
On Monday night a man was severely injured trying to remonstrate with demonstrators on Springbridge Road. See here and here.