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Riot police and helicopters respond to ‘terrifying’ mob of up to 100 looting children in Stroud Green

PUBLISHED: 16:23 15 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:14 17 October 2018

Up to 100 kids raided a Crouch Hill supermarke. Picture: Islington Gazette

Up to 100 kids raided a Crouch Hill supermarke. Picture: Islington Gazette

Archant

Up to 100 children looted cheap sweets from a supermarket off Stroud Green Road and threw missiles at cars in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Riot cops were called when up to 100 children looted cheap sweets from a supermarket off Crouch Hill and threw missiles at cars in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A large group of boys ran into the Budget Supermarket, in Japan Crescent, and stole packets of “Buzz” sweets and other items.

The first police responders were overwhelmed and outnumbered by the mob – they had to call in the riot squad and helicopter support.

CCTV footage teenagers hurling bottles and eggs at the building. Some kids kicked the glass shop-front while workers tried to bar the door.

Shadel Saeed, who owns the shop, told the Gazette: “It was like the London riots.

“This area needs to be looked after better; there is too much trouble here.

“They were throwing bottles and eggs and something hit my staff on the his hand.

“It’s such a shame for the area. I know they were teenagers but you can’t do that. It was scary.”

Shadel estimated there were between 60 and 100 kids involved in the incident, a figure echoed by police.

Sophie Bolton, who lives in a flat above the shop, was at home with her boyfriend when the commotion occurred.

She said: “There were hordes of teens lobbing things at the shop which they had clearly stolen.

“It was shocking – I felt like we were watching for a long time without anything happening so we called the police.”

Sophie said two police cars arrived soon after. But by that time the boys had ceased pillaging the shop.

She said it was “frustrating” to see some of the boys still standing on the other side of the road, while the police were none the wiser.

Sophie said there were also some girls in the group, who “stood around eating the sweets”.

She said: “The most shocking thing was the sheer volume – there was lots of them, it was horrible.”

Kids loot Budget Supermarket in Stapleton Hall Road. Picture: Islington GazetteKids loot Budget Supermarket in Stapleton Hall Road. Picture: Islington Gazette

Alison Bukhari, of Stapleton Hall Road, said cops were too slow to respond to the outbreak of mass anti-social behaviour.

“We were holed up in our house for about two hours,” she said.

“We were too scared to open the window or leave.

“The young people ran up and down Stapleton Hall Road hurling rubbish pulling bins into the road, terrifying the worker at the garage, setting fireworks off up and down the street, turning over motorbikes, kicking them in and eventually smashing the window of our car.”

Alison believes the whole incident needs further investigation, including a probe into the police response.

She said: “We called the police, who said they would come within 10 minutes, but an unmarked car drove by, hovered by our car and then drove on.

“When we reported the incident the next day they insisted eight units attended the scene. But no one got out of their cars. Every time the police drove through the crowds they were emboldened to do more and become more violent.”

Alison said her car was only saved when she called the AA, who towed it to safety.

Kids loot Budget Supermarket in Stapleton Hall Road. Picture: Islington GazetteKids loot Budget Supermarket in Stapleton Hall Road. Picture: Islington Gazette

She added: “The whole riot went on for about two hours, finally dispersing at about 1.30am.

“It was terrifying, but the most worrying thing was the police response.”

She claims her street is “still plastered in white paint”, which members of the crowd allegedly threw.

“We still have glass outside our house,” she said, “and broken rubbish bins strewn around.”

A Met Police spokesperson said: “Police were called at about 10.30pm on Saturday to reports of anti-social behaviour around Stapleton Hall Road.

“Officers attended and found a group of around 50 to 100 young people throwing items, including fireworks, at vehicles and properties in the area.

“Due to the large crowd, additional police resources from the Territorial Support Group were requested.”

“Those officers were en route to assist but not required as the presence of the police helicopter quickly dispersed the group.

Kids loot Budget Supermarket in Stapleton Hall Road. Picture: Islington GazetteKids loot Budget Supermarket in Stapleton Hall Road. Picture: Islington Gazette

“At this stage no arrests have been made and extensive enquiries, including gathering of CCTV, continue to establish the identity of those involved.”

No one is believed to have been injured. Witnesses are asked to call 101 with reference number 9051 of October 13.

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