I was sitting in a side road watching an address in London for a few days when suddenly I heard the sound of breaking glass, I called up the other surveillance team members to ask if they had heard it, yes yes came the reply over the radio. I then saw a group of lads dressed in hoodies with their faces covered running across the top of the road, a quick news Google told me a riot had started close to where my team and I were staked out.
A quick call to the client explaining the situation and we decided to move from the area. We had a few other addresses to look at in other parts of London so we set off. We moved across London watching as riot police vans hurried past us with blue lights and horns blaring. What the hell was going on I thought, desperately re-tuning the in-car radio to a local London station.
No matter where we drove we saw groups of youths congregating on street corners, most with the same clothing of hoods pulled up around there heads and covering their faces, the air was electric. We soon discovered, no matter where we tried to go the riots were taking hold – let’s go via Ealing I said on the radio, it’s my old ground and I know the back roads to the north circular road.
Ealing, being one of those leafy quiet suburbs of London, where a lot of surveillance is done on bankers and insurance personal who live there but work in the city. Then the texts started coming in from old colleagues, Tottenham has gone up, Croydon is on fire and Ealing is a riot.
Hells bells Ealing having a riot, what the hell is going on.
The team and I finally managed to extract ourselves from rioting areas but not before taxi drivers pulling up next to me at the lights were saying,’don’t go down that road they’re hurling petrol bombs at the passing cars’. Thank you Black cab drivers for the warnings.
So my surveillance was on hold for a few days whilst mindless thugs ran our streets, ruined lively hoods and looted to their hearts content. Bring back national service and make these idiots do some good and get some discipline.
I was tempted to call them lazy and work shy, but having seen the first twelve rioters come out of court and reported they all had jobs; school teacher, estate agent, care worker etc. So the old we want a job excuse didn’t wash.
I also received phone calls from young uniformed guards who I had worked with over the years, ringing me for advice as their own company managers were not answering phones to them. I advised as best I could, change into civvies and turn lights off where you can, that way you are not a beacon in the dark and any uniform is a target.
For any of you out there that had to work during the riots, well done!
Having finished the surveillance I set off for sunny Devon on a CP job, clean air, nice hotel, Devon cream teas and moody Principals, oh well we can’t have it all.
Until next time stay safe