Brent Council leader warns residents to stay inside their homes

Cllr Ann John OBE pins lawlessness in the borough on organised social media

The leader of the council has warned residents to stay inside their homes tonight in case looters resurface.

Cllr Ann John OBE has described the scene in Harlesden and other parts of London as “shocking” and “very disturbing”.

Blaming “organised social media” criminals for the lawlessness in the borough this afternoon she said: “Don’t go outside unless you absolutely have to because there is no need for law abiding people to be outside.

“This is organised crime on a grand scale and my advice to Brent residents is to stay in their homes.

The lawless looting which started in Tottenham on Saturday night, spread to Brent early this afternoon with a gang of around 40 masked people swooping on a pawnbrokers in Harlesden High Street

There were also reports of thieves attacking shops with makeshift weapons further down Harlesden High Street.

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Ms John has called for a full investigation into the part users twitter and Facebook has played in the riots.

She said: “I was hoping upon hope that it wouldn’t happen in Brent but from what I can understand this seems to be a lot of people using new social media to organise people in one place.

“If this is the young people of Brent telling us that they are angry about unemployment or poverty in the area then we are prepared to listen.

“But if this is just organised criminals using new technology to commit mindless act of opportunistic theft then that needs to be investigated and gotten to the bottom of a soon as possible.”