Shops and parks close early amid riot fears in Islington

Shops and parks are closing early tonight amid fears that Islington will see an escalation in violence after two nights of trouble across the capital.

Sainsbury’s in Liverpool Road, Islington, closed at around 5.30pm while Islington Council’s parks chief Andrew Bedford said the borough’s green spaces would shut two hours early at 6pm.

Last night looters tried to break into Carphone Warehouse in Holloway Road, Holloway, while two police cars were vandalised, with one in Holloway Road having its windscreen smashed. A gang of up to 40 youths stormed the N1 Centre in Parkfield Street, Islington, stealing biscuits from a coffee shop.

Mr Bedford, Islington Council’s parks manager, said: “There is a significant increase in anti-social behaviour and crime activity in the borough in the form of theft, burglary and assault.

“Based on the police intelligence received and on the advice of the park patrol I have decided that it is necessary to take some additional steps to manage any potential issues arising from youths using the parks as gathering points for starting criminal activity. To this end we have taken the decision to start the park locking early tonight from 6pm.

“Hopefully things will not escalate and this will prove only precautionary.”