LONDON RIOTS: “To have all this on your own doorstep is terrifying”

Rebecca's photographs of Peckham taken on Tuesday morning.
Rebecca's photographs of Peckham taken on Tuesday morning.

GRANTHAM artist Rebecca Strickson now lives in Peckham and has been caught up in the riots.

Rebecca, an illustrator, says the area, “usually quieter than Corby Glen”, has become a terrifying place, with the rioting starting near her home yesterday as early as 4pm.

Rebecca's photographs of Peckham taken on Tuesday morning.

Rebecca's photographs of Peckham taken on Tuesday morning.

Speaking on Tuesday afternoon, she said: “What has been most surprising is they don’t seem to have anything to fear.

“There’s no leadership. David Cameron turned up this morning saying “don’t worry, we’ve got it under control”.

“But this has been going on for three days now.

“The police look absolutely shattered. You can’t police something this unprecedented.”

Rebecca Strickson has lived in London for the past 11 years.

Rebecca Strickson has lived in London for the past 11 years.

Rebecca first became aware there was a major problem near her own home when she popped to Tesco near her home only to see windows being smashed and looters ransacking the store.

She said: “A crowd of 50 people were stood with open mouths as children and families were running in and out with booze and laughing. They thought it was a big joke.”

Rebecca ran home and could see nearby shops on fire.

She said: “Riot police were standing in the middle of the road, which is a pretty scary thing to see. Living in London, you are used to seeing protests but this is in my High Street.

“Peckham is actually quite a nice area but I felt very uneasy about being outside. It was quite scary and horrible.”

Rebecca stayed off the street during the evening and night, walking outside to survey the damage in the morning.

“Going down the High Street this morning there was just shop after shop that had been damaged - Burger King, Ladbrokes, a bank, Iceland, even the pound shop.”

She said she went to her local shop and spoke to a man there who had helped rescue a woman and her three young children.

Rebecca said: “Luckily they were fine but the shop wasn’t. It’s an independently owned shop and they will probably never get that back again.

“A friend of mine had her flat burned down in Tottenham and lost absolutely everything.

“To have all this on your own doorstep is terrifying.”

Rebecca has been keeping in touch with her family back in Grantham but says the 24-hour news channels don’t give a full picture of what’s going on while rumours are being spread on Twitter as news.

She said: “It’s really hard to decipher what’s going on. There are lots of rumours going round.

“I’m on Twitter quite a lot through work and people there keep saying it’s starting again. It feels like a film - a really strange film.

“I’m too scared to leave my own house. You don’t know what’s round the corner.”

Having seen looters up close, Rebecca believes there is no political motive to what is happening on the streets of London.

She said: “They seem to enjoy it. It’s not about political reasons, they seem to be really enjoying themselves.

“It’s just seen as an opportunity to get a free telly.”

The photographs were taken this morning by Rebecca.