Mob riots stall broker business

Yuan Phoon

August 9, 2011

A broker located at Ealing Broadway station near the epicentre said: “The terrible events last night have left us very distraught.”

He was too scared to reveal his identity for fear of further attack on his premises.

Others were simply left without customers to see as people avoided travelling in the Capital.

Phil Browne, mortgage broker based in Ealing Broadway at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “I’ve had to have two cancellations. Business has quietened down as no one wants to come in obviously.”

Browne said the action taken by the rioters was “completely unnecessary”.

He added: “Miraculously our windows weren’t smashed in, the few police that were here were stationed right outside the office where the station is. Coming in today there were a number of shops around the area which were torn up.

“Shops were all barricaded as people tried to seek shelter, the Foxtons office has been smashed in entirely and the Tesco down the road got fully torn down. Even the entrance to our office was closed.

“A number of the shops closed early today and even I’m trying to get out early to avoid any possibility of getting caught up in the violence.”

Lea Karasavvas, managing director at Prolific Mortgage Finance based at Bank in central London, also suffered two cancelled appointments with clients as they were too afraid to travel into London. He took the opportunity to help out in his community.

This morning Karasavvas went to Enfield, a hotspot of the rioting to help with the cleanup.

Karasavvas said: “It seems to me that the youth are running riot out there. Much has been said of the rioters being unemployed venting frustration, but it obviously goes a lot deeper.

“One thing is for sure, it is no longer about the death of Mark Duggan. Everything seems a little too premeditated, and too arranged to be a spur of the moment reaction.

“Whilst I am sure the frailty of the economy is playing a part in this, it is sheer criminality that is the main driver behind these riots. Some of the scenes and seeing it firsthand this morning is truly shocking.

“For the second day in a row I have had clients cancel appointments, having had two appointments cancelled for today and two yesterday also, and it seems fear is starting to set it in.”

The first spate of violence occurred in Tottenham on Saturday night after an initially peaceful protest on the shooting of Mark Duggan by police last Thursday got out of hand.

Karasavvas added that August had been a very busy month so far with lots of purchasing going ahead but whilst the riots were forming part of the conversation with his clients, it had not stopped them from proceeding with their purchases.

“For me personally if there is no need to be in London I will avoid going in as my job can be done just as effectively at home, but as yet I am not seeing the riots affecting people’s decisions to purchase in London, only their decisions to come in for a meeting,” said Karasavvas.

“I went into Enfield this morning to see if I could assist with the clean up with the belief that if everyone gives an hour of their time, it will be done quickly. But on arrival it had already been done!

“Things like this do bring the local communities together but driving through Enfield town this morning was like being in a ghost town. Starbucks, HMV, and most of the phone shops had been smashed in but I was surprised to see many of the shops open. I think that says a lot about the public.”

The riots continue in London this evening despite prime minister David Cameron announcing there will be 16,000 police deployed on the city’s streets tonight.

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