It was inevitable that faced with lawless gangs of feral youths and not a police officer in sight fellow residents were likely to take the law into their own hands and defend their businesses, shops, homes and livelihoods.
Last night despite it being relatively quiet in the capital hundreds of local people mounted patrols of their own areas and it seems that defence of communities is split along ethnic lines.
In Dalston it was the Turkish community which organised vigils along the high street to protect their businesses. In Enfield up to 400 Englishmen and women took to the streets to warn off any would-be rioters. Scores of Sikh men stood guard outside their temple in Southall.
Such self-defence measures have been welcomed by fellow residents.
Debbie Mumdy, 41, who lives nearby, said: “Most of the residents are really relieved that the Turkish community has been protecting the area. It’s thanks to these guys that Kingsland High Street wasn’t attacked.”
And Nick Smith, chairman of a charity fundraising business based near Dalston Junction, said: “It’s brilliant. These guys are obviously going to keep the trouble down. I don’t think this particular area is going to be attacked.”