Ordinary citizens in London and other British cities are providing their own security as police become overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the civil disturbances engulfing the country on the fifth straight day of rioting.
In the heavily-Asian West London suburb of Southall, hundreds of Sikh men have taken action to protect their gurdwaras (temples) from looters.
Rumors circulated in the neighborhood that Sikh temples would be targeted by rioters.
Up to 200 men surrounded each temple, some armed with swords, cricket bats and hockey sticks, according to reports.
Sikh elders called for reinforcements among the local community to protect the largest temple in Southall’s Havelock Road. Reportedly, the sight of so many armed Sikh men has scared off would-be looters.
Amarjit Singh Klair, a Sikh resident from nearby borough of Hounslow told the Mail Online newspaper: “We are working alongside the police, they're doing what they can but they're stretched. Why shouldn't we defend our homes, businesses and places of worship? This is our area. There's lots of talk about it kicking off here. But we're ready for them.”
Similarly, Turkish store-owners in Dalston, East London, armed themselves with baseball bats and pool cues to scare off a mob of would-be looters.
“The police were telling us not to chase them,” a kebab shop owner told media: .”But it was only down to us that they went away.”
In another East London neighborhood, East Ham, several hundred Asian residents chased off a large group of rioters. Asians in Bethnal Green similarly scared off looters from their property.