A gang of brave residents took to the streets to defend their community in Crystal Palace.

Following an attack on the Blockbuster Video store, in Westow Street, about 20 locals decided they would protect the road.

One woman who was protecting the store, Noreen Meehan, said at one point a police car stopped but then carried on.

She said: “They clearly had other things to do.”

She said a gang of about five youths had been hanging around looking for opportunities to steal and loot.

The residents had decided enough was enough.

She said: “I think Crystal Palace is like that.

“We have a sense of community.”

But the youths eventually overpowered the guard as the numbers dwindled during the night.

Jason Hutton, another member of the group, said: "At about midnight we dispersed. We just let them get in. There was no point putting our lives at risk."