Richmond Council is working closely with police to protect people's safety following last night’s London riots.

Councillor Pamela Fleming, cabinet member for community, business and culture said ‘rigorous contingency plans’ were in place, should the chaos experienced in the capital spread to the borough.

She said: “The violence we have seen over the past few days, with innocent people losing their homes and livelihoods, is indefensible. There have been no incidents in Richmond but we must be vigilant.

“I would like to reiterate what the police have already said. Please can parents make sure that they know where their children are, and ensure that they are not out at night.

“Also, I urge residents not to visit the areas that have had disorder to ‘take a look’. Spectators only make the issue more complex for the police and often get in the way.”

Coun Fleming added although the current riots were part of a constantly changing picture there were plans in place to deal with any incidents that may occur in Richmond.

The reassurance comes following a third night of rioting in London, where police struggled to cope with the escalating crisis as thugs set fire to shops, fought pitched battles with officers and looted stores.

Yesterday’s riots were concentrated around new flashpoints in Croydon, Hackney, Clapham Junction, Newham, Lewisham and Bethnal Green, but the violence also spread to central London where looters smashed the windows of Hugo Boss in Sloane Square.

Richmond’s Superintendent Jim Davis confirmed officers helped with rioting in Wandsworth and Croydon last night and all officers' rest days had been cancelled for the time being. He said officers were effectively working 12 hour shifts to ensure they had the resilience necessary to control the situation.

He said: “Richmond police officers are presently dealing with an extraordinary set of policing demands but whilst we continue to ask an awful lot of our staff, we equally remain determined to keep Richmond safe while providing the critical support to our colleagues in other parts of London. “Thankfully, we have to date been minimally affected but we remain alert to the intelligence picture as it develops and determined to provide sufficient resources to deal with any problems that may arise. I ask all of our residents to be particularly patient at this demanding and difficult time.”

He also assured residents no local officers had as yet been significantly injured and morale among officers remained high.