The clean-up has begun as community leaders, residents and workers react to last night's horrific violence and robbery in Colliers Wood.

Most of the Tandem Centre has been sealed off by police after Mothercare, JD Sports and PC World suffered the worst of the looting and vandalism.

Mothercare's staff are standing outside their work place and have been told the store will not be open today.

There were also more minor incidents in south Wimbledon (the Rose and Crown pub), Wimbledon town centre, and a handful of shops in Wimbledon Village.

UPDATE 2.15pm: Our Assistant Editor, Paul Cahalan, captured this mobile phone footage of the violence in Colliers Wood last night.

UPDATE 1.50pm: Businesses are closing in Wimbledon town centre after widely circulating rumours that they will be targeted from 3pm onwards. Morrison's supermarket in the Piazza has shut.

UPDATE 1.15pm: Unconfirmed reports that Wimbledon business have been told to close at 3pm. More to follow.

UPDATE 12:00pm: Merton Police, Merton Council, Merton Chamber of Commerce and other representatives are meeting to discuss what should be done amid fears of further looting in the borough tonight.

There is likely to be an annoucement later this afternoon about what measures are being taken to protect businesses and residents.

Helen Clark-Bell, Operations Manager at Merton Chamber of Commerce, said they were tipped off yesterday afternoon about predicted disturbances in Colliers Wood and Mitcham and passed this information on to their members.

She said: "The chair, Andrew Wakefield, will represent us at this Gold Group meeting which will decide what support we can give to businesses and what measures need to be taken later today."

UPDATE 11.55am: Senior Reporter Craig Burnett has spoken to a 77-year-old woman who said she was left a nervous wreck after rioters charged through gardens near her home.

The woman lives in Liberty Avenue, close to Christchurch Road - were at about 9.30pm last night rioters pelted a police van with bottles and other missiles, forcing it to retreat from the area.

She said: "I'm still trembling. It made me a nervous wreck."

To contact Craig, call 020 8722 6336, email: or tweet @Craig_Burnett.

UPDATE 11.35am: Click here to see our photo gallery of the aftermath of last night's destruction. More will be added throughout the day.

UPDATE: 11.28am: Siobhain McDonagh MP, Councillor Stephen Alambritis, other councillors and community group representatives will be doing a tour of the Tandem Centre in the next few minutes.

UPDATE: 11.05am: The leader of Colliers Wood's residents association, Keith Spears, has described the Tandem Centre as a "war zone".

Mr Spears, who organises events for 'Making Colliers Wood Happy' said last night's events had proved how important it was to involve younger people in community activities so they do not feel like outsiders.

He said: "What we need to do is organise a meeting with police and residents within the next week so we can get reassurances about what is being done and what more we can do.

"In the long-term, what we all need to be doing is do more to heal the divisions of society between the haves and the have-nots. I am not making excuses but that has to be part of the solution."

UPDATE 10.43am: Craig Burnett, Senior Reporter (at the Tandem centre): "I have just spoken to Trevor Mapp, manager of the Coral betting shop – which was smashed in by looters.

"He said: 'Unfortunately it is typical of society. They just wanted to steal. It is nothing about what’s going on in Tottenham, it’s opportunistic.'”

UPDATE 10.20am: Mitcham and Morden MP, Siobhain McDonagh has joined the Council Leader in calling for the army to get involved in any future riots in Merton.

Ms McDonagh witnessed the trouble in Colliers Wood first hand last night and said drastic action was now needed.

“On a personal level they do need to think about the army. They need bodies on the street and they need to calm things down,” she said.

“If people believe there is no consequence and think they can’t be stopped how are we going to impose any order and how long before someone is seriously hurt?

“I was there last night. I have lived there my whole life and it is better now than it has ever been.

“The idea somebody would want to ruin the neighbourhood and ruin jobs for people is beyond belief. It is unbelievable.”

Police had done a great job but were “completely stretched” she said.

“Police were stretched because of what was going down in Croydon,” she said. “They were completely stretched.

“I spoke to police at 1am who said they had started the day in Barnet and went to Ealing and Clapham Junction before Colliers Wood.”

Ms McDonagh said she would be out reassuring the community today and look at providing details of schemes happening for young people.

UPDATE 10am: The leader of Merton Council, Stephen Alambritis has advocated the use of the army if the violence returns tonight.

Coun Alambritis said: “There are no excuses whatsoever. This is plain, simple, criminal, opportunistic activity laced with violence and a propensity for the use of setting ablaze shops, which is arson.

“The risk of loss of life there is immense because there are a number of flats above shops.

Coun Alambritis said the time had come for the Government to consider deploying the army and the use of curfews if there is a repeat of last night’s London-wide anarchy.

He said: “The use of the army is something that needs to be considered and I would urge the government to look at that.”

UPDATE 9.45am: Councillor Nick Draper, who represents Colliers Wood at Merton Council, said he was convinced the youths who looted and destroyed shops were not from Merton.

Coun Draper also praised the police and said: "Police were being called over the place but it could have been an awful lot worse."

It is also believed some police officers have been at manning the Colliers Wood shopping site since 3pm yesterday.

Keep refreshing this page as we provide updates throughout today with more information and reaction.

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