18.35pm: Two vans full of riot police are circling Sutton Town Centre.

An estimated 25 policemen are in the vans armed with batons and shields although they will only be called in if the situation escalates.

All police on annual leave have had their holiday cancelled and had to report to the station at 12 pm today. Every available policeman in Sutton is on call.

18.35pm: While all shops are closed, and some pubs, one chariy run coffee shop is flying in the face of police warnings.

Tazza Coffee, a non-for-profit coffee shop run by United Life Church who meet in Empire Cinema each Sunday.

Members of the church are sittting out in the High Street listening to music.

Peter Fingleton from the church said: "There was a sense of fear on the High Street this afternoon, many people were closing up and going home but we wanted to stay open because it's not right to be driven by fear.

"We are just a normal grouup of people wanting to help our community, we thought the best thing we could do would be to stay here, we wanted to create a good atmosphere and we will do so for as long as we feel."

There is still a police presence on the high street with 10-15 officers patrolling, but there are very few people around.

17.25pm: Pubs and shops in Sutton are 'playing it by ear' on whether to close currently - those that aren't already closed.

14.48pm: The majority of shops on Sutton High Street are now shut, including the St Nicholas Centre.

There is an increased Police presence in the area as groups of youths gather. Quicksilver has been boarded up.

14.35pm: Police presence is high in Sutton town centre amid 'rumours' there could be disturbances.

Officers confronted a small gang of teenagers in St Nicholas Way at around 2.25pm, pictured below.

More to follow...

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14.20pm: Sutton Police Borough Commander Guy Ferguson has released a statement in response to incidents of criminal damage in the high Street last night.

He said: "Police officers dealt with several incidents of criminal damage in the High street last night and into the early hours.

"I can confirm that there were no injuries to either the public or to any police officers in Sutton last night and several arrests were made and enquiries are very much ongoing with our CID investigating.

"I would like to take the opportunity to pay tribute to the police officers, specials and PCSOs who were on duty in Sutton last night. I witnessed first hand their real courage and dedication and commitment.

"We will continue in our efforts to help ensure Sutton remains safe. We are not complacent and there will continue to be an additional police presence in Sutton with extra police patrols.

"We have an extensive CCTV system and we will continue to monitor this closely.

"We are today continuing our ongoing contact with our local communities and businesses and together each and everyone of us must remain extremely vigilant in light of the unacceptable criminality across other parts of London."

14.14pm: Some shops in Sutton have been advised by police to close including HMV and Argos as a precaution against further possible trouble.

They were told by police there was no specific threat just strong rumours that people were coming to Sutton.

Other businesses have also indicated they may close early. Matalan has said it will be closing at 6pm.

Sutton Chamber of Commerce has released information to businesses on behalf of the Metropolitan Police.

It said: “The Metropolitan Police Service has dealt with several incidents of 'copycat criminal activity' across London which has resulted in over 100 arrests for criminal offences.

“The MPS is aware of the impact this is having on the business community and is making every effort to combat further criminal activity by increasing the levels of high visibility patrols across London.

“At this time criminal activity is taking place across a number of areas. There is no intelligence of specific targeting of identified business premises.

“The Operation Withern team is continuing their investigation to identify those people responsible for the violence, disorder and crime we have seen to ensure that they are brought to justice.

You may wish to take the following precautionary measures.
1. Where possible retail premises should be suitably staffed with security guards
2. Ensure staff report any suspicious activity to security and/or police
3. Consider regular checks of the building and surrounding area
4. Identify areas that are vulnerable to forced entry
5. Make sure all service doors are kept locked and secure when not in use
6. Ensure your CCTV system fully operational
7. In case of an emergency is there a record of the names of keyholders who can be contacted
8. Consider removing high value goods from display windows overnight
9. Consider keeping as little cash as possible on the premises
10. Ensure that your premises are secure and if fitted your alarm systems are fully operational
11. In the event of a non emergency, call the police on non emergency number 101
12. In the event of an emergency, call the emergency number 999
13. If you have any information you wish to provide to police anonymously you can contact the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

“Operation Withern is investigating the disorder and violence in parts of London over the weekend. An incident room has been set up. Anyone with information should call the major investigation team on 020 8345 4142.

“The MPS has extra resources on duty across the capital.

“We are carefully monitoring any intelligence and ensuring we have our resources in the right places to support the ongoing policing plan.

“We will continue to respond to the needs of London's communities and deal with any incidents of criminality.

“You may also wish to consider subscribing to the official police messaging system 'Neighbourhood Link'. To subscribe to this service please visit www.neighbourhoodlink.met.police.uk."

13.28pm: Sutton Chamber of Commerce has told businesses to carry on as normal in the wake of criminal damage and looting in Sutton last night.

Paul Cawthorne , director of the chamber, said: “Our advice would be to carry on as normal.

“People should not react to chinese whispers about what has happened or could happen, the police know before hand what is happening."

"Our advice is to wait for advice from the proper authorities.”

He condemned the violence but said he said the extent of the damage had to be taken in context in comparison to other parts of London.

13.08pm: Council leader coun Sean Brennan has condemned the violence in Sutton last night.

He said: “Last night in Sutton a small number of youths, of all ages and backgrounds, acted in a disgusting and lawless way. Their reckless and selfish behaviour has caused damage and intimidated local people.

“The vast majority of Sutton’s community are law-abiding and neighbourly – and I know they are outraged by what they have seen.

“Today we must all act to ensure there is no repetition of last night’s events. In particular I am calling on parents to ensure their children are at home this evening so they are not drawn into any trouble or get in the way of the emergency services.

“All of Sutton’s councillors and staff would like to pay tribute to the work of our local police who acted proportionately and swiftly to prevent the kinds of scenes we have seen elsewhere in London.

“Despite the shocking events we are seeing on television, I am proud that Sutton’s community is pulling together and carrying on business as usual.”

13.00pm: Sutton Council has released information about the disturbances in the borough last night.

It said: “In Sutton, there was minor damage to a handful of shops in our town centre and thefts from two retail premises – one in central Sutton and one in the Rosehill area.

“Three people have been arrested in connection with the central Sutton theft.

“Here there were no fires, contrary to rumours on social media sites, and no injuries to police officers.

“In Sutton there was a large police presence to manage a group of youths aged mostly between 13 and 19 – many of whom were spectators.

“There were also no reports of an increase in residential burglaries.

“Having monitored events across London, Sutton’s Town Centre Partnership took the step of advising pubs and clubs to close early last night and Sutton’s town centre manager was on the scene to provide advice to traders and local people.

“Sutton’s town centre is well equipped with state-of-the-art CCTV and police will today be reviewing the footage, with further arrests likely.

“Our Street Scene teams were in the town centre from first thing this morning to clear up a small amount of debris so that shops could open on time this morning.

“Tonight the police will again provide a large and highly mobile visible presence to protect local people and businesses.

“Today we are able to operate business as usual at the council, with all local public services operating normally.

“This morning our town centre staff and police officers are working directly with traders to assess their security and take appropriate steps.

“Today councillors will also be visiting shopkeepers and local people to reassure and advise them on the steps they can take.

“This will include the Mayor of Sutton Councillor Gerry Jerome, who is visiting the shops targeted by thieves.

“The council’s Twitter feed and website will be regularly updated with accurate information following a number of false reports last night about events in Sutton on social networking sites.

“Given the severity of the events in Croydon, we are offering support through mutual aid arrangements, coordinated centrally across London.”

12.46pm: A gang of up to 35 youths ransacked a shop in Sutton town centre last night.

The thieves targeted Best One in Lower Road, off Lind Road.

Siva Raj, 33, who owns the shop said the thieves entered the shop at about 11pm He said he was warned by police at 10.30pm to close the shop because looters were understood to be entering the area.

The thieves smashed a window and entered before stealing between £4000 and £5000 of alcohol.

According to information released by Sutton Council, three people were arrested in connection with the incident.

11.18am: Eye Witness Helen Matanda, 29, said: "When I walked past Sutton High Street last night at around 10 pm, there looked to be a few hundred youths gathered near ASDA.

"It looked like it was going to go off so I didn't stay around. When I returned to check on the situation at about midnight, the Police appeared to have it all under control.

"There were youths in cars coming from different area asking people on the street where the trouble was. They were actually looking for trouble, I couldn't believe it."

A gang of around 20 youths targeted at least four shops on Sutton High Street as the violence spread into leafy suburbia.

Matalan, HMV, Argos and ASDA were all attacked by gangs who attempted to ram shopping trolleys through shop windows.

At around 11.50pm last night, youths in hoods and balaclavas started to smash up high street shops, despite Police urging them earlier in the day to go home at 6pm and shop owners being told to close early.

Yobs clambered on bins to smash windows, looking to steal whatever they could get their hands on and Argos has its metal shutter ripped from its runners.

There were also problems in Rosehill in Sutton where youngsters attempted to loot the Carphone Warehouse, according to police.