Many shops and businesses closed early yesterday after rumours of widespread violence on social network site Twitter caused panic.

It was largely quiet across south London despite countless posts on Twitter claiming rioting and looting were coming to various boroughs including Sutton and Croydon.

High street shops and many businesses decided to send staff home based on the baseless falsehoods costing hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost revenue.

HMV and Argos closed by 3pm and other businesses followed suit but most of the pubs stayed open. The Metropolitan Police said there were no major episodes of disorder in any of the boroughs overnight.

Sutton Guardian assistant editor Matthew Knowles said: “Over the last two days there has been a huge amount of misinformation on Twitter. Some just blatant lies. We checked out as many as we could but the majority were nonsense.

“Having said that many members of the public took exceptional risks to send us video footage, photos and their stories from across Croydon which we used to paint the scene of horror as it unfolded and we are grateful to all our readers.”

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