Police have ordered large areas of Greenwich and Bexley to disperse from 2pm today (Nov 5) and additional stop and search measures have been authorised across specific locations in the boroughs.
The dispersal zone covers large areas of Woolwich, Eltham, Erith and Welling, whilst a Section 60 stop and search Order has also been issued by Met Police covering specific locations in Greenwich.
This likely is a response to predicted antisocial behaviour later tonight (Nov 5) to mark Bonfire Night, and police appear to be gearing up for planned violence despite the country now being under lockdown restrictions once again.
The Section 60 Order gives officers extra powers inside the designated areas, meaning anyone can be stopped and searched by a uniformed officer without the usual requirement for reasonable grounds.
The move is a preventative one, in this case targeted at precise locations in the borough, and is aimed at stopping planned violence.
The areas in Greenwich included in the S60 Order are Burrage Road, Plumstead Common Road, Nightingale Place, the A205 Grand Depot Road, the A205 John Wilson Street, A206 Beresford Street, and roads within and including the boundary that is the A206 Woolwich High Street.
This commences at 2pm on Thursday, November 5 until 2am the following day in a bid to stop violence.
Greenwich MPS and Bexley MPS havealso simultaneously authorised a Section 34 Dispersal Zone, covering large swathes of the two boroughs.
Also commencing at 2pm but a day earlier, and ending at 2pm on Friday, November 6, the dispersal order is in place for the following wards: Woolwich Common, Woolwich Riverside, Eltham North, Eltham South (all Greenwich).
In Bexley, the wards include Erith, Northumberland Heath, West Heath, Barnehurst, Crayford, Bexleyheath, Crook Log, West Heath, East Wickham, Falconwood, , Blackfen and Lamorbey, Longlands, Blendon and Penhill, Sidcup and Welling.
Whilst not confirmed by police, the measures appear to be a direct response to planned violence in Greenwich during the Bonfire Night celebrations.
Widespread antisocial behaviour has become an annual event in south east London over Halloween and Bonfire Night.
On Saturday last week, aka Halloween, videos emerged of gangs of youths roaming the streets in Woolwich, setting off fireworks, with some aimed at buses, people and even put through people’s letterboxes.
Following the disruption, some on social media have warned of further plans on Thursday, November 5.
Last year saw a similar level of chaos when a gang set of fireworks inside a cinema in Eltham.
Greenwich Police, and teams across London, have also said there will be enhanced patrols in town centres and across the borough to enforce the new Covid-19 restrictions.