I am still reeling from the past four nights of arson, looting, vandalism and murder. My local area, Ealing, was directly affected with many businesses looted and cars torched. Yesterday I wandered along the highstreet, amid a tangible atmosphere of apprehension, among the boarded up shops and restaurants and forensic police officers feeling utterly despondent.
Perhaps most distressing of all is the plight of an unidentified Ealing man lying in intensive care with life-threatening head injuries after attempting to put out a street fire. The arsonists beat him unconscious and stole his wallet - along with any hope of identifying him - and no contact has yet been established with his family.
Many theories are being thrown around in regards to the cause of such social upheaval but I am genuinely bewildered as to how much cruelty can be inflicted in so short a space of time. Luckily we appear to be over the worst and the positive scenes of spontaneous street cleaning is uplifting in an otherwise extremely bleak period.
I feel so much sorrow for all those who have had their livelihoods vandalised and ransacked, those who have seen their homes and irreplaceable memories go up in flames, those who have been assaulted and to those who have actually lost members of their families. But as my mum reminded me, there is always far more good in the world than bad. I truly hope so.
Photo credit: Gavin Edmonds