Streatham High Road one year on from the London riots
When looters smashed the glass front of Mussarat Umer’s laptop repair shop, they also shattered her confidence.
One year on from the riots, her business the Multi-Service Centre in Streatham Hill is shut up after it failed to recover.
Her husband Usman Umer said: “She lost her confidence. Once you lose hope you can never get up.
“It’s not a matter of money; it’s a matter of confidence.”
Mr Umer said his wife lost faith in the shop after rioters stole £5,000 of electrical equipment and caused thousands of pounds of damage.
He said: “She did get help from the Government, which was very helpful.
“The main reason was she lost confidence.”
Mr Umer said she had also fallen ill that contributed to the closure.
Meanwhile it’s back to business as usual for other shops on the same stretch in Streatham Hill after they managed to rebuild.
Computer Mobile Services has bounced back even though Oli Osibo, co-owner of Computer Mobile Services, said they are still waiting for insurers to pay for more than £10,000 of damage.
Mr Osibo said: “It’s been hard because we are still in the process of claiming.
“But luckily we had the High Street Fund to help us cover the costs.
“I don’t really hold anyone to ransom, I’ve got past that. We are just doing what we are meant to do, which is business.”
These are just two of the 16 affected businesses in Streatham as well as 30 in Brixton, nine in West Norwood and Tulse Hill, and six in Clapham.
Over the past year £120,350 has gone to support riot-hit businesses and commercial areas in Lambeth, the council said.
This support included giving advice to businesses, reimbursing business rates for days of forced closure and funding events to promote high streets.
Council leader Steve Reed said: “The vast majority of people were horrified at the shocking scenes and the response from Lambeth residents in the wake of the riots was a welcome show of community strength.
“We worked hard to help affected businesses recover, supported events that gave people a chance to voice community unity and worked with police to help bring offenders to justice.”
In the wake of the riots police in Lambeth arrested 254 people and charged 210 with offences such as violent disorder, robbery and arson.
These cases have lead to a Metropolitan Police conviction rate of 82 per cent with people either pleading or being found guilty.
In May brothers Kieron and Ryan Keoghan were jailed for 18 months for stealing electrical equipment after 3 Store in Streatham High Road was gutted and lost £100,000 of goods.
However, many other looters have never been caught and police are still trying to identify 250 CCTV images of people in Lambeth.
Detective Alan Denton, who leads dedicated investigative unit Operation Withern in Lambeth, said their work continued.
He said: “I’ve been a police officer for more than 30 years and while we’ve had localised issues like this we’ve never had a disruption that has affected the whole city.
“We have become incredibly skilled at dealing with this kind of disruption and we are as determined now as we were on day one to bring these offenders to justice.”
Streatham MP Chuka Umunna said the people involved in theft and disorder were ultimately responsible, but there was a need to look at the deeper issues behind the unrest.
MP Umunna said: “That small minority was absolutely and totally wrong in their belief that it was their right to plunge our streets into chaos.
"Nobody ever has the right to spread fear in our community, and we must do all we can to ensure that what happened last year never happens again.”
Wasim Azam, co-owner of the S&G Food & News convenience store in Streatham High Road, also said he hoped riots would never strike again.
One year ago a hooded gang had looted the shop and hit his brother Maveed Azam over the head with a brick.
Mr Azam said: “That was a very, very bad time. It was too much frightening.
“But if you see it from the other side, people were helping others who were affected. They gave you courage.”
People interviewed in Streatham High Road predicted another riot.
Kioka Harding Edwards said: “I think it will happen again. I don’t think the Government did enough to look at the issues.
“They just fixed the shop windows, but didn’t look at the problems behind it.”
Kenrick May, 32, said: “Anything is possible. The way things are going at the moment anything is possible.
“Most of the areas have recovered, but some are still affected by it.”
Terry Moran, 53, said: “I don’t feel like it struck us that badly. It’s been easy to recover from it.
"I still think there is more of that to come.”