7PM UPDATE: The Croydon riots - latest news
Calm and a sense of order appear to have been brought to Croydon's streets tonight, with no sign of the riots that blighted the borough last night.
Most shops, including the Whitgift Centre, closed early on Tuesday afternoon, with the town centre sent into lockdown mode on police advice.
However, there has been no serious disorder so far today - a day when leading politicians including Prime Minister David Cameron, London mayor Boris Johnson and his Labour counterpart Ken Livingstone descended on the town.
Our photographer, Grant Melton, has just tweeted that Mr Livingstone "was clearly upset by the damage and spoke to many people" during his early-evening visit to West Croydon.
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Earlier today, the Prime Minister made a fleeting visit to the town, during which he surveyed the damage in West Croydon and Broad Green.
The Advertiser has been updating the situation throughout the day. Here is how the day has unfolded:
9.30am: Croydon Council leader, Councillor Mike Fisher, says a sense of community spirit has risen from the ashes of last night's fires.
He said: "What we saw last night was the destruction of our communities by a mindless minority that the majority of people hold in complete and utter contempt
"But rising from the smoke and ashes we very quickly saw that the people of Croydon who hold this place, its community bonds and its history dear begin to mobilise themselves in defiance of those criminals.
"Croydon will rebuild itself like it has done in the past. It will not be defeated and the council will do all that is possibly can to help make that happen."
9.40am: The chief executive of Croydon Council has said the authority has huge amounts of CCTV footage of last night's riots, which it will release in a bid to catch the perpetrators.
Speaking to the Advertiser this morning Jon Rouse said: "I spent quite a lot of the night in the CCTV control room and we've got an awful lot of footage. We've got faces of the people who were looting and car registration plates. We hope to release the information in the next couple of days."
Mr Rouse said although many of the rioters were from Croydon, opportunistic looters had come from further afield.
"When I was driving back into Croydon from Wandsworth last night there were loads of kids coming in in cars.
"It's impossible to put a figure on the damage at this stage – but the most important thing is to show that we will not be beaten by this. If they decide to do this again tonight and tomorrow night we'll be back out clearing it up."
The council chief refused to comment on whether the Army should be brought in, saying it was a "political matter".
9.55am: Just to confirm, tonight's Carling Cup match between Crystal Palace and Crawley Town at Selhurst Park has been postponed, because of safety concerns.
10.00am: Reporter Gareth Davies spent several hours last night in the heat of the riots and tweeted as the chaos unfolded. Follow him on Twitter at gareth_davies09
10.05am: Bringing in troops to control the yobs who destroyed large parts of Croydon on Monday night should not be ruled out if there is a repeat of violence, Croydon North MP Malcolm Wicks has said.
Mr Wicks, who cut short his holiday in Alderney to visit the scene of devastation, said: "I feel a sense of disgust about these hooligans. They are meant to be citizens.
"The crucial thing now is for the police, the CPS and the courts to move with great haste. Evidence, of course, has to be presented but judges should be acting within days rather than weeks to start sentencing people to very many years in prison or many people will think they have got away with it.
"We need some really stiff exemplary sentences in Croydon."
Mr Wicks added the use of water cannon or even tear gas should not be ruled out to control any repeat of the rioting.
He said: "I never thought I would say this but we should also not rule out bringing in the army with heavy personnel carriers to clear the yobs.
"It has become clear that on Monday night the police were totally outnumbered and in many respects out manoeuvred and we need to look at that at some stage.
"I just feel upset about what has happened in the borough, there are no excuses."
10.20am: Specualtion is rife on Twitter that 1,700 extra officers were deployed across London to deal with last night's disorder, compared to nearer 5,000 for the Royal Wedding.
10.35am: Richard Ottaway, Conservative MP for Croydon South, has condemned last night's behaviour, calling it "disgraceful".
Richard said:"I utterly condemn last night's mindless and anarchic behaviour. There was no justification for this sheer criminality. The police have my full support and I congratulate them for their bravery in very difficult circumstances.
"I sympathise with my constituents and all whose homes and businesses have been trashed. I call on local community leaders to use their influence to calm the situation."
10.45am: The community in Croydon is working together to try overcome last night's violence, writes Advertiser reporter Joanna Till.
The Advertiser's hashtag, #croydoncleanup, was being circulated on Twitter throughout the borough, encouraging people to help each other.
Offers of help were coming in from far and wide, from those offering a support network to people left homeless by the fires to a call for people to check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours.
People were also being encouraged to order furniture from houseofreeves.com, to support the Reeves family after their business was gutted by a huge blaze.
Croydon Council also warned people against coming into the town centre to help clear the area, and said large crowds could worsen the volatile situation.
Last night members of Purley Breakfast Club also met at Big Mike's restaurant for the inaugural Purley Dinner Club.
Organiser Jonny Rose said: "Now, more than ever, we need the community to come together and unite against this."
11.10am: The Prime Minister has recalled parliament on Thursday, in the wake of last night's events. Meanwhile, London mayor Boris Johnson has condemned the violence, calling it "utterly appaling".
11.45am: Croydon Council leader Mike Fisher has told our reporter Ian Austen of his disgust at the rioters' actions.
He said: "These people are not protesting about anything, they are just mindless hooligans who think it is acceptable to destroy other peoples' property and lives."
Mr Fisher added: "It has taken years to build up Croydon's economy and reputation as a retail centre, it has taken just minutes to destroy a business like Reeves which has been here for 100 years.
"At the end of the day nothing has been achieved other than a few idiots have got themselves a free pair or trainers or a plasma telly."
11.50pm: Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell says police have been drafted in from as far away as South Wales, to help officers in Croydon.
He added: "I am deeply saddened and furious that people can behave in this way. The impression I have got is that there was a small core of people who were moving around starting things off and a wider group of local people were joining in once things were underway."
12.30pm: A 26-year-old man shot dead during the riots last night has died, police have confirmed.
12.45pm: Homes and businesses in London Road, West Croydon, were among those worst hit, with fires still being tackled early this morning.
Reporter Rachel Millard has spoken to Hiba and Heena Phansopkar, sisters aged 17 and 20, who stood and watched as the building they'd lived in for ten years crumbled into the road.
"They had no right to do that," Heena said. "No right to come to our homes and do that. We're devastated."
12.50pm: Advertiser reporters following up reports of more trouble in New Addington. If you're in the area, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01737 783865.
1pm: Reporter Gareth Davies (gareth_davies09) tweets: "To those concerned by reports of #Croydon town centre closures and rioting in West Croydon - police confirm this is NOT the case." Elsewhere on Twitter, Croydon-born illusionist Derren Brown has tweeted: "Awful watching Croydon hometown torched. Though want to scream at media to stop showing images of fire & damage which only encourages."
1.05pm: Click here for a gallery of pictures from the Croydon riots, including CCTV images of some of those the police believe are responsible for the disorder: http://www.thisiscroydontoday.co.uk/pictures/Gallery-Croydon-Riots/pictures-13097360-detail/pictures.html
1.15pm: Whitgift Centre boss Andrew Bauer has just told us he is closing the centre for the rest of the day, while reporter Joanna Till says shops in North End are putting the shutters down, with suggestions a group of people is congregating at West Croydon.
1.25pm: Reporter Gareth Davies has tweeted that Central Parade, in New Addington, is closing
1.45pm: More on the Whitgift Centre shutdown from centre director Andrew Bauer.
He told the Advertiser: "Local intelligence is that there is a massing again in West Croydon. I am acting on police advice to shut the centre and I am going round our tenants telling them to close. There will be a progressive closure over the next hour."
Mr Bauer said several shops in the centre had been hit by rioters on Monday night including a jewellers, a fashion shop and mobile phone store, all of which had been cleared out.
He said: "This was very much targeted looting."
Mr Bauer added: "We will have 30 extra security staff on patrol in the centre tonight but our problem is that although we can lock the main entrances there are several shops which have frontages on North End and if they smash through them they can get to the main part of the centre."
Staff at Centrale said at 1.15pm that the centre was still trading normally.
2.30pm: Centrale shopping centre is now closed. Meanwhile, the TV news channels are showing images of David Cameron's fleeting visit to Crioydon earlier. It wasn't widely publicised, hence the lack of media coverage.
3.15pm: All seems relatively calm in Croydon at present. Reporter Ross Lidbetter says there is a tense atmosphere in New Addington, but no sign of trouble as yet. Tesco in Purley has closed as a precaution but there is very little sign of any problems, according to our man on the scene.
3.35pm: Croydon's flagship store, Allders, has escaped relatively unscathed from the riots so far.
Allders manager Max Menon said: "We had one man try to break in but when he saw our security guards he ran off. We also had several people on the roof.
"It is so unfortunate for Croydon and it is devastating for the businesses which were attacked.
"This was not a protest it was pure criminality."
4.25pm: Croydon, thankfully, is quiet but rumours are rife that some disturbances have hit neighbouring Sutton. If you've seen anything, please email email@example.com
4.30pm: Reporter Rachel Millard has been down to Valley Park, to see the aftermath of the looters' actions from last night. Ikea escaped, but three retailers were ransacked - Sportsworld, Best Buy and CarPhone Warehouse.
A Sportsworld manager, who asked not to be named, said: "They left plenty of forensic evidence – box cutters and things like that. The police shouldn't have much trouble finding them."
5pm: The Twitter-sphere seems to be alive with rumours that London mayor Boris Johnson is in Croydon at the moment. The Advertiser understands he isn't, but that his Labour rival Ken Livingstone could be on his way to inspect the damage in the borough sometime this evening.
5.30pm: We can't get everything right (no jokes please...) Boris Johnson has made a brief visit to Croydon, to meet MP Gavin Barwell. We were at least right with Ken Livingstone though - he's in West Croydon as we speak.