Three cheers for London’s robber-stopping heroes

Londoners get a bad press but the EJ intervention warms the heart.

Dwellers of London town have a bad rep. Particularly when it comes to stepping in to help a stranger.

In towns up and down the land, if you pause for a couple of seconds looking lost a local will usually spot the tourist, step in and give you some directions. In London, however, if you pause for a few seconds looking lost, you’re more likely to get trampled on and sworn at.

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So it was with joy in my heart that I wrote a story this morning about Londoners joining together to help fight crime during an attempted robbery at an Ernest Jones store in Kensington. Like a pack of superheroes, the 50-strong crowd grouped together to battle the bane of London jewellers’ lives – the dreaded motorbike smash-and-rob gangs.

While the store staff at Ernest Jones did the sensible thing and hid indoors as the gang smashed through the window displays with hammers, the crowd outside decided that they would not let this injustice pass unnoticed.

Working together, pedestrians and motorists did their best to foil the gang’s getaway, which had successfully bagged £40,000 worth of Rolex and Breitling watches. Motorists used their cars to block off the roads to try to prevent the swift exit of the villains on two wheels, while pedestrians used good old-fashioned muscle to pin down one of the robbers until the police arrived. And no doubt, as the famed hero John Smeaton of the 2007 Glasgow airport bombings would say, some of them probably put the boot in.

But my favourite image from this delicious scene of chaos has to be the tale of the passing road sweeper. Making sure he got his oar, or should I say broom, in he decided to use his work tool as a weapon to bop one offender over the head.

It’s not every day you hear stories of such public bravery. In fact just a few months ago during a robbery at a central London jewellery retailer passers-by simply watched as yet another motorbike gang successfully robbed a store.But not this time.

Not only did our gang of merry robber-stoppers take arms against the criminals, they also delivered swag bags of valuable watches back to the terrified store staff. Selfless to the end.

This is truly a story to make you smile. It seems that there are a few good people left in the world. Even in big bad London.

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