Travel Advisory:London Riots 08/08/11

London’s emergency services were on full-scale alert on Monday night as rioting, fires and pitched battles with police erupted around the city from late afternoon.The Metropolitan police poured hundreds of extra officers on to the streets as trouble flared in the north, south and east of the capital.In Hackney, east London, masked and hooded youths smashed up shops and threw missiles, planks of wood and wheelie bins at riot police. Several abandoned vehicles were set alight. There were also violent scenes in Lewisham, south-east London, where petrol bombs were reportedly thrown at officers, and shops looted. A bus was torched in nearby Peckham as police struggled to respond to the spread of sporadic violent incidents.Witnesses said a 100-strong mob cheered as a shop in the centre of Peckham was torched and one masked thug shouted: “The West End’s going down next.” A baker’s next door was also alight. One onlooker said: “The mob were just standing there cheering and laughing. Others were just watching on from their homes open-mouthed in horror.”The unrest had spread beyond London with West Midlands police confirming outbreaks of disorder in Birmingham city centre. Shops including a branch of Louis Vuitton had windows smashed and were looted. Extra officers were being sent into the streets of Britain’s second city.

Muigwithania 2.0 Issues Travel Advisory Against Non Essential Travel To UK

  • We advise against all but essential travel to low /middle income areas of London,City of Birmingham  including all township or  areas, which experience high crime levels.  See Safety and Security – Crime. 
  • Large public gatherings and demonstrations occur from time to time in the UK and these should be avoided.  Any rally, even if advertised as peaceful, could potentially turn violent. You should check local media reports for information about any planned demonstrations.
  • There is a high historical  threat from terrorism in London. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including places frequented by tourists and foreign travellers. Previous attacks have included a bomb attack on the London Underground(subway) & bus service, which resulted in significant loss of life.
  • The London Metropolitan  police have encouraged extra vigilance against possible  attacks  by vandals and anarchists on public places as a result of current heightened conflict  and riots in city.
  • There has been past fatal incidents involving police shootings of  foreign nationals (Brazilian shot in London train), although the racial motivations and circumstances remain unclear. None of the indiscriminate police action has so affected Kenyan nationals.
  • We advise against all but essential travel to within 30 km of  London and the city of Birmingham . There have been attacks  on civilians and fires reported .
  • You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.
  • No part of Britain should be considered immune from violence and the potential exists throughout the country for hostile acts.You should be vigilant and take extra care, particularly in and around landmarks and places where large public crowds can gather. Hotels, shops and restaurants used by the international community have been attacked in the past and it is likely that there will be further such attacks.

You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. Medical facilities, including ambulance services, outside major cities are very limited, and your insurance should cover you for the possibility of medical repatriation;. Check any exclusions and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. Leave your passport in the hotel safe, but carry a photocopy for ID purposes.Register with The Kenyan High Commission service to tell them when and where you are travelling or where you live abroad to allow for consular and crisis staff provision of  better assistance to you in an emergency.Kenyan nationals visiting the United Kingdom for more than a month and/or travelling to riot areas are recommended to register with the High Commission using the  on-line consular registration service.  If you are unable to access the internet you should contact the High Commission in advance or on arrival.
In Case of Emergency Contact
The Kenya High Commission
45 Portland Place
London W1B 1AS, United Kingdom
020 7636 2371

Telephone: 020 7636 2371
Fax: 020 7323 6717

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