War of the Posies: Police intervene to say floral tributes to stabbed burglar Henry Vincent must be ‘respected’

A senior police officer has urged Hither Green residents to respect the controversial shrine erected for stabbed burglar Henry Vincent after it was repeatedly torn down.

Chief Superintendent Simon Dobinson intervened in a bid to calm tensions between supporters of Richard Osborn-Brooks and the family of the thief he stabbed to death at his home.

Mr Osborn-Brooks was arrested on suspicion of murdering 37-year-old Vincent while defending his home in south-east London last week, before being released without charge.

Since then, neighbours and friends have removed scores of floral bouquets and balloons placed on a fence in tribute to the burglar outside the 78-year-old’s home.

Police have been patrolling the scene in Hither Green (PA)

Chief Superintendent Dobinson said he was “aware of the concerns that have been raised by residents regarding the floral tributes placed in Hither Green” but said residents should “respect the wishes” of those who choose to pay their respects in public.

He said: “My officers have a responsibility to provide reassurance to local residents so they can go about their daily lives, while also respecting the wishes of family and friends to mark the loss of a loved one.

Richard Osborn-Brooks was arrested on suspicion of murder but released without charge

“They are not there to safeguard or facilitate the laying of floral tributes; we are liaising with the local authority who are considering appropriate management of the floral tributes.

“I do not want anyone to feel intimidated or that they are not being allowed to respond in a dignified way to a tragic death.

Killed: Henry Vincent, 37, who died from a stab wound at the home where pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks lived was wanted for previous burglaries

“We would urge members of the public to respect the wishes of those who choose to place flowers and other tributes in the area.

“We would also request those placing tributes or visiting the area to behave in a responsible manner so as not to disrupt the local community.

A message attached to floral tributes on South Park Crescent in Hither Green (PA)

“A small police presence remains in place in and around South Park Crescent to provide reassurance to the public.”

Vigilante: Why I tore down dead burglar’s ‘disgusting’ shrine

He said no arrests have been made in connection with the tributes.

On Wednesday, Iain Gordon, who said he was part of the Fair Society group, pulled down the flowers laid by the family of Henry Vincent.

The incident follows one on Tuesday evening where a hooded man ripped down half of the flowers.

Source : https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/war-of-the-posies-police-intervene-to-say-floral-tributes-to-stabbed-burglar-henry-vincent-must-be-a3811926.html