According to the news reports, this is the third attack by the same man.
Probably turn out to be someone on a 'care in the community' scheme. There is no way to prevent this
rare type of incident, short of permanently locking up everyone who shows any type of anti-social behaviour.
I have always thought the worst way to die must be by burning. The pain must be incredible. Must check
my smoke alarm is in full working order!
Didn't think of that! Good deduction loafer
There are certainly plenty of small shops in SE1 vulnerable to that kind of intimidation. The police
can't exactly keep watch 24/7. The 3 attacks reported were in broad daylight and you would have
thought if it was a protection racket of some kind the perp would have worn a balaclava or disguise
of some kind. Maybe it's someone in the fire extinguisher market.
It makes my blood boil, those small shops struggle so hard and work such long hours and some nutter is out to get them because it seems that it's a black man who hates Asians. Well, I'll be looking when I pass any small newagents around here. And so should we all.
It wouldn't surprise me that the police describe any attack where the attacker and victim are of different races as being "racially motivated". Since the MacPherson Report, the Met has been at pains to present itself in a less "institutionally racist" light, particularly in South London.
So, immediately presenting the theory that the crime is racially motivated probably helps the Met's image (and ergo it's relationship with potential witnesses) more so than if they take the racial element on board much later.
If the fire bomber had been asian "in the absence of any other possible motive" i assume they would have probably branded him a terrorist.
If this is the same incident that i was just watching on the news - apparently the arsonist was involved in 3 such attacks - all on asian shops/shop owners. if that is the case, racist motivation would certainly be a distinct possiblity. though of course a lot more asian shops are open at all sorts of hours which probably makes them easier targets.