The Met Police deputy commissioner has said those laying flowers to the dead burglar in Hither Green must respect what local people feel about the tributes.

His words come after a 'War of the Flowers' erupted at the site where 37-year-old Henry Vincent was stabbed by a pensioner during an attempted burglary.

Family of the dead burglar have been laying flowers opposite the home he was stabbed in, but they keep being torn down by furious locals and campaigners.

Yesterday (April 11), Chief Superintendent Simon Dobinson for Lewisham said residents should “respect the wishes” of those who chose to pay their respects in public.

However this morning Deputy Commissioner Sir Craig Mackey of the whole Met Police said it would have been preferable if the site had remained clear and that those laying it should “respect the local people”.

He said: “It would have been preferable if the pavement had remained clear and the local area had not become the focus of disruption which then needed police resources to manage.

“The local authority are considering how the flowers and items are managed and we are inputting to that. As the situation stands, that is how this has to be dealt with as laying flowers is not a crime.

“We want those laying flowers to respect the local people and the impact on them. Those opposed to the flowers should act responsibly, respectfully and reasonably.

“As the Borough Commander said yesterday we don’t want anyone – the local people or those visiting the scene – to feel intimidated.

“We will continue to work with the local authority so the disruption stops and the area can get back to normal as soon as possible.”