People laying flowers in tribute to a suspected burglar who was fatally stabbed should not feel intimidated, a senior Met Police officer says.
Flowers, cards and toys in memory of Henry Vincent have been repeatedly attacked and removed from a fence opposite the home where he was stabbed.
Sir Craig Mackey, Met deputy commissioner, says the problem has put a strain on police resources.
Residents have described the tributes to Mr Vincent as “in poor taste”.
The 37-year-old, along with Bill Jeeves are suspected of burgling Richard Osborn-Brooks’ home on South Park Crescent – which remains cordoned off by police – on 4 April.
Floral tributes to Mr Vincent, understood to be part of the travelling community, were put back up on the fence opposite the home earlier on Wednesday, but were pulled down overnight.
Speaking on LBC the deputy commissioner said the Met was working with Lewisham Council to work out how to manage the tributes.
“We want those laying flowers to respect the local people and the impact on them,” he said.
“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.”
His comments come after Lewisham’s borough commander, Ch Supt Simon Dobinson, urged members of the public “to respect the wishes of those who choose to place flowers and other tributes in the area.”