RESIDENTS of Hither Green have blockaded streets with their cars to stop burglar Henry Vincent's funeral passing the home where a pensioner stabbed him to death.
Vincent, 37, was a member of the Traveller community who have promised the "funeral of all funerals" in south-east London today.
The burglar died after being stabbed with his own screwdriver while scuffling with 78-year-old homeowner Richard Osborn-Brooks on April 4.
Mr Osborn-Brooks was initially arrested on suspicion of murder before he was later released without charge.
In the weeks following Vincent's death, members of his family repeatedly placed floral tributes opposite Mr Osborn Brook's home on South Park Crescent, Hither Green in what many neighbours saw as a "veiled threat".
But today, worried residents have taken matters into their own hands after rumours that the funeral will be a "big event" costing over £100,000.
At least one car has been parked across the entrance to South Park Crescent, with the driver telling reporters he was purposefully trying to block Vincent’s mourners.
Locals in Hither Green are blockading the street where burglar Henry Vincent was stabbed - in case his funeral procession drives past. As you can see police also massively stepping up patrols in the area @LBC pic.twitter.com/Tqw8fRp1CC
— Rachael Venables (@rachaelvenables) May 3, 2018
He told the Mirror: “Yes that's right. We believe it’s scheduled to happen between 1.30pm and 2.30pm but we plan to have people here all day.
"A local residents group have organised it."
However, police say they do not anticipate the funeral procession entering Hither Green - with mourners expected to gather outside a family member’s house in Swanley, Kent.
A Met spokesperson said: “We are aware of reports that the procession will pass by South Park Crescent. At this time, our understanding is that the procession is not due to enter Lewisham.
"However, to provide community reassurance, there will be high-visibility patrols in the Hither Green and South Park Crescent area on the day of the funeral.
Good on them. Crass insensitivity to the family of the scum bag and funeral directors even contemplating going down that street 👍
— Simon Hall (@simonhall1974) May 3, 2018
The family have a right to mourn, he is still someone's dad, son, brother, etc. Not harming anyone by going down the street where he was murdered.
— Stephen Miller (@Blogolution) May 3, 2018
Good luck to the blockaders that trash and his family should no be anywhere near that neighbourhood.
— Jim Clark (@greatpoets) May 3, 2018
"It is not unusual for large funeral processions to cause traffic disruption.
"Any impact will be managed by traffic officers, and borough officers will also be deployed at key locations. No road closures have been requested."
The exact time of the funeral has not been revealed.
According to reports, a convoy of eight to 10 jet-black Mercedes limousines had gathered on a housing estate in Swanley as of 10.30am.
The house where Vincent died, in which Mr Osborn-Brooks cared for his disabled wife, Maureen, remains empty with heavy-duty metal grilles placed over its windows.
The elderly couple are reported to have moved to a police safe house amid fears of revenge attacks by Vincent's supporters.