In the face of widespread destruction and violence across London residents have shown community spirit by standing up to criminal gangs.

Residents in Crystal Palace stood firm, a Hackney woman confronted rioters and a group of Turkish men chased looters away in Dalston. Such were three iconic acts of bravery that have shone through despite the violence in London Monday night.

South London residents have been united in their stand against the mindless vandalism across towns in the capital Monday night. As violence spread across London last night, a handful of brave residents in Crystal Palace stood up to the thugs for as long as they could.

It was a sensational act of bravery amid scenes of utter carnage and destruction. The gang of brave residents in Crystal Place stood firm to defend their embattled communities as the police lost control of the capital's streets.

One man was seen protecting his store, Noreen Meehan, a local resident told the Croydon Guardian, and she said at one point a police car stopped but then carried on. She said a gang of about five youths had been hanging around looking for opportunities to steal and loot. "They clearly had other things to do," she said of the police.

Youths did eventually overpower the guards as numbers dwindled as the streets became more and more dangerous. The residents said they had to move from their shops and properties because they believed their lives were in serious danger and shops were eventually looted across Crystal Palace.

It mirrors the extraordinary scenes in Hackney where an elderly West Indian woman confronted rioters in an iconic stand broadcast across social media sites. Witnesses videoed the courageous woman who was yelling at the rioters; even heard above the smashing of shop windows and overhead police and media helicopters. "That woman in the shop there, she's working hard to make her business work and you lot want to and burn it up, and for what? Just to say that you're warring and you're bad men," she yells.

It was a fearless stand that has captured the mood of the vast majority of the nation. On social media sites, Londoners have been calling on communities to stand up to the mindless and gratuitous violence that has, and will continue to put many lives in danger. The woman has been hailed as the voice of reason amid the chaos and has been championed across the UK. The woman left the scene before journalists could take her name.