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london riots
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The London Riots
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The London Riots

The riots that took place in London from 6th - 10th August 2011 are fairly old news now but the courts are still dealing with the people that were arrested on those nights and those subsequently arrested later after the police had studied the CCTV footage from cameras in the area.

The catalyst for the riots was the death of a young man called Mark Duggan who was shot dead by police on 4th August. A peaceful protest was organised by the friends and family of the young man in Tottenham, north London and a few hours later groups of young people basically used this as an excuse to run riot. Shops were smashed and looted, buildings were burnt down and there were criminals who drove up close to the trouble with vans and were getting youngsters to go and fill them with electrical equipment from the shops. Police were watching from a distance and the journalists were there filming.

There were some very distressing sights with all kinds of buildings and vehicles burning, buses, police cars, family businesses, huge warehouses, shops with flats above that had people living in them, all in flames and we just sat all night watching these scenes on TV and reading about new incidents as they were commented on on facebook.

But the most bizarre parts of it was watching ordinary young people just walking into shops and then coming out again carrying a large flat screen TV, others were sitting down and trying on shoes before deciding which ones to steal and one young man was later interviewed saying that he basically went out with a shopping list of things he needed for his baby and went home with nappies (diapers), formula and baby clothes. There is absolutely no way that I can condone what these young people were doing but it was fairly obvious that they had no money, no prospects and no hope of change and saw this as an opportunity to go get a few things that they weren't able to buy.

However the most surprising part was the knee jerk reaction by the government. They decided to make an example of everyone caught and dish out exceptionally harsh sentences. Those that were setting things on fire and the criminal gangs that were stripping the big electrical outlets clean deserved to be caught and punished but not all crimes are equal. A young student who happened to be walking home, didn't smash a shop window, didn't even enter a shop, had never been in any trouble before, he was thirsty and saw a bottle of water lying on the ground where someone else had dropped it, he picked it up, was caught on CCTV and received a prison sentence. Two young lads tried to encourage people, via facebook, to meet up and loot some shops. They were like the kids at school that no-one plays with trying to do something to get some attention, trying to make some friends, no-one took any notice of them, no-one turned up, there was no incident but they both got prison sentences too!

In all the areas that the rioting took place there were people there who knew most of the youngsters, who worked with them and understood their frustrations. They were out all night trying to talk sense into these kids and get them to go home. If anyone knew how to get young people back on track, what is needed to help them become a useful part of society it was them but did the government speak to them or ask their opinion?


Street Talk

I was in London when it all kicked off, luckily I wasn't near any of the trouble but very scarey all the same!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I think there were a lot of scared people around, especially on the first night

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Some young people nowadays are really being led astray....hmmm

Reply
  about 6 years ago

The trouble is that the more it escalated the more it appeared that they were thinking that it was ok to join in. Most of these kids had probably not been in trouble before but caught up in the moment!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

A prison sentence for picking up a bottle of water from the sidewalk?Very harsh.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I know, I was completely stunned...

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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