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The reason for riots? There is no reason!

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It’s not every day you pop out to the corner shop to be confronted by shops and pubs shut, bins on fire, crowds attacking police cars and smashing up the local Halifax. But for many Londoners (and people in other communities) this was the frightening reality last night.

London riotsAnd I was one of the ‘lucky’ ones! In my area of Bethnal Green it was relatively tame, but throughout the night there was a tangible sense of tension and fear – as images from Croydon, Hackney etc. hit our screens, with their buildings ablaze panicked people could be seen hanging out their windows in flats above shops. Were they next to lose their homes in flames?

As ‘youths’ (and I can say most the people involved were under 18) charged up and down Bethnal Green Road attacking cars, kicking windows, setting bins alight and pelting Police all the majority could do was watch in disbelief. How could it be worse elsewhere?

Worse than 100 people looted the local Tesco store and injuring two officers – well I guess we didn’t get any fires.

The reason? Asking a rioter all I got was a shout about ‘fucking stuff up’ – regardless of the original trigger for the Tottenham riots, this is now nothing but motiveless, peer-led, opportunistic vandalism and looting. Bored kids with no one effectively enforcing the law.

I witnessed a situation without order – the police did not have a grasp on the situation and the feeling of being untouchable was clear amongst the laughing, smiling mass of young people on the streets.

The societal issues that have caused a nation of disillusioned and disenfranchised young people have been buried by the actions of thuggish behaviour and criminality.

Should we deal with the problems that have caused this and help give our youth some hope and a future? After a night of fear, violence and riots, the problem is, many people are starting to ask why we should bother.

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