The August Riots Panorama

The August Riots

Similar Content

Browse content similar to The August Riots. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Tonight on Panorama, the week that shocked the country. They smashed


Argos, Tesco and Peacocks and they wanted to come this way. An orgy of


looting and the moment an 11-year- old girl turns to crime. I believe


we were watching a complete breakdown in law-and-order in our


country. We reveal just how the police lost control of our streets


to the mob. We were abandoned by the emergency services. We were


under siege. They were out to murder us. We ask what is behind


the violence? There are pockets of our society that are not just


broken, but frankly sick. All the anger they felt, the angst, the


passion, it erupted. How did the Tottenham, North London, 11 days


ago. There's trouble. Someone's been injured. Paramedics race to


help. But to no avail. Armed police from Operation Trident shoot dead a


young black man, Mark Duggan. The fuse for the worst riot in a


generation is ignited. This is where armed police caught up with


him. Exactly what happened next is not at all clear, but we do know


that a gun, not police issue, was later recovered from the scene.


After Mark Duggan's death, the police watchdog spoke about an


exchange of shots implying that Duggan had opened fire. Later, they


admitted that was wrong. If what happened round here was legal and


lawful, why didn't they tell the community, tell the family exactly


what had happened? Why do we have to have all of this mystery? Why is


everything shrouded in mystery? Mark Duggan was raised on the


Broadwater Farm Estate. There was a sense of numbness and disbelief in


the Broadwater Farm Estate this morning. In 1985, PC Keith


Blakelock was hacked to death here. The riot triggered by the death of


a black woman during a police raid. Now history repeats itself. Just


two days after the shooting, Duggan's friends set out from


Broadwater Farm. They are going to the local police station to demand


answers. It wasn't a march. We didn't chant. We didn't sing. We


strolled to Tottenham police station. You had placards? A few


hastily-written banners. What did they say? Justice for Mark Duggan,


that's what it said. After waiting for answers, patience runs out. The


mood begins to turn sour. I think that the young men who were there


felt really frustrated because it now appeared we had just spent four


hours and we weren't further down the line. The young people lost it.


They lost it. All the anger that they felt, the angst, the passion


that they felt, it erupted. Stafford Scott does not condone the


violence that followed, but the anger here is real. They reject the


idea that they are responsible for a broken, sick society. We don't


care what Cameron says. When people are doing the same thing in the


Middle East, they talk about the Arab spring, the heroes and the


rebels and they go there and they arm them. When they do it here,


they say they are mindless thugs. We can see the hypocrisy even if


the rest of the world can't. This is a democracy? I beg your pardon?


Is it a democracy where police can kill your kids on the streets and


they don't come to your home to account for it? We call it madness!


The march has led to this, officers pull back leaving the rioters to


laud it over the streets. Even the As Saturday nightfalls, chaos --


Saturday night falls, chaos. The riot heads north towards a local


landmark. Above the Carpet Right store, 26 flats. Omar, his partner


Barbara and son Oscar lived on the second-floor. Barbara woke me up at


1.00am and said there was a commotion outside. I didn't have


any idea of the seriousness of it and so I got up and looked out of


the window. At that time, I ask Omar, we have to phone the police.


They didn't listen to us. I phoned the police. You spoke with them.


They said to just try be safe. That's it. Barbara opens the window


to plead with the rioters. I shout to them, "Look, can you please stop,


children are living here" and they ignore me. She tries again. They


saw you? Absolutely. What did you say? Don't do this. One of the


rioters looked back up with Barbara and gave her his middle finger,


laughing, basically. London is burning. The people who live here


have to run or burn. We heard banging on our door. I opened the


door, it was a youth who didn't live in the building saying, "The


building has been set on fire, get out." I thought... Get out, get out,


they were saying. No-one comes to the rescue. We were abandoned by


the emergency services. We were under siege and they were out to


I condemn categorically anything that harms other human beings. I


condemn something that drives people from their homes with


burning buildings with children in their arms. I grew up in this


constituency. I grew up poor. I grew up without a father. I also


grew up with pride and understanding the difference


between right and wrong. This is wrong. Monday and the rioting


spreads like wildfire to 21 Welcome to midsummer hell. Down the


road from Tottenham, Hackney. Again, the police see control of the


streets to the youth. The battle is on and the police struggle to


contain the violence. They have a riot in Tottenham. Hackney wants to


have one. Unfortunately, we have brought up this generation


believing that whatever someone else has got, they have to have it.


Nowhere to hide. Rioters running wild. London welcomes people from


all corners of the planet. But look what happens to Asyraf Haziq, a


student from Malaysia. His bike has been stolen, he's been beaten up,


his jaw broken. He is rescued by "good" samaritans, but this isn't


how the story goes in The Bible, helpless, he is robbed all over


again. The Labour Party wants a public inquiry. After the Brixton


riot 30 years ago, Lord Scarman's report puts some of the blame on


high unemployment. That is not how the Government sees it now. These


riots were not riots like the ones in the '80s. These were intensely


criminal activities. These were co- ordinated. The mayhem that was


created, the burning of the buildings and the violent attacks


on the police, in some senses was a cover for the criminal activity.


Word of where to loot spreads rapidly, fuelled by social network


sites. As the police retreat, the rioters come out in droves. In


Clapham Junction a reporter asked the rioters what do they think they


are doing? We are getting our taxes back. What do you mean by that?


taxes innit. A local resident questions police tactics. I was


quite shocked to see about no more than 600 yards from where all the


action was taking place, there were three riot vans full of police in


riot gear and about five or six police cars parked up on the left.


I asked one of them, "With the greatest of respect, it is all


chaos down there and you are here doing nothing." He said they had


been ordered to withdraw because the protection of life was more


important than the protection of property. There is a sense that the


police got caught hopping. They were caught on the hop. They didn't


get this judgment right. tactics are going to be reviewed.


That is right. We are accountable. Let's not forget the bravery of


individual officers on the ground who were doing a tremendous job.


There is a real feeling whatever we do, we will be damned if we do and


we are damned if we don't. great British summer madness starts.


This is just one of many shops ransacked in Hackney. We have


obtained the CCTV. Great bargains in this place, everything must go!


But what is driving the looters? Anger? Greed? This is about a


(BLEEP) who got shot in Tottenham. Get real, black people! Get real!


What are you up to? Is this fun? Is this fun? Everyone was going mad,


like, chucking things, chucking bottles. It was good, though.


seemed to be a lot of people who were piling in for the first time.


It was opportunistic. Almost a sort of herd instinct. Kids that had


never been involved in these activities suddenly thinking that


they can help themselves, they had forgot the boundaries between right


and wrong. Even in London's suburbs, young mobs go on the rampage. In


the space of a few hours, plumes of smoke darken London's summer sky.


This furniture store had stood here in Croydon since Queen Victoria's


day. When looters set fire to it, the owner could only watch. 999


said they couldn't help. I thought I've got to phone somebody, I can't


phone me dad, he will be totally distraught. I will phone my brother.


As I phoned Graham, I found myself going, "They are burning the shop,


Graham, they are burning the shop." And your heart just - you know it's


all gone. There is nothing you can do about it. Maurice Reeve is 80.


He wants schools, police and politicians to do something. When I


was a schoolboy, if we picked up a stone and threw it at a policeman,


we were put in jail, we were imprisoned. You were marched off.


Firemen are being attacked. The police are losing the battle. Close


to the burning furniture store, the flats start to burn. One woman


jumps for her life. This moment becomes the iconic image of London


in 2011. The chap started screaming, "There is a woman still in there."


As I was standing here, I could see two feet, two feet popping from the


window and then the riot police and the small crowd were screaming to


her, "Jump!" The leaping woman, Monica Konzyk, only moved to


England from Poland in March this year. Jumping saves her life. In


some parts of London, enough is enough. In Dalston, many small


businesses are owned by Turks and Kurds. They are not afraid to stand


up to hoodies here. They smashed Argos, Tesco and Peacocks and they


wanted to come this way. Barber Mehmet takes to the streets. Team


Kurd has sticks, metal bars and kebab knives. In Dalston, the


phrase "community policing" takes on a whole new meaning. You don't


class yourself as a vigilante? We always say to police, express to


them that we are here not trying to be like take the law in our hands,


but act with the law in a manner if we can, like, maybe chase them or


get them together. And show them not to come here. If you come here,


we are ready whatever it takes. Their tactics raised some troubling


questions. But there is not much London wakes up to its biggest


hangover for three decades. In Clapham Junction, another kind of


crowd is gathering. The mood here is different. APPLAUSE The police


don't get bricked. For days, users of Blackberry and Facebook people


said fanned the flames. Now the social networks bring this clean-up


army together. Enter a blonde in a hurry. Where did he get that brush?


They love him. They love him not. The youths are running around


stealing, yeah? Now they are looting all the stuff. There is


reason for everything, Boris. Think about the amount of times you are


cutting and cutting? You are putting up youth fees? I have so


many friends who want to go to university. I understand. The Prime


Minister, David Cameron, says it is not about budgets but morality. In


the past he's warned about parts of Britain being broken, now he paints


a darker picture. There's been a lack of focus on the complete lack


of respect shown by these groups of thugs. There are pockets of our


society that are not just broken, but frankly sick. Let's talk about


this sickness of 1.4 million children living below the poverty


line, or 1.1 million children living with substance-abusing


parents. Shall we talk about that sickness, too? Some unlikely people


object to the "Broken Britain" label, too. Is Britain a broken


country? No, it isn't. Britain is not like some washing machine that


is bust that is not functioning at all. What's happened with these


riots and this looting is that it has exposed real issues about how


kids are brought up, about boundaries, about discipline and


about respect. He wants to come with me and see what is going on.


Iain Duncan Smith's diagnosis? Parts of Britain are broken. Very


high levels of violence. Big issues about crime and policing. Very poor


educational results. Kids in two and three generational families


that are lone parents, and have no set of values that we would


recognise. It is changing that culture - and I would encourage to


Boris to look at those issues - that you can't whitewash over that.


What would Boris find? One in five young Britons are out of work and


for young black people, it is one in two. There's also a large


percentage of lone parents so are broken families also part of the


problem? I think families have been disempowered. You hear some of the


parents of these rioters talking about the situation and saying that


somehow the children are out of their control as though it is not


As London cools down, the violence flashes across the country. A rash


of copycat riots. This is Wolverhampton last Tuesday, during


working hours. The police station is on fire. In Nottingham petrol


bombs rained down on a police station. West Bromwich starts to


rock. Rioting becomes almost an everyday habit. In Manchester,


youths go in for a bit of extreme shopping. But they didn't have it


all their own way. The Manchester police send in snatch squads.


Goodbye softly softly. Even so, the riots strengthen those warning we


had become a nation of softies. police force that can't smack


people any more for fear of it appearing on YouTube, youth workers


employed by the thousand who achieve nothing at all. An


education system where the teachers are scared of the parents after


they have administered discipline to some revolting little scumbag of


a child. Take the whole lot together and you have a destruction


of law-and-order. What's become clear is that passions are getting


toxic. To stop the riots from happening again, first we need to


know why they took place but on this there is no agreement. For


those on the right, it is a question of the collapse of moral


values. For those on the left, it is the collapse in economic outlook


for Britain's poorest people. have a whole load of clapped-out


politicians who have come on and denounced this. The first time,


certainly in my lifetime, a generation is growing up uncertain


about their future. They are not certain they can get a home or a


job. The politicians don't engage with them. In Birmingham last


Tuesday, a fresh orgy of looting, for snacks, cheap hats, mobile


phones and electronic toys. In Winson Green Asian men protect the


neighbourhood from looters. Three men are knocked down by a car


driven at high speed. Are they all dead? All three die. Friction


between Birmingham's Asian and black communities reaches boiling


point. That night across the city, police chase down looters, but they


couldn't be everywhere. This could get very nasty indeed. They have


caught him. They've got him. Then Tariq Jahan, father of one of the


dead men, speaks for England. lost my son. Blacks, Asians, whites,


we all live in the same community. Why do we have to kill one another?


What started these riots? What's escalated them? I lost my son. Step


forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise calm down and go


People listen, the rioting stops Now police on the ground get to do


their job. Thousands of suspects are arrested. We are going to take


positive action and as much as they might enjoy rioting, we enjoy it


even more locking them up. Perhaps most shocking of all - children


also rioted. In Nottingham one girl is filmed trying to smash windows.


She's only 11 years old. I have been in the force 29 years. I did


the miners' dispute in '84. This beggars belief what went off last


night. It was hard work. Police now say they expect up to 3,000 people


will end up being charged. All this as put an enormous strain on the


police when budgets across-the- board are being squeezed. The


Labour Party and others say it is now wrong to go ahead with a �2


billion cut to the police budget. We are surprised that they are


still talking about cutting police numbers by 16,000 and if you think,


that equates to the number of officers that have been keeping


London safe over the last few days. That is worrying. The people who


caused so much mayhem have been traipsing through this court and


others across England. The cost? Six people dead. �200 million up in


smoke. There is no getting away from it, this was a catastrophe.


How can we prevent it from ever happening again? Lieu ham, South


London, last Monday -- Lewisham, South London, last Monday night.


Behind them, they say there is a culture of ruthless gangs.


gangs that are run by these characters have become the


alternative employment strategy for them. They consider the gang


leaders to be heroes. The young people who live here feel distant


from those in authority, trying to come up with solutions. When you


got politicians slandering, talking about these areas are sick areas


and there's people out there - people who do not know any better.


We have to live here. We have to pick up the pieces. Whatever


decisions they make, we will feel the effect of it. For the


Government taking on gang culture is now a national priority, but


then so is cutting the country's debt. Ministers say they are up for


taking on the gangs, but will they provide the cash? That won't cost


any extra money? I am simply saying what we need to do is figure out


what it costs to do this. If we don't focus our money and our


priority on eradicating this problem of street gangs, dealing


with dysfunctional families and restoring some social sensibility


back to parts of our communities, all the rest of what we try and do


becomes almost impossible because they will drag us back down to


where we were a week ago. Back in Tottenham, for some life will never


be the same again. Whereabouts roughly? The whole of this block.


Omar and Barbara's lives have been overturned in seven days. This is


Download Subtitles