The August Riots Panorama


The August Riots

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

:00:10.:00:17.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:00:55.:01:04.
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passion, it erupted. How did the Tottenham, North London, 11 days

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

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

:01:37.:01:47.
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young black man, Mark Duggan. The fuse for the worst riot in a

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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everything shrouded in mystery? Mark Duggan was raised on the

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

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

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

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

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

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

:03:03.:03:13.
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answers. It wasn't a march. We didn't chant. We didn't sing. We

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:04:53.:05:03.
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laud it over the streets. Even the As Saturday nightfalls, chaos --

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I condemn categorically anything that harms other human beings. I

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condemn something that drives people from their homes with

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

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

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grew up with pride and understanding the difference

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

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

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

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

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

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have one. Unfortunately, we have brought up this generation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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created, the burning of the buildings and the violent attacks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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been ordered to withdraw because the protection of life was more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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never been involved in these activities suddenly thinking that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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this sickness of 1.4 million children living below the poverty

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line, or 1.1 million children living with substance-abusing

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

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

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

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

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

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kids are brought up, about boundaries, about discipline and

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

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

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

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educational results. Kids in two and three generational families

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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parents of these rioters talking about the situation and saying that

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

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:20:11.:20:21.

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

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of copycat riots. This is Wolverhampton last Tuesday, during

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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employed by the thousand who achieve nothing at all. An

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education system where the teachers are scared of the parents after

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they have administered discipline to some revolting little scumbag of

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

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

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

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

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

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

:22:07.:22:16.

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

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

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certainly in my lifetime, a generation is growing up uncertain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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between Birmingham's Asian and black communities reaches boiling

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

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

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

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

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

:23:46.:23:52.

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

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

:23:58.:24:08.
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People listen, the rioting stops Now police on the ground get to do

:24:21.:24:30.

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

:24:30.:24:35.

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

:24:35.:24:42.

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

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

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

:24:56.:25:00.

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

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

:25:09.:25:18.

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

:25:18.:25:25.

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

:25:25.:25:30.

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

:25:30.:25:34.

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

:25:34.:25:38.

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

:25:38.:25:41.

that equates to the number of officers that have been keeping

:25:41.:25:48.

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

:25:48.:25:53.

caused so much mayhem have been traipsing through this court and

:25:53.:25:58.

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

:25:58.:26:03.

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

:26:03.:26:13.
:26:13.:26:14.

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

:26:14.:26:23.

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

:26:23.:26:30.

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

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gangs that are run by these characters have become the

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alternative employment strategy for them. They consider the gang

:26:41.:26:45.

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

:26:45.:26:51.

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

:26:51.:26:55.

got politicians slandering, talking about these areas are sick areas

:26:55.:26:58.

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

:26:58.:27:02.

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

:27:03.:27:06.

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

:27:06.:27:11.

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

:27:11.:27:15.

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

:27:15.:27:22.

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

:27:22.:27:27.

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

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

:27:32.:27:36.

priority on eradicating this problem of street gangs, dealing

:27:36.:27:40.

with dysfunctional families and restoring some social sensibility

:27:40.:27:45.

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

:27:45.:27:48.

becomes almost impossible because they will drag us back down to

:27:48.:27:56.

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

:27:56.:28:02.

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

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

:28:07.:28:14.

The worst civil unrest for decades has led to tens of millions of pounds of damage, dozens of injured policemen and wide-scale looting as gangs of youths have rampaged through London and other major cities. Panorama tells the full story of the August riots and asks what has led a generation to violence.


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