Tottenham riots condemned by David Lammy PM - police response questioned

14:27 07 August 2011

"Lifelong Tottenham resident" David Lammy MP on riots

"Lifelong Tottenham resident" David Lammy MP on riots

Archant

Riots and looting which scarred Tottenham were condemned as “totally unacceptable” by David Lammy MP, who blamed troublemakers from outside the area for much of the violence, last night.

Mr Lammy rejected comparisons between the scenes on Saturday in Tottenham High Road, with the notorious Broadwater Farm clashes between police and protestors 25 years ago.

Forty two arrests were made by police during a night of chaos in Tottenham, when petrol bombs set alight buildings, cash machines were stolen and looters ransacked shops.

Violence flared following a daytime march by around 300 people to Tottenham police station, after the shooting on Thursday of Mark Duggan.

“The vast majority in people in Tottenham reject what’s happened,” said Mr Lammy.

“A community that’s was already hurting has had the heart ripped out of it. The post office, fitness shop, newsagents, council buildings- smashed to piece by mindless people last night, many of whom are not from Tottenham and who came from far beyond intent on causing violence.

“What happened here on Thursday night raised huge questions and we need answers, but the response to that is not to loot and rob.

“We do not know if there are fatalities in homes above shops which were burned down, we have officers in hospital, some of whom are seriously injured. This is a disgrace as many of my constituents have said to me as I have talked to them.”

Mr Lammy ended for an end now to the unrest, amid fears tonight could see more criminal disturbances blight the area.

“This must stop and this is nothing like the sort of scenes in Tottenham 25 yrs ago,” he insisted. “Then there was a particular relationship with the police.

“This was on attack on Tottenham, on people, shopkeepers, women, children who are now standing on the streets, homeless. There are questions about the nature of the escalation of this violence and the nature of the policing which led up to it.

Questions about the role of police before and during the troubles were raised, said Mr Lammy.

“I’m concerned that what was a peaceful process turned into this. And it went on for many hours before we saw the kind of policing which is appropriate.

“The small skirmishes we saw initially should have been stopped far quicker. So I have a meeting with the police and the broader community to discuss our way forward, and I think it’s very important to remember that this is a community.

“Many people are more about building community than destroying communities. For every person who threw a stone there are thousands committed to Tottenham to building it. That will continue, and we will start straight away to return our high road to normal.

“This is totally unacceptable. I’ve lived here all my life and to see a high road devastated like this is deeply painful. We need answers and I will continue to speak with the police and IPPC who need to be in close contact with the family of Mark Duggan, who felt totally isolated in the initial stages after Thursday night and we need know restraint and clam.

“I say to those who wanted to come to Tottenham to cause violence and disturbance to stay away – we don’t need you. We don’t 25 years of rebuilding communities and trust to be destroyed because of mindless nonsense.”

Related articles

Latest Stories

13:17
The banksy mural in Jeffrey's Street defaced by Team Robbo in 2011. Picture: Polly Hancock

An underground artist who became embroiled in a graffiti turf war with stencil artist Banksy in Camden has died having been in a coma since 2011.

Read more
12:50
The man fell from the top floor penthouse above Barclays Bank in West Hampstead (Picture via Google StreetView)

A man who reportedly fell to his death from a penthouse in Hampstead while naked has been indentified as a Harley Street doctor who ran a Botox clinic.

Read more
Planned engineering works could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

But which London?! [Photo courtesy of Basher Eyre]

You might know London like the back of your hand, but how well do you know the other Londons - and London landmarks - across the world?

Read more
The prize is glory (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

It used to be Manhattan that was famous for its majestic skyline, but now our fair city is catching up. Do you know your Shard from your Heron Tower?

Read more
Test your London musical knowledge with our album quiz (Images via Getty)

Does your music knowledge stretch from The Rolling Stones to Rudimental, Spandau Ballet to Siouxsie and the Banshees? If so then test it out with our London bands quiz:

Read more