Tuesday, August 09, 2011
I've just got home from work. It's a beautiful August day in London, and the streets are buzzing with people. It could be very pleasant, but instead, the people are being drawn out onto the streets to check the damage that has been inflicted on their communities by the vandals who have taken control of the city these last few nights.
I rode home from Croydon, spotting Boris Johnson on the way, giving an interview outside the cordoned-off and still smouldering furniture shop that got torched last night.
I rode on, up to West Croydon where a Tesco seemed only recently to have had its windows smashed in and its contents stolen, and another building remained the centre of four of five fire crews' attention.
A safe lay on the floor, in front of police lines, just in front a looted shop.
Shell-shocked residents of all ages and ehtnicity milled around baffled by the uprising. "How much do you think they got from that safe?" a young African woman rhetorically asked her husband as they walked by, two toddlers in tow.
My own suburb of West Norwood seems to have escaped relatively unscathed, although the Money Shop has had it's windows kicked in and its offices ransacked. No police officers were protecting the site when I passed, just one piece of police tape was keeping the looters from returning.
The saddest thing was that Money Shop still had a job advert in its window. If these riots are about a lack of earning opportunities for the young working class, why not apply for one of the jobs that are actually available in your own community rather than ransacking those businesses and chasing potential employers away?
There is no logic whatsoever, and this violence serves no purpose.
Let's hope the police are able to keep things under control tonight.
Posted by Andy Waterman at 10:06 AM