Police lines in the riots
In 1981 riots erupted in Toxteth putting Liverpool on the front page. Despite regeneration projects and massive cash injections in Liverpool has anything changed since 1981. Add your comments.
On Friday July 3rd 1981 the arrest of 20 year old Leroy Cooper on Selbourne Street, watched by an angry crowd, led to a fracas in which three police officers were injured.
Over the weekend that followed full blown riots broke out on the streets of Toxteth with pitched battles between police and youths throwing missiles including petrol bombs.
The riots lasted for nine days. During this period over 450 police officers were injured and 500 people were arrested. At least 70 buildings were demolished or burnt down during the riots, including the Rialto Ballroom which had played host to concerts by The Beatles.
The Rialto burns
Although the riots were sparked by tensions between police and the local community The Scarman Report into the Toxteth disturbances as well as others in Brixton and Handsworth concluded that "complex political, social and economic factors" created a "disposition towards violent protest".
The findings of the report led to the introduction of measures to improve trust and understanding between the police and ethnic minority communities.
last updated: 26/02/2008 at 12:14
Have Your Say
What are your memories of the Toxteth riots? Do you think the area has improved in the last twenty five years? Add your comments here.
John SOS Hannett
Ruth - West Derby
Gary - Vancouver