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The Riots - How They Began

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 25 August 2011

England has witnessed its worst rioting for a generation this month. The majority have been shocked by scenes of people, some as young as 11, looting high street shops with seemingly no fear of being caught by the police or of any punishment that could be handed out by the courts.

The violence started in Tottenham, North London, where what started out as a peaceful protest over the shooting of 29 year old Mark Duggan, spiralled out of control. Two days after Mr Duggan had been killed by armed officers, his friends and family gathered outside Tottenham police station asking for more information on the circumstances surrounding his death. Five hours later, trouble ensued.

Police cars were set on fire; shops were destroyed along the length and breadth of Tottenham High Road; and families were forced to flee their homes as the flames spread. Later that night, just a mile or so away in Tottenham Hale, the looting began.

The Report investigates what happened on that fateful Saturday - August 6th 2011 - in Tottenham and asks why the situation grew so violent. Wesley Stephenson speaks with people who were on Tottenham High Road when the violence broke out. He reveals deep-seated anger at the police within some sections of the community and hears claims that the police response was not robust enough.

Producer: Hannah Barnes.


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