Almost exactly a year before the city plays host to the Olympic Games, the riot and violence has raised concerns for the city’s security. Theviolence spread outside London, with serious eruptions of violence in Birmingham and Liverpool, but the scale of events in the British capital was unprecedented, and utterly overwhelmed the city’s 32,000 police.
Police called in hundreds of reinforcements and volunteer police officers but even with armoured vehicles in some of the worst-hit districts, the police still struggled to keep pace with the chaos unfolding across London, in the central city of Birmingham, the western city of Bristol and the northwestern city of Liverpool. Prime Minister David Cameron said some 16,000 police would be on London’s streets on Tuesday night, up from the 6,000 on duty on Monday.
This is the most extensive rioting Londoners have seen in a generation, surpassing the scope of the huge race riots that paralyzed the city in the 1980s. However this is not race riots as crowds of very young men and women, of every skin colour, typically dressed in almost identical hooded sweatshirts, engaged in running skirmishes with police, looting hundreds of shops, setting dozens of buildings and houses ablaze. And this is not the typical simple hooliganism, something synonym with Britain’s football fans. There are some identical pattern with these rioters.
Almost all are under 20 with some as young as 11 years old. Most come from the same neighbourhoods they are looting and burning – the poor neighbourhood. There are high levels of youth unemployment in the districts affected by the riots. They’re also having trouble getting education. They belong to the category “NEETs” – Not in Employment, Education or Training. In short, they are high-school dropouts with no prospects of employment and there’re amazing 600,000 people under 25 in Britain who belong to this type of group.
Hence, the black person claimed to be shot by a policeman was an excuse for these people to release their frustration, by going to the streets. It was the tipping point and when the domino effect started, all hell breaks lose. Here’re some stunning photos of the riots.