I have recently spent the night reading about and watching the (in the first instance) London riots unfold from my hotel room in India. I have lived in Lewisham since 1998 and to see aerial images of cars along the main streets on fire and shops I know well looted has been surreal.
Riots and looting have left large parts of Tottenham wrecked. The homes and possessions of some in this already disadvantaged area have gone up in smoke, and others may lose their livelihoods. As has now been extensively reported, other parts of London, and cities elsewhere in England, have also been hit.
David Cameron announced this morning that water cannon will be available to London police at 24 hours' notice. It comes straight after a YouGov poll out today finding 9 out of 10 British people saying police should be able to use water cannon.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, appeared on Radio 4 this morning (10 August) and was asked about the underlying causes of the recent riots. He attributed them to a “sense of entitlement” among young people who were showing the effects of a lack of discipline in school.
With the smell of smoke and wail of sirens in the background, about 200 to 300 people from a range of faiths on the evening of 8 August gathered for a prayer and a walk to the center of Tottenham, north London, scarred by a weekend of rioting.