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‘Summits’ will discuss riot’s causes

Police and Camden Council to consider responses to looting chaos at series of public meetings

Published: August 25, 2011

THE Town Hall is to host three “summits” to discuss the causes and remedies to rioting in Camden.

The public meetings are being put on to give residents and businesses a say on what the response to the disorder should be.

The sessions come three weeks after the chaotic scenes in Chalk Farm Road and Camden High Street, which saw police pelted and shops looted. Although the damage was not as bad as in other areas of the country hit by riots, Camden was still a major flashpoint for police.

Hundreds of teenagers were sent text messages in the following days urging them to stay indoors at night.
Police and council chiefs are due to speak at the meetings beginning next week.

Borough Commander Chief Superintendent John Sutherland is due to explain how police handled the riot and the large presence of officers in the days after.

He said: “Recent events across London, including those which affected Camden most directly, were both shocking and unprecedented. I am enormously proud of the way in which my officers and staff responded – showing remarkable courage and resilience in the most demanding of circumstances.”

He added: “We have shown that Camden is not defined by disorder and criminality – but rather by the vibrancy of its communities and the commitment of its public services.

“The challenge now is how to respond to all that we’ve seen and heard in the past few weeks – and to find those solutions that will deliver lasting change.”

The first 90 minutes of the next full council meeting will be set aside for a discussion about the riots.

Before then, council leader Councillor Nasim Ali will chair the community summits in King’s Cross, Camden Town and Kilburn.

He said: “Over the coming months we want to restore Camden’s reputation as a vibrant place for visitors to come and enjoy themselves, particularly in the run-up to the Olympics.

“In order to do that we need to work together and consider why this criminal behaviour broke out in the first place.

“People are naturally angry and still living with the consequences.

“We need to listen to all views so we can properly tackle the underlying causes.

“These are clearly complicated and we need to work together as a community to fully consider the facts.”

• The community summits are open to all on: Wednesday August 31, at Camden Centre, King’s Cross, 7pm-9pm; Thursday September 1 at Salvation Army, Chalk Farm, 7pm-9pm; Tuesday September 6 at Kingsgate Community Centre, Kilburn, 6.30pm-8.30pm.


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