Wandsworth residents question council and police over London riots


Residents discussed the Clapham Junction disturbances at a meeting held last night.


By Natasha Barr

Wandsworth residents had their final chance to question the council and police about the Clapham Junction riots last night.

It was evident at the meeting that local residents were confused about why the riots happened in some areas of Wandsworth and not others. They also questioned the causality of the incidents.

The meeting, chaired by independent commissioner Neil Kinghan at Wandsworth Civic Suite, saw questions being put to a panel including the council’s chief executive, Paul Martin, and Detective Superintendent Gerry Campbell, the boroughs acting borough commander.

Although it has been over a month since the riots, the meeting was attended by at least 50 residents of all ages.

There was debate lead by a young female resident about why those that have been involved have been incorrectly labelled as the ‘youth’ and opinions were voiced by many as to why they may have turned to rioting in the area.

Detective Superintendent Campbell announced that only 47% of those charged and prosecuted as a direct result of the Battersea riots resided at a Wandsworth address.

The feeling was shared by many that the council’s lack of funding and interaction with youth clubs were part of the cause.

Reverend Jim Mckinney made the point that Roehampton did not have any trouble and attributed this to youth services staying open throughout the rioting.

He said: “Young people were horrified when watching [the riots] with youth leaders.”

Other issues discussed were the lack of police action, victim support for the residents of the area, the council’s policy on evicting family members of convicted rioters and how the social media may have been involved in coordinating the events.

The information gathered from last night’s event and two previous meetings will aid Mr Kinghan’s report which is due to be published at the end of October.

Related Articles