BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 28 May, 2001, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Oldham's tarnished name
Live and Let Live pub
Flashpoint: Cars at the Live and Let Live pub were attacked
Labour councillor Riaz Ahmad and pub landlord Paul Barrow have personally witnessed Oldham's violent weekend.

Councillor Ahmad has watched stand-offs between police and youths in the Glodwick area. Paul Barrow has seen Asian youths storming his pub, the Live and Let Live.


Councillor Riaz Ahmad

The temperature has been quite high for the last few weeks with the National Front coming in and trying to provoke the youngsters into a fight but the police have managed to contain the problem.

There have been a couple of incidents between white youths and Asians.

At Breeze Hill School the children were attacked by white youths and the complaint was that the police didn't deal with it effectively.


At the moment Oldham's name is tarnished

Councillor Riaz Ahmad
In the second incident some houses were attacked by white men and Asian females were physically abused, including a pregnant woman.

Again the complaint was that the police didn't deal with it quickly enough. As a result of that incident 500 youths concentrated in Glodwick - that's how the whole thing started.

It is a combination of a number of factors.

Outside influences have come in and provoked anger amongst residents, such as the National Front.

Asian areas

I don't think the answer to the situation is to take the law into your own hands. There might have been some validity in the complaints but it isn't right to go around attacking police.

Rising to violence isn't the answer - it won't solve anything.

There are definitely no no-go areas - there never have been. In any Asian area there are hundreds of white people living working and shopping there.

I've shown journalists around - they haven't been able to spot any no-go areas.

As for racial incidents I do think we have got a problem but these racial incidents are perpetrated by a tiny minority of Asian youths. What you cannot do is blame the whole community.

The majority of the white community and the majority of the Asian community get on with each other.

Frank debate

I think the police have done a reasonable job - they have decided to go for zero tolerance and I support that policy as there is no other way to deal with violence.

If people have got general concerns they need to sit down with police and negotiate rather than taking the law into their own hands.

There needs to be a frank and full public debate as to how we got to this situation and what lessons can be learned. We need to come up with a long-term plan.

At the moment Oldham's name is tarnished, which is bad news for inward investment, property prices and recruitment.

I've mentioned the National Front but Asian youths as well - there were youngsters I didn't recognise, they had come from outside and provoked trouble.

It is virtually impossible in a free country to stop people. We have suggested pre-emptive arrests but the [police] can't do it.


Paul Barrow

Saturday was a typical night and we were waiting for a duo to come on stage.

We saw a few Asians gathering across the street. They charged across smashing all the cars.

We tried to stop them getting into the pub but we couldn't. They were just hitting anybody - it was horrendous.


Everybody should abide by our laws, our laws could sort it out

Paul Barrow
We just don't know what's caused the problems. I honestly don't know why it's pubs that are being targeted.

We haven't done anything, we have Asian customers. I had Asian customers on the night of the trouble - it is senseless vandalism.

Everybody should abide by our laws, our laws could sort it out. Zero tolerance is the only way.

These people from the National Front are inciting it, but they go home afterwards.

The cost is horrendous, windows smashed, a car rammed into one of the walls, all of the brickwork gone.

In the area, the damage must be running into millions.

It has blown up out of all proportion - nobody feels safe, either Asian or white.

Find out more about the violence in northern England during the summer of 2001


Background

TALKING POINT

FORUM

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

28 May 01 | UK
28 May 01 | UK
28 May 01 | UK
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes