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Tuesday, 3 July, 2001, 19:17 GMT 20:17 UK
Burnley speaks out on race riots
Duke of York pub
Evidence of the violence in Burnley is widespread
In the aftermath of racial disturbances in Burnley some residents of the Lancashire town voiced their views to BBC News Online's community affairs reporter Cindi John

The violence may be over, for now at least, but tension still runs high in Burnley.

One woman - who only agreed to speak anonymously - said she feared being targeted by the British National Party if she spoke publicly.

She lives in one of only two white households in her street in the predominantly Bangladeshi area of Daneshouse, but says she has no problems with her Asian neighbours.


The Asians come round our areas hitting girls and everything. I'm not saying we're innocent because we go round and do it to them too.

Clare Campbell
Burnley resident

"They're all alright provided you give them a chance, some people don't give them a chance and resent them from the word go.

"As far as I'm concerned a lot of them are my friends and a lot of them grew up with my children," she said.

She said the recent troubles were "a real shocker" but she would not be moving away from the area because of them.

Fellow Daneshouse resident Habibur Rahmen agreed the violence was unexpected.

"I didn't think it would reach this far from Burnley to Oldham. We've always had good relations, this has come like a really big shock," he said.

But Jim Stalker thought much of the situation had been engineered by right-wing outsiders.

Sitander Khan
Sikander Khan: Asian taxi drivers fear violence

"I think the British National Party had a lot to do with it, they've been stirring it up from out of town," he said.

And taxi driver Sikander Khan agreed.

"It wasn't so much a race issue originally but it's become a race issue now the BNP's taken over," he said.

Like many other Pakistani and Bangladeshi taxi drivers in the town he was currently not working for fear of being attacked, Mr Khan added.

Previous problems

But Claire Campbell from the Clifton Farm area of the town disagreed that race relations had been entirely harmonious before the violence erupted.

"We've had loads of problems. The Asians come round our areas hitting girls and everything.

Clare Campbell
Clare Campbell: Racial tension not new

"I'm not saying we're innocent because we go round and do it to them too so it's just been building up over a while," she said.

Lisa Livsey also thought community relations had not been that good in the past but said trouble had previously never boiled over.

"No-one's really liked each other but it's never kicked off until now," she said.

Another Burnley resident, Grant Broadhurst, also said the trouble had not come entirely as a surprise.

He said the widely held perception that an Asian area received preferential treatment could be a factor.

Mary Howarth
Mary Howarth blamed yobbos

"I think people are just fed up with all the money going to one area. There are other areas a lot worse than Stoneyholme but all the funding is going to that area.

"People construe that as racist but I think it comes down to the council not spreading things around evenly, " Mr Broadhurst said.

In Colne Road's Duke Bar area where a pub was burnt out and shops badly damaged, one long-standing resident 81 year old Mary Howarth, put the violence down to "yobbos".

"We've always lived around here, we're the longest residents in our street, we get on well with everybody.

"There was an Indian couple who lived near us and you couldn't ask for a nicer couple," she said.

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


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03 Jul 01 | UK
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