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The BBC's social affairs editor Niall Dickson
"The report says that children who are minorities in schools are often victimised"
 real 56k

The BBC's Gavin Hewitt in Bradford
"Downing Street joined those who blamed the riots on simple thuggery"
 real 56k

Local businessman Shelad Sheikh
It was all down to ignorance"
 real 56k

Labour MP for Bradford South Gerry Sutcliffe
"Nothing could excuse the mindless violence"
 real 56k

Monday, 9 July, 2001, 21:49 GMT 22:49 UK
Report attacks 'polarised' Bradford
BMW car showroom in Manningham
This BMW car showroom was torched over the weekend
A report by the former head of the Commission for Racial Equality will attack the polarisation of communities along racial and religious lines in Bradford, the BBC has learned.

According to a copy seen by BBC Look North, Lord Ouseley also says Bradford residents believe criminal Asian gangs roam the city unchecked as rank-and-file police officers fear their careers will be harmed by moving against them.

The report will recommend an audit of the number of jobs in public organisations filled by those from ethnic minorities as well as changes in the education system.

It paints a gloomy picture of a city where interaction between schools and communities was at best limited and often non-existent.

lord Ouseley
Lord Ouseley: Paints a gloomy picture
There are low levels of academic achievement in too many of the city schools, and children leave full-time education with little knowledge of how other communities live their lives.

Although written before the weekend's violence, the report is due to be published on Thursday, just days after rioting which saw more than 160 police officers injured.

On law and order, the report says many residents are scared of Asian gangs and believe police will not tackle them for fear of causing rioting or being branded racist.

Police failure

But some residents also believe the police are intent on keeping drugs out of white suburbs and are prepared to ignore their trading on inner-city streets.

Police refused to comment on the report before its publication.

We want short sharp solutions to crowd disturbances

Gerry Sutcliffe MP
Bradford North
But a spokesman said: "Claims about police failure to act are simply not born out by the facts.

"We have one of the highest arrest rates for drug dealing in the country and events in Bradford this weekend are a powerful demonstration of the force's commitment to tackling criminality in whatever form it takes."

The report was commissioned by the city council and other large organisations within Bradford.

Calm returns

Prime Minister Tony Blair has attacked the weekend's "thuggery", saying rioters had ended up "destroying their own community".

Home Secretary David Blunkett said it was up to the people of Bradford to find solutions to the problems that caused Saturday's violence, following urgent talks with the city's three MPs.

Bradford riot
Up to 1,000 rioters fought running battles with police
Mr Blunkett said there could be "no excuse whatsoever" for the "mindless cycle of destruction which has blighted one of our great cities."

Terry Rooney, MP for Bradford North, insisted: "Less than 2% of the Asian population of Bradford was involved on Saturday.

"We've got to root them out, get them banged up and show people that justice will apply to anybody that engages in this mindless thuggery."

Sharp solutions

Gerry Sutcliffe, MP for Bradford South, said Mr Blunkett had listened sympathetically to proposals to deal with outbreaks of violence including bringing in water cannons.

"We want short sharp solutions to crowd disturbances."

More than 600 officers from seven forces were drafted onto the city's streets on Sunday to help prevent a repeat of Saturday's violent scenes which left 164 police officers injured.

A 14-year-old boy was among 21 people who appeared in court charged with a variety of offences in connection with the weekend's violence in Bradford.

Men remanded

Two 17-year-olds, who cannot be named, also appeared before magistrates at Bradford Youth Court.

The boys were among 21 males, seven white and 14 Asian, who appeared before magistrates.

Most of the adults were remanded into custody until 16 July.

Police are maintaining a strong presence in the city, after two Asian businesses were attacked and a city centre pub was firebombed on Sunday night.

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See also:

09 Jul 01 | UK Politics
Labour at odds on Bradford riots
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