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, 9 July, 2001, 17:51 GMT 18:51 UK
Bradford trouble 'was predictable'
Car showroom and street wrecked in riots
Clean up operation in Bradford
By BBC News Online's community affairs reporter Cindi John

Police and community representatives in Bradford have met to discuss the weekend's violent racial clashes.

The meeting took place behind closed doors in central Bradford on Monday afternoon.

Speaking before the meeting a member of the Minorities Police Liaison committee, Manoj Joshi, said he had not been surprised by the problems which he called "predictable".


Since the Manningham riots in 1995 very little has changed

Manoj Joshi, Bradford
He said they stemmed from a failure to improve things for the Asian communities in Bradford after disturbances six years ago.

"Since the Manningham riots in 1995 very little has changed. There has been very little opportunity in terms of employment, educational attainment, housing and other things that relate to people's quality of life.

"If one section of the community is deprived then it has a domino effect on others and I think recent events will make things worse for the Asian communities," Mr Joshi said.

Provocation

The chairman of Bradford's Pakistan forum, Mr Rangzeb, who also attended the police and community meeting said he believed much of the weekend's violence could be put down to provocation by right wing groups.

"I think the condemnation for all of this must surely go to the British National Party and other fascist right wing groups who threatened to come to Bradford and disrupt the peace and harmony we were all enjoying," he said.

Mr Rangzeb
Mr Rangzeb, chairman of Bradford's Pakistan forum

But he said that did not excuse the violence and destruction of property by Asian youths.

"Youngsters need to understand that they need to find different ways of expressing their opinion and fighting their just cause by either negotiating or talking rather than with their hands and weapons."

Lessons not learned

Mr Rangzeb who witnessed the violence on Saturday said he and other community leaders had tried in vain to calm the situation. But he believed many of those involved had come from outside the area.

Mohammed Ajeeb
Mohammed Ajeeb, former mayor of Bradford

Mr Rangzeb added the police had mishandled the situation and failed to keep apart National Front supporters and young Asians.

Mohammed Ajeeb, a former mayor of Bradford, also believed the police had misread the situation and appeared not to have learned the lessons of the 1995 riots in the city.

"The mistake has been repeated which they made in 1995. They under-estimated the scale and the magnitude of the situation which had developed.

"There was a huge number of police out on Sunday night but by then it was too late," he said.

Small minority

Mr Ajeeb also believed the main cause of the violence was provocation by right wing groups but said there were other underlying causes.


I think if something isn't done it will eventually spread to all sections of the community as they will try to defend themselves against attack

Egbert Wright, Bradford resident

"A lack of communication between different communities and a very strong sense of insecurity, frustration and alienation among some of the youth and, indeed, a small minority of criminally-minded people all played their part," he said.

The trouble at the weekend mainly involved white and Asian youths but one African Caribbean community leader said he feared the violence could spread to other communities.

Egbert Wright said the violence had been the worst he had seen in 40 years in Britain.

"I think if something isn't done it will eventually spread to all sections of the community as they will try to defend themselves against attack," he said.

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


Background

TALKING POINT

FORUM

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

09 Jul 01 | UK Politics
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