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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 22:53 GMT 23:53 UK
Blunkett attacks Bradford violence
Police in Bradford after riots
The home secretary praised the actions of the police
The home secretary says the "wanton destruction and violence" of the Bradford riots will not be tolerated.

David Blunkett condemned the behaviour of the rioters, telling the Commons he "cannot and will not" put up with it.

He added that tackling the social ills behind the disturbances must happen after order was restored.

Ministers were already examining what could be done to prevent the violence recurring.


They light fires and walk away from them and leave others both to take the blame and to pick up the pieces

David Blunkett
An "inter-departmental ministerial group" looking at the wider problems would publish preliminary details of its findings shortly, Mr Blunkett revealed.

Projects running in the area over the summer would attempt to bring together young people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds.

The home secretary added that organised thugs from whatever background undermined the possibility of creating an inclusive society and "the threat from them must be met head on".

Alienation debate

"From today we will not accept the destruction of hard won improvements in the most difficult areas of our country," he said.

"Whatever the debate about alienation and disaffection - attacking the police, destroying the well-being of the local community and playing into the hands of organised groups will simply not be tolerated."

David Blunkett addressing Commons on Tuesday
David Blunkett: Wants urgent review of the issues
Mr Blunkett said that had the National Front not sought a march and demonstration in Bradford "peace and quietude" would have continued.

He also asked those who sought to combat fascism "to hold their hand carefully, to allow us to deal with public order and not to take it in any way into their own hands".

Mr Blunkett said: "As in Oldham and Burnley and now again in Bradford, people came in to cause trouble.

"They light fires and walk away from them and leave others both to take the blame and to pick up the pieces.

No safety

"It is those people who are our true enemy and we should be clear about it."

Terry Rooney, MP for Bradford North pointed to the role of the far right in other recent riots.

"These organisations [NF and BNP] are purely out to foment racial hatred.

"There is no place on the streets for these fascists and Nazis."

He said the time was coming when Parliament must consider proscribing these organisations.


There is no place on the streets for these fascists and Nazis

Terry Rooney MP
Bradford North
"Communities like Bradford will never feel safe so long as these people are about."

Liberal Democrat home affair spokesman Simon Hughes said a Cabinet minister could be responsible across the country for pulling together policy in urban and suburban areas.

Mr Hughes suggested public order legislation be looked at with a view to making it less possible for people to exercise their "rights" when all they were seeking was to provoke tension and racism in urban communities.

True enemy

For the Opposition, David Lidington called on the home secretary to launch an "urgent inquiry into policing pressures in Bradford and elsewhere in West Yorkshire".

Mr Lidington said there was concern in Bradford that the police were too stretched.

lord Ouseley
Lord Ouseley: Wants better-integrated schools
Mr Blunkett said the ministerial action group would also undertake an urgent review over the summer of "all the relevant community issues".

He said: "This team will seek views from people on the ground in the areas which have suffered violence, as well as in other places with similar social and demographic features which have not."

Only 31% of Bradford's ethnic minority young people, aged 16 to 24, are in work.

This compares with 40% nationally and 65% of young white people nationally.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Catherine Marston
"Many people say they feel abandoned and forgotten"
The BBC's ethnic affairs specialist Rahul Tandon
"Bradford does have problems of segregation"
West Yorkshire Police Authority chair Neil Taggart
"I don't personally believe that things are going backward in Bradford"
Leader of Bradford Council Margaret Eaton
"The violence has had an effect on the whole community"
Find out more about the violence in northern England during the summer of 2001


Background

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See also:

10 Jul 01 | UK Education
09 Jul 01 | UK Politics
01 Jul 01 | UK
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