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Tuesday, 11 December, 2001, 17:09 GMT
Race reports at a glance
Rioting in Bradford
The summer's riots left hundreds of people injured
A series of reports into the racial violence which hit Burnley, Oldham and Bradford this summer have highlighted the divisions between different ethnic communities.

Click here for the Oldham report
Click here for the Burnley report
Click here for John Denham's report

Government-commissioned Cantle report:

Work on the main report for the Home Office began after the worst racial violence Britain had seen since the 1980s.

Chairman of the Community Cohesion Review Team, Ted Cantle, said there was a lot of anxiety about discussing the causes of the trouble openly among people his team spoke to in the three towns.

The key findings of the report include:

  • Different communities lived "parallel lives"
  • Fear grew from ignorance about other communities and was exploited by extremists
  • More than 67 recommendations made covering areas including housing, education, youth, leisure facilities and regeneration
  • Weak local leadership, national and local government and policing policies all criticised
  • Government policy of encouraging single-faith schools criticised for raising possibility of deeper divisions
  • A meaningful concept of citizenship should be found
  • Immigrants could take an oath of allegiance setting out a "clear primary loyalty to this nation"
  • Open and honest debate about multi-culturalism in Britain needed

Oldham Independent Review:

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Racial violence broke out in Oldham with three days of running battles in May.

An independent review into the causes of the race riots was led by top civil servant David Ritchie.

The key findings of his report included:
Oldham firefighters
Firefighters in Oldham tackled burning cars

  • Years of "deep-rooted" segregation between communities identified
  • Local authorities failed to address causes of racial division
  • Threat of "more serious" trouble in future unless action taken
  • People should see themselves as 'Oldhamers'
  • Council should try to mix ethnic groups when letting properties
  • Mixed-race specialist schools should act as beacon schools
  • Faith schools should admit pupils of different faiths
  • Big public sector employers should have more representative workforces
  • Local health service needed improving
  • Police structure should be more community-focused
  • Religious leaders should speak to the town as a whole, not just their own faiths

Burnley Task Force Report:

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The Burnley task force was formed after violent clashes between groups of whites, Asians and police in the town between 23 - 25 June.

The trouble began when cars and property were damaged after two gangs of white and Asian men were involved in a fight.

An Asian taxi driver was attacked with a hammer and racial abuse was hurled at Asian-owned businesses.

Asian men threw bricks threw the window of a pub which they thought was being used to prepare an attack on them and groups clashed with police.

Led by Lord Tony Clarke, the Task Force team found that:
Burnt cars in Burnley
Burnley clashes 'not race riots'

  • Civil disturbances were not "race riots"
  • A series of violent incidents were sparked by a war between Asian and white drug gangs
  • The clashes were deliberately exploited by organised white racists
  • 'Grinding poverty' further exacerbated the situation
  • Government must provide funding for regeneration tackling "the chronic problems associated with inner city deprivation"
  • Government must work with local police to tackle poor housing, unemployment, drug abuse and petty crime
  • Council must communicate effectively to white people its spending on projects for ethnic minorities
  • Greater integration of Asian people through community projects

Denham Report:

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An inter-departmental group was set up by the Home Secretary after rioting in Bradford between 7 and 9 July.

Bradford tension spilled over
Smoke billows from a blockade in Bradford on 7 July
Led by Home Office minister John Denham it was asked to identify ways to reduce the threat of future disturbances and build stronger communities.

The group was told to look at issues specific to Burnley, Bradford and Oldham, but also to look at solutions to the problems faced by other British towns and cities.

Among its key findings and recommendations were:

  • Community cohesion must be a central aim of government, reflected in all policy making including regeneration
  • Dialogue and understanding to be promoted between different ethnic and religious groups
  • Debate about identity, shared values and citizenship needed
  • Local people to be involved in developing policies that meet their needs
  • Majority of those involved in disturbances were young men
  • Those involved were from both white and ethnic minority communities. Most were local
  • The trouble often occurred in areas which had experienced months of racial tension and attacks
  • The areas were also affected by high unemployment, lack of a strong cultural identity and disenfranchisement of young people
  • Far right groups had been active in many of the affected areas

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




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