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Thursday, 28 June, 2001, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Peer warns Burnley violence could spread
Scenes from Burnley
Lord Greaves fears violence could erupt in other towns
A peer has warned the government that the violence seen in Burnley could spread to other towns if steps are not taken to address the underlying causes.

Lord Tony Greaves, a Liberal Democrat peer from Pendle, told the House of Lords that the police seem to be chasing the problem after the event.

The Home Office Minister Lord Rooker replied that, although racism and disorder is unacceptable, it was not the government's job to bring calm in Burnley but a job for people on the ground.

Lord Greaves plans to meet young people in East Lancashire who he believes feel alienated from society.


There is no point in community leaders going back to these towns and saying, 'Please don't riot'

Lord Tony Greaves

Lord Greaves told BBC News Online: "Other multi-racial towns in Lancashire like Accrington and Nelson have the same social problems as Burnley.

"These are towns with falling populations and poor housing that have been badly hit by the decline in manufacturing jobs."

Calling for the police to talk to community leaders in these neighbouring areas, Lord Greaves also stressed the importance of communication with the young.

"There is no point in community leaders going back to these towns and saying, 'Please don't riot'.

"If young people aren't involved and it isn't their decision then it won't happen."

The Burnley MP Peter Pike will meet the prime minister at Downing Street next week to discuss the recent race riots.

It comes as a team of 40 detectives is being drafted into Burnley to investigate more than 150 crimes reported during the rioting.

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See also:

15 Jun 01 | UK Politics
'No no-go areas in Oldham'
25 Jun 01 | UK
In pictures: Burnley riots
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