INTRODUCTION: Seven months after the Brixton riots, the area is still scarred with boarded-up shop windows, deserted sites where houses once stood and an atmosphere of desolation and low morale.
BRIXTON, LONDON , UK 24 NOVEMBER 1981 (VISNEWS - BILL MCCONVILLE)
GV TOP VIEW Brixton town centre/ skyline
SV Railton Road damaged sites 5 months after riots. / hoardings in front of burnt out buildings /
people walking past Woolworths store / burnt out building
Background: INTRODUCTION: Seven months after the Brixton riots, the area is still scarred with boarded-up shop windows, deserted sites where houses once stood and an atmosphere of desolation and low morale. In the summer months that followed the riots, more than 3,000 people were arrested in disturbances that spread through most of the major towns and cities of Britain. It was after the Brixton troubles though, that the government commissioned a full report from Lord Scarman, and that report is to be made public this week (25 November).
SYNOPSIS: The town centre of Brixton is only a few miles from the fashionable shops and expensive restaurants of London's West End.
For some years now, it has been the centre of much London's worst unemployment. And Railton Road is where the anger at that unemployment found expression during the riots of last April. The statistics tell their own story. Two-thirds of those arrested were unemployed and 67 per cent black. Their average age was between 14 and 16 and the most common offence they were charged with was threatening behaviour. Brixton has been an area where for decades new building and housing projects have not come to fruition.
The local council has admitted that no real money exists at the moment to attack the large scale problems confronting the community.
It's perhaps an indication of the anger that still exists in Brixton that a passing motorist attempted to prevent those interviews being filmed by continuously sounding his horn. And there are many who believe it will take more than Lord Scarman's report to bring the Brixton community together again.
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