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.
GV TOP VIEW Brixton town centre.
SV Railton Road damaged sites 5 months after riots. (4 SHOTS)
CU PULL BACK TO SV Coloured youth working in record store.
CU Old man describes riot scenes.
CU Young boy talks to about his future.
CU Another man talks about Scarman report.
CU Taxi-driver talks about atmosphere in Brixton.
GV Shopping area closing down.
GV Shoppers at local market. (2 SHOTS)
MCCONVILLE: "Where were you when the trouble was on?"
OLD MAN: "When the trouble was on I was right along here."
MCCONVILLE: "What did you see?"
OLD MAN: "Young boys running from this, young boys and girls running through this from place to place, with sticks and iron bars, knocking out the windows so they could take away the things that they want."
YOUNG MAN: "I'm not doing anything at the moment. I'm about to go to college."
MCCONVILLE: "How long have you been out of work?"
YOUNG MAN: "Not for that long really. Just since I left school. I couldn't find anything so I think it's best that I go to college. You know, so I can further my education in something else."
MCCONVILLE: "What do you think has happened since Lord Scarman came here?"
ANOTHER MAN: "Well, his report hasn't helped much because the youth still haven't got any jobs. I've known a lot of guys ready to work but there's no jobs about."
MCCONVILLE: "Excuse me, you're a cabby in the area. How do you think things are?"
TAXI DRIVER: "Oh no, not really, I'd say it's about the same. There's still this animosity with the coloured people, you know, and I don't think it's going to improve for a long time. Especially with unemployment and such things that are going on."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
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.