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March 27, 2012

Johnson blames riots on lack of education, refuses to blame police

London Mayor has refused to blame the police for the robust way they responded to last year’s rioting that spread from the city to elsewhere across the country.

In an exclusive interview with Editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed J Versi, he chose instead to blame the lack of education and the social media as one of the main reasons.

“Everybody agrees there were failings in the police handling of the event in Tottenham,” Johnson said, acknowledging that they were slow to react. “Earlier on we were dealing with the situation. People were able to use new media to spread the virus around London very quickly. It took a while for the police to find out what was going on,” he said. “But in putting down those riots, the police didn’t kill a single person in London. They used old fashioned common sense, robust kind of policing and they succeeded. They did a fantastic job. I won’t hear criticism the way the police put down the riots.”

In contrast, Lib Dem mayoral candidate Brian Paddick was slating about the police handling of the riot and control of demonstrations. “The police should have realised that following the shooting of someone who didn’t have a gun or hadn’t shot at the police, being killed by the police and that a peaceful demonstration was likely to lead to violence,” said Paddick, a former Deputy Assistant Police Commissioner at the Met. “Therefore they should’ve had enough police officers on the street of Tottenham on Saturday night to deal with that situation and if they had we would have not seen the spread of riots across the country,” he told The Muslim News.

Johnson put much blame on the disadvantage suffered by rioting youths. “They need education, help with their lives. I want the opportunity to keep working with young people to expand what we are doing, not just with apprentices, we want to get them engaged to think for themselves as achievers and people with potential,” he said.

The comments were expressed during wide-ranging interviews with two of the leading candidates to become the next London mayor ahead of May’s elections.

Full interviews will appear of Friday, 30 March issue of The Muslim News.

For further information contact us on 020 8863 8586 or 077 68 241 325. Please acknowledge The Muslim News when using the press release

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