London Riots: Memories of Broadwater Farm evoked

For community leaders and residents in Haringey, Saturday’s riots in Tottenham evoked painful memories of the Broadwater Farm riots in October 1985.

They were also sparked by the death of a Tottenham resident – Cynthia Jarrett, an African-Caribbean woman, who died from heart failure during a police search of her home. During riots the next day, Muswell Hill police officer PC Keith Blakelock was murdered on the Broadwater Farm Estate. He had been trying to protect firefighters who had come under attack.

At the time, there were claims of racism in the police and that young, particularly black youths were often unfairly targeted by police.

Since the Broadwater Farm riots, Haringey Police has worked tirelessly with community leaders to try to build positive relations.

For some, Saturday’s riots were a sign that the relationship had broken down. But community leaders have been quick to condemn the violence and urge calm.


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Tottenham MP David Lammy said: “The scenes currently taking place in our community are not representative of the vast majority of people in Tottenham. Those who remember the destructive conflicts of the past will be determined not to go back to them.”

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