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British rioters to be forced to meet their victims

posted 16 Aug 2011, 05:33 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 16 Aug 2011, 05:36 ]
Victims of the riots in England will confront their aggressors face-to-face as the British government launch new initiatives to prevent the recent violence that spread around the country.

 LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (AUGUST 16, 2011) (UK POOL -  The British government announced on Tuesday (August 16) it will establish an independent panel to give victims of the riots a chance to "have their voice heard" as prime minister David Cameron met police officers who dealt with the recent riots in London.

Cameron went to the London suburb of Tottenham where the violence started 10 ago, sparked by the death of a man shot by police.

The prime minister told officers he wanted to learn lessons to avoid the repeat of the disturbances that spread to other English cities.

He also visited a pavilion where donations were sent to help deprived families living in the area.

While Cameron was in Tottenham, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg announced the creation of a panel to tackle the problems affecting inner cities.

"We will be setting up an independent communities and victims panel chaired by someone who is independent but widely regarded to having authority and knowledge of what what is going and the dilemmas affecting the communities involved. It won't be a public inquiry, it won't be established under the Inquiries Act, but it will serve as a way in which victims and communities can have their voice heard," Clegg said.

In a new closed-circuit TV video released by police on Monday (August 15), a car said to be driven by fleeing rioters is seen mowing down two policemen in east London during the violence. The incident occurred last Monday (August 8).

Police said they released the footage so that people will be encouraged to come forward to identify the culprits.

Clegg said the British government will also conduct research into the communities affected by the disturbances to find out more about why the violence spread so quickly to so many different places.

"It is really important at a time like this that we should not allow hope and optimism to be suffocated by fear and pessimism," he said.

In the footage released by police, officers were run over by a green Citroen car driven directly towards them at high speed as they dealt with reports of a group looting a clothing store. One officer suffered knee and leg injuries and the other sustained shoulder injuries. Both are recovering.

The deputy prime minister also confirmed plans for a "riot payback scheme", with offenders helping to clean up areas hit by the disturbances.

Victims will also be given the right to confront those who tore up their neighbourhoods to hammer home the fact that the actions of rioters had consequences, with additional money provided to make that possible.

"In every single one of the communities affected there will be community payback schemes, riot payback schemes, where you will see people in visible orange clothing making up the damage done, repairing and improving the neighbourhoods affected," Clegg told reporters.