|Ealing's Community Pulls Together in Face of Anarchy|
Council Leader Julian Bell writes about recent events that hit the town
On Monday night I saw first hand the disgusting behaviour of the mindless gangs of young thugs who rampaged through our normally peaceful streets attacking innocent bystanders, businesses and the Police. The violence and carnage that they visited upon us left a man fighting for his life in hospital, people homeless after their flats were destroyed by fire, dozens of cars torched and damaged, businesses damaged and looted, and scenes close to what the blitz must have been like in the Second World War.
It is hard to describe how angry I feel about what happened to the residents and businesses of our Borough. First and foremost I am angry with the perpetrators of these evil acts. They must be brought to book for what they did and the full weight of the law must be used to do this. During the night I watched on the Council’s CCTV cameras the terrible events that unfolded and that footage will be used to track down as many of the culprits as possible. The Council is working very closely with the Police to bring this about.
I am also angry with those responsible for cutting Police numbers and resources as it was clear to me as I watched from the Town Hall steps a heroic thin blue line of local officers (including my own Ward Neighbourhood Police Team Sergeant) attempt to secure the Town Centre from these thugs, that they were woefully under-resourced and lacking in sufficient numbers to do what was needed. How can it be right that Police numbers are being cut when lawlessness and anarchy are on our streets?
On a happier note I would like to publicly thank every local resident (and there were hundreds) who came out on Tuesday morning to help with the cleanup. There were so many that the work was very quickly completed. Businesses, Colleges as well as individuals all pitched in and also made generous other offers of help to those directly affected by the monstrous outrages of the night before.
The Council worked in partnership with local residents in these efforts and I would like to thank all the Council officers and workers who enabled this to happen, some of whom had worked through the night and many from as early as 5 am. It was a remarkable show of community solidarity and made me feel exceptionally proud to be an Ealing resident and Leader of Ealing Council.
Let’s hope that we don’t have to show such community resilience and spirit ever again as a result of events like Monday night’s but that we can use this re-invigorated community feeling and unity in much more happier circumstances.
Cllr Julian Bell
The Council Leader has called a special meeting of the Council next Tuesday 16th August at 7pm to discuss the recent disturbances - public all welcome.
10 August 2011