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Croydon riots three years on: A dozen views on life since the 2011 disorder

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WE asked 12 people in Croydon town centre a question each from our survey...

I feel safer living in Croydon compared to before the riots...

John Monk, 67, of South Norwood: "I don't feel safe in Croydon really but maybe that's my age. I don't really go out that much, the only place I'd really go is to the pub but not that often. But that's not too different to what it was like before."

There is a greater feeling of community spirit in Croydon than before the riots...

Lucie Sharpe, 18, Old Coulsdon: "I think there is a greater community spirit because no one wants to see something like the riots happen again. Everyone wants to make the place better and you can tell that from a lot of the schemes going on in Croydon at the moment."

I have more confidence now in the Met Police than at the time of the riots...

Dean Keirle, 27, Thornton Heath: "I definitely have more confidence in the police now because they are always there, especially when we need them to be and when there are fights breaking out. You see a lot more about now." Is the Mayor of London right to invest in water cannon, to help deal with disturbances like this in future?

Boris Johnson is right to invest in water cannon, in case of future disturbances?

Donald Branson, 81, Croydon: "If there is trouble, then they should use it. I have no problems with it because things have got worse not better. I don't know if that's the only thing they can use but it might help."

Were the punishments handed out to rioters too severe?

Alan Tomkins, 58, Wandle Road: "I don't know if any of them were long enough really, they should have spent longer behind bars. They knew what they were doing was wrong and it got out of hand, but if you do something criminal then you should be punished. It's as simple as that."

Is enough is being done to help the victims of the riots?

Mohan Vimo, Croydon, 42: "These people had such a hard time, I don't know if enough can ever be done. If I were them, I would expect help and from what you can see, there has not been too much change in the area."

What do you think was the main, root cause behind the 2011 riots?

Syed Hassan, 76, Thornton Heath: "Unemployment looked to be the key for me. It is difficult to say because there were obviously quite a lot of different things going on at the time. Also, when you start a mob, a lot of people tend to follow the mob and there were those who saw the advantages of looting."

Is enough is being done to address these root causes?

Wendy Boyce, 42, West Croydon: "It was dreadful at the time and I think if they did want to do something it would be to bring back more places for kids to go and get guidance. When I was younger we had lots of youth clubs and things to do."

Do you fear a repeat of the riots within the next 10 years?

David Holmes, 64, West Croydon: "I think with lots of immigration, it may well happen sooner rather than later. People don't know each other and don't trust each other, we need to have more of a community."

I feel more optimistic about Croydon's future than I did in August 2011...

Govindasamyraj Dharmaraj, 58, West Croydon: "Not really because it is far too expensive a place to live in. The cost of rent is so expensive and there is less and less in the town centre.

Croydon's reputation has been damaged irreparably by the riots...

Kwaku Asante, 40, Croydon: "I don't think so at all. The place is booming and there are a lot of smiles on people's faces. Why would all these people be here if they thought it was so bad?

Today, I feel proud to say I live/work in Croydon...

Ben Shiells, 23, Coulsdon: "Not really, it's a pretty rough place. I'm not massively fond of it and there isn't much to do apart from shopping."

Croydon riots three years on: A dozen views on life since the 2011 disorder


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