Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London has issued the following statement on the violent disturbances that have swept the country this week:
“The shocking events of this week do not reflect or represent the city I know and am proud to call home. These acts, carried out in the majority by people intent on causing chaos and destruction, are nothing less than a devastating attack on our community. People have lost their homes, their businesses and their livelihoods across London, including in my own borough of Waltham Forest.
“Whilst violence can never be excused, it is important to understand why this has happened in the first place if we are to prevent similar events from taking place. There are still ongoing issues about relations between the police and young people. We have a consumer culture which is now coming up against rising levels of youth unemployment and too many young people who lack basic qualifications. There are no simple solutions to these problems: they require ongoing investment and commitment.
“Over the coming weeks and months as hard working people across London seek to rebuild their lives, I urge the government to look once again at their planned cuts to local and voluntary services and police numbers and consider whether London, and indeed cities across the country, can afford to pay such a heavy price for so called ‘austerity’ measures.”