The looting in Tottenham last night has reminded me of the rioting in the eighties. My late husband was a senior bank manager whose responsibilities included Tottenham.
Very late one night he got a phone call from someone he trusted. Anger was at boiling pitch and there was going to be trouble.
The next day he organised several teams to go around to every Nat West bank in Tottenham and board up the windows. Some shop keepers were doing the same. That tip saved thousands of pounds of damage.
I don't know if there was any tip off this time...or whether anger simply boiled over.
The police have a real problem keeping control of a mob convinced that their cause is just. Meeting violence with violence can escalate the problem to appalling lengths.
The aftermath last time was dreadful.. many people had been traumatised.
To walk back into a place where you have seen or experienced violence is very hard and it takes time to allow the fear to subside.
I was once mugged in a park whilst walking my dog and I took a walking stick everywhere with me for months afterwards...
David the first had to visit branches which had been held up by bank robbers which on a small scale was a fairly frequent event. . One girl had had a pistol thrust down her throat...and could not stop trembling.
Violence is ugly and people live with its consequences for years.
David used to take a bottle of brandy with him to stricken branches..It was not recommended but it did in the first place seem to work to calm nerves.
I pray for all those involved in last nights rioting. I pray for the angry and for those caught up in it.
And I pray that it subsides quickly without the rage being fanned by those whose interest is in keeping it going. Lord have mercy.