The Observer article on Tottenham
Yesterday The Observer published a long feature on Tottenham: Five years after the riots, tension in Tottenham has not gone away.
I spoke to The Observer about what has happened in Tottenham over the course of the last five years, particularly the impact of cuts to the Met's budget that has led to the collapse of neighbourhood policing and loosened the bonds between officers and the community at the very time they most need strengthening:
"The neighbourhood policing levels have been decimated... When people say they feel a different kind of policing, basically what they are saying is that they only see the police with blue lights".
I also spoke at length about the housing crisis in Tottenham, which has got worse since 2011:
"The collapse of subsidised social housing is a scandal - that issue for a community like Tottenham is profound. Too many people are living in overcrowded and inadequate houses at the mercy of landlords without the hope of ever affording a home. Even if they can afford to buy, there is very little prospect of their children becoming owner-occupiers. That reality is fracturing communities".
Most of all, I expressed my deep concern that the lessons of the riots have not been learnt:
"The lessons of the riots were swept under a giant carpet. We needed to ensure that people have a stake in society. Have we got there? No we haven't".