'People came out just because they're broke'

Rioter's view

Sitting in his flat in Tufnell Park, north London, one man told The Independent yesterday how he had taken part in the riots on Monday night in Camden.

"I saw a message from my BlackBerry – my mate said it's going to be madness tonight," said the self-employed man, who wished to remain anonymous.

When asked why he took to the streets, he mentioned the death of Mark Duggan. "That was part of the reason, because feds can't be shitting on people and getting away with it. They didn't come with no good story. As far as we was concerned, they'd done it deliberately," he said.

"I think policing will get worse after the riots, after the violence. People will go after the police to get them. People was just angry and wanted to get something back from the police. Then again, most of the people I saw out there, it wasn't only about Mark Duggan. Most people were just doing their thing, because they need to survive, like robbing and that. Because they need and they can't afford it.

"People just came out because they're broke and can't afford the stuff they're looting. Obviously they're going to take what they need to survive and sell the rest of it. It wasn't much fun because things got out of hand and people started with petrol bombs, and the police were arresting people."

Asked about the effect on small shopkeepers and the local community, he said: "That's the bad part of it, when people are just high on the riot and they don't even know what they're doing any more. It always happens. But the police should know they're here to protect us and we don't need no torture, or bullying or harassment. People should know that the damage done is done on all of us. And this one-off madness needs to stop so we can go back to our normal lives."