LETTER:Bradford riots: stereotypes, harassment and policing

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The Independent Online
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From Mr Martin Foreman

Sir: The first I heard of the Bradford riots last weekend was when a friend called in and told me the police had barged into someone's house and Manningham had turned into a battle zone as a result

I live near Manningham in a predominantly Asian area It came as no great shock to me that violence should erupt over something like this I happen to have been caught up in a couple of demonstrations/riots in the past, and it is not generally a pitched battle between the police and a homogeneous group of extremists Some people will already be looking for a fight, or a chance to smash things up But I think most people get turned into rioters on the spot

When you see your friends pulled out of crowds and arrested, when you are charged at by riot police without warning, it is hard to stay calm And it is easy to believe that attack is the best means of defence

Too much speculation has taken place Asian youths are like any others - they don't have unlimited tolerance and the sooner the police learn a little more respect for the people they supposedly serve, the sooner volatile situations like this will stop exploding in their faces

Yours faithfully,

MARTIN FOREMAN

Bradford

14 June

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