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Curfew may be necessary if looting continues, warns Abbott

PUBLISHED: 20:59 09 August 2011 | UPDATED: 21:18 09 August 2011

Looters in Clarence Road

Looters in Clarence Road

carmen valino

MP Diane Abbott has warned that if young people continue causing trouble on the streets, a curfew may be necessary in parts of London.

“The looting is just profoundly stupid, it’s ill immoral and people are trashing their own community,” said the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.

“I really am urging the community that these young people need to be indoors, we need to take them of the street - otherwise we need to consider a curfew in parts of London.”

She admitted that this would be tricky to operate in London, a “24-hour city.”

“But what you can’t have is waves of young people coming out every night and looting,” she added.

“The community has to take responsibility, they need to know where the young people are and until the community rises up and says enough, this problem will not go away.

“Obviously it’s devastating to see rioting in the centre of Hackney, particularly when so much investment and personal commitment has gone into regenenerating Hackney,” she said.

Ms Abbott praised council vigilance for monitoring CCTV to ensure there was very few arson attacks in Hackney on Monday night – unlike other parts of London.

She blames the Tottenham shooting for sparking off the incident, but said there was no excuse for the looting which is now going on.

MP for Hackney South Meg Hillier said also expressed shock at the events.

“Hackney has seen such progress in the last decade,” she said.

“It is a community of diversity and tolerance and we need to make sure that these are the characteristics Hackney is known by - not the actions of some mindless, violent thugs.”

Local Christian leaders warned the answer does not lie solely in finding, prosecuting and penalising those responsible.

“It is also our responsibility to ask why this is happening, what lies behind these emotions and actions and what it is that has led to the escalation of this situation,” said the Borough Deans, who represent many of Hackney’s churches, in a joint statement.

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