A SCARBOROUGH man has described the moment he came face-to-face with rioters during the “terrifying” scenes that have unfolded in the capital.
Trainee barrister Tashken Turan, 25, of Scalby is staying in Balham, South London, which has become engulfed by the riots.
Speaking to the Evening News yesterday, the former Scarborough College student gave a dramatic account of the scenes.
“The whole thing is just terrible,” he said. “It’s unbelievable to see the city in the way that it is. In some places, it’s unrecognisable.
“On my way home from work on Monday night I was walking back from the train station and there was a gang of about 15 people walking straight towards me. It was incredibly intimidating. I just wanted to get back home as quickly as possible.
“As soon as I got in I locked the door and watched everything unfold on the television.”
Among the places hit is the borough of Hackney, which is to be twinned with Scarborough for next year’s Olympic Games in London. The trouble started on Saturday following the shooting dead of 29-year-old Mark Duggan by police in Tottenham. Following peaceful protests, violence erupted throughout South London before spreading throughout the capital.
Police clashed with rioters on Monday and yesterday the town hall was evacuated and many shops in the area also closed early.
The Prime Minister yesterday announced he would boost police numbers in London from 6,000 to 16,000 in a bid to quell the violence, but Mr Turan has cast doubt on whether that will prove sufficient.
He said: “Even with 16,000 police I still wouldn’t be surprised if it all kicked off again. It is quiet during the day but at night it’s wild.
“I just think people are feeling so let down by the police at the minute - and I can’t see this stopping any time soon.”
There have since been further serious disturbances reported in other cities including Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol, but there have been no reports of any trouble in Scarborough.
Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill has branded the rioting “mindless criminality”.
He said: “The situation is now completely out of control. It may have started reasonably peacefully, but it has now turned into mindless criminality.”
The Conservative MP confirmed police from Scarborough and throughout North Yorkshire would be deployed to the capital in order to offer “respite and assistance” to Met officers, adding: “Police from North Yorkshire assisted the Met during the riots in the 1980s, and I’m sure that they will be able to assist them again.
“We have an excellent regional police force, and we are fortunate to be able to send them to other parts of the country should trouble break out.”
DCC Tim Madgwick, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “As part of the national response to the disorder in London, we have responded to a request from the Metropolitan Police and have sent resources to assist colleagues in London.
“The are no reports of any disorder across North Yorkshire or the City of York. However, we have increased the numbers of officers on the streets to ensure that this remains the case.”
Mr Madgwick added: “I would also like to reassure residents that North Yorkshire Police’s capability and day-to-day policing is unaffected by the extra support we have provided to the Metropolitan Police Service.”
Scarborough councillor and chairman of North Yorkshire Police Authority, Jane Kenyon, added: “Clearly, the events are disturbing and have no part in a civilised society.”