London: Twenty four people of India-origin
are among the nearly 3,000 suspects being tried for last
year`s shocking riots in London and other towns of England,
new analysis of data shows, contradicting the belief that
Asians had stayed away from the violence.
The cases of those arrested are continuing in various
courts, but figures released by the Ministry of Justice show
that as of February 1, 2012, the number of suspects was 2710,
of whom 89 per cent were male.
The presence of Indian-origin and other Asians among the
suspects contradicts reports at the time that youngsters from
the community had stayed away from the disturbances, and only
members of the White and Black communities were involved.
The riots sparked by the police shooting of black youth
Mark Duggan on August 4, 2011 in London led to considerable
financial and reputation loss as images of shops and rampaging
mobs were beamed live on television across the globe.
The figures show that 41 per cent of those brought before
the courts identified themselves as being from the White
group, 39 per cent from the Black ethnic group, 12 per cent
the Mixed ethnic group, six per cent the Asian ethnic group,
and two per cent the Chinese or other ethnic group.
Of the Asian suspects, there were 24 suspects who
identified themselves as `British-Indian`, and appeared at
first hearings in courts.
Eleven of them have been convicted and sentenced for
various offences, while 12 are awaiting the outcome of their
cases, and one has been acquitted.
The 24 Indian origin suspects included 18 who appeared
before courts in London and five in the west Midlands.
The analysis shows that the average length of all
sentences pronounced by courts for the riots was longer than
for other crimes at just over 14 months.
According to the ministry, the public disorder began on
August 6. On August 7 and 8 there were further outbreaks of
disorder mainly in London.
On August 9, the incidents were mainly outside of London,
in Birmingham and Manchester, among others.
Nearly 1,900 of the 2710 defendants have appeared in
London courts, followed by 301 in the West Midlands, 240 in
Greater Manchester, 92 in Merseyside, 64 in Nottingham and 117
in other areas.
More than 2,500 shops and business establishments and 230
houses were attacked during the riots, including some shops
owned by the British Indian community.
Justice Minister Crispin Blunt paid tributes to the legal
system, and said: "The courts, judges and the probation and
prison services have worked hard to make sure that those who
attacked their own communities during the public disorder last
August have faced justice quickly".
He added: "They played a key part in stopping the riots
from spreading further by delivering swift and firm justice,
and these statistics make clear that the disgraceful behaviour
innocent communities endured last summer is wholly