London

'Nothing' done for London riot victims

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Media captionThe riots started in Tottenham

Some businesses affected by the London riots two years ago have said "nothing" has been done to help them.

Trevor Reeves and Duncan Mundell, whose businesses in Croydon were burned down, said they were yet to receive compensation from the Riot Damages Act.

Tottenham MP David Lammy said 75% of recommendations put forward after the riots had failed to be addressed by the government.

But Conservative MP Simon Marcus said much had been done.

'No money'

The riots started in Tottenham in August 2011, following the police shooting of local man Mark Duggan.

Mr Reeves, from the 147-year-old House of Reeves furniture store in Croydon, which was burned down, said: "The site's remained derelict since it was burned down.

"We were indemnified by our insurance company so they're taking up our claim under the Riots Act. To be honest we've not really heard anything about that... how far that's got through the insurers I can't say."

Mr Mundell's business, Party Superstore in Clapham, was also destroyed.

He said: "The shop was gutted and so were we.

"We didn't have much support from anywhere, we've had no money from any of the riot funds - we applied to all of them.

"We've got an on-going situation with the police riots fund but nothing's come from that and aside from a small grant from the council we basically haven't got anything."

Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime said the "vast majority" of claims had now been settled "with only the most complex cases remaining".

'Swept under the carpet'

Image caption Duncan Mundell has since re-opened his shop at a nearby premises and expanded

He said: "I visited Croydon last week and met with insurers to tell them that we expected the remaining claims to be paid as soon as possible and are working hard with them and the police to ensure that any final issues are resolved."

But Tottenham Labour MP Mr Lammy, said his constituents were "angry" after little had been done to improve the situation, with recommendations put forward by the Riots, Communities and Victims Panel so far "ignored" by the government.

He said: "There was a big inquiry: it toured the country, it went to places like Tottenham, Croydon, Salford - all over the country - to look at these issues and they came up with a raft of things and that's why this morning I am incredibly disappointed that of their 63 recommendations the government has ignored, not even addressed, 39 of those recommendations.

"Just 25% of the report was addressed and most of it was stuff that was already happening. So of course people are disappointed.

"The government has done nothing. This inquiry looked into these issues in detail. The people that were involved in the riots are extremely angry. Two years later it's been swept under the carpet."

In response, Simon Marcus from the panel said: "It's something we're going to work on... finances are difficult at the moment and hopefully when the economy continues to grow we will be able to address more of the other issues."

'Swift justice'

Image caption The 147-year-old House of Reeves furniture store was destroyed in Croydon

A study by Royal Holloway University concluded that business owners were affected emotionally and financially following the riots and some equated it to a bereavement.

Dr Rachel Doern said: "While some have had fantastic emotional and practical support from local councils and the community, some say they have been totally ignored, with many business owners still waiting for compensation."

Tony Arbour, Conservative London Assembly member on the Police and Crime Committee added: "If there was one good thing that came out, it showed that if police and the courts do pull their fingers out justice can be swift and equitable.

"One of the problems with the law and policing in London is the tremendous delay between charging and conviction, but during the riot it showed it could be pretty much done within hours."

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