UK riots: Home-owner horror

london riot residents

Photo credit: Ben Tilley

Riots across the UK have caused more than £100m of damage to property over the past four nights. Spreading from London to Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham, the violence has destroyed many shops, businesses and homes.

While retailers in major cities shut early amid fears of further looting, home-owners suffered as the fire and vandalism spread to their properties. On Saturday night, flats above the Carpet Right store in Tottenham, where the rioting began, were destroyed by the flames below.

Local residents reported that the police were fighting to help save the burning buildings. One onlooker told the Guardian : “They were chiefly concerned with trying to protect the fire brigade who were rescuing families from flats that were on fire in the High Road.”

Lord Harris of Peckham, who owns the Carpet Right chain, pledged the following day to help those whose homes were affected.

“My real sympathies are with all those people in the flats above me who are working class – and I don't mean that rudely – that have got nothing,” Harris said. “I'm pleased they all got out safely, because they could all have been killed.”

Across the four days of rioting, home-owners have been posting images on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr of the traumatic damage they have witnessed. This morning, Londoner @CherriesNPearls posted this image:


london riot flat


As the capital saw a quieter night on Tuesday with fewer disturbances, rioters attacked in other main cities. South Liverpool resident Rachel Herrity described the events :

“We looked out the window and heard voices and the sound of people running up the road. The next thing, we saw the reflection of fire in the windows of the house opposite. We legged it downstairs. There was a caravan ablaze in the middle of the road.”

Although the rioters have been principally targeting retailers, the damage to residential property has shocked people around the world.

On Twitter, British expat @Turnip_King reacted: “On Twitter for 1st time in months. Wtf is happening back home?! Not to sound like a typical expat but it's better here… Sunshine, no riots!”

Communities are now gathering together to help clean up local damage in the aftermath of the violence. As neighbours support each other, worried residents are contacting their insurers to find out if they are covered.

Insurers estimate the damage to be “well over £100m”, according to the Guardian , but most home insurance should cover fire, looting and damage.

Home-owners are advised to speak to their insurers and submit their claim as soon as possible.


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