STATEMENT: Mayor of Hackney condemns vandals who attacked borough

The Hackney Gazette has today (Thurs 11 August) apologised for suggesting the Mayor of Hackney believes the criminals who attacked the borough were ‘victims’.

Mayor Pipe said: “I want to reassure residents and local businesses that this was a gross misrepresentation of my words and that the Gazette has since apologised to me for their misleading headline. There can be no excuses for the kind of behaviour we saw on Monday night and the only victims are those who suffered at the hands of these vandals.”

In response to a specific question about what initiatives were needed to rebuild community confidence, Mayor Pipe told the Gazette:

"There are many complex issues that could have contributed to the violent and criminal scenes we have witnessed in Hackney and across London. I would suggest one is that we are unfortunately a deeply consumerist society and many of the people bent on destruction, of many ages, used this to justify looting and thieving from their own communities. The only legitimate way people can achieve their aspirations is through gaining qualifications and developing skills. That s why the Council has put such an emphasis on supporting schools and raising standards.

"We now need all communities to pull together - that is how trust will be rebuilt. Ward councillors, the Chief Executive and I are meeting with residents, businesses, community and faith leaders to hear their views on how we can all work to achieve this."

In response to numerous media enquiries, Jules Pipe unequivocally condemned the events of Monday night, including the following statement to the Gazette:

"I am appalled by the events of last night. These were people bent on violence who attacked not just property and local businesses but put residents in fear of their lives. The Council has cleared away all the debris from last night and Hackney is going about its business, but if we are to avoid a repeat of last night, I am urging families across London to make sure they know where their children are and to support the police in identifying perpetrators.

“The Council s cleaners were on the streets throughout the night and had cleared away all the debris, apart from a few burnt out cars, by 7.30am and I would like to pay tribute to them for their hard work. I would also like to thank the several hundred residents and volunteers who turned up at Hackney Town Hall this morning offering to help clean up the borough. This shows overwhelming generosity and community spirit and many were keen to go and help in other parts of London when it was clear the clean up in Hackney was already complete.”