'Community spirit' helps clean up after London riots

By Jennifer Lipman, August 9, 2011
The scene in Camden on Tuesday morning (Photo: Richard Daniels)

The scene in Camden on Tuesday morning (Photo: Richard Daniels)

Londoners have praised a "community spirit" as efforts to rebuild the city after three days of rioting got underway.

Medical student Richard Daniels had some free time and was one of more than 80 volunteers who turned out in Camden today, following the closure of the high street and Camden and Chalk Farm stations last night.

He said that despite scenes of devastation, it was business as usual in the area. "It wasn't too bad – I was definitely was expecting worse. There were a few shops smashed up and police tape and guards."

"The general atmosphere was one of community spirit - of disgust at the events of last night and a desire to try and return things back to normal as soon as possible,.” He said, adding that there was a common desire to "reclaim our city".

He said that Camden was quite controlled compared to other locations in London. Jacqui Levere, a teacher who lives in Ealing, fled the area last night as rioting began. She returned this morning and found things calm but much of the area cordoned off.

Damage to a shop in Camden (Photo: Richard Daniels)

Damage to a shop in Camden (Photo: Richard Daniels)

"I went out with my broom but the place was pretty much cleared up already," she said. "There was a great sense of community out there. Some of the shops were already re-glazed and open for business."

Elsewhere in London people said they were turned away because so many volunteers wanted to help.

Across the capital shops and businesses are closing early as a precaution against possible rioting later tonight.

Last updated: 10:34am, August 10 2011