Steven shocked by London riots

British riot police officers are deployed during riots in Hackney, east London, Monday Aug. 8, 2011. Youths set fire to shops and vehicles in a host of areas of London _ which will host next summer's Olympic Games _ and clashed with police in the nation's central city of Birmingham, as authorities struggled to halt groups of rampaging young people. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
British riot police officers are deployed during riots in Hackney, east London, Monday Aug. 8, 2011. Youths set fire to shops and vehicles in a host of areas of London _ which will host next summer's Olympic Games _ and clashed with police in the nation's central city of Birmingham, as authorities struggled to halt groups of rampaging young people. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
0
Have your say

A STUDENT from Whitley Bay was forced to stay inside his London flat as rioters stormed the streets close to where he lives.

On Monday evening Steven Hedley was supposed to be meeting his girlfriend to go out for a meal but they had to cancel as trouble hit the streets near his Bethnal Green flat.

The 24-year-old only had to look out of his window to see smoke coming from bins set on fire, as helicopters hovered above the estate where he lives near Hackney.

He said: “When I went out on my bike to have a look how far away the trouble was I was surprised to see how close it was.

“I told myself I would work on my dissertation but I couldn’t, you could hear how low the helicopters were.

“They even stopped a delivery truck and started raiding that.”

Steven is living in the capital while studying a Masters degree in philosophy.

He was shocked to see the rioters vandalising, robbing and destroying homes and businesses.

“I saw disorder in the centre of London when the student protests were on, but not in places like this, suburban areas where people live with their families,” he added.

Since Monday night’s rioting the trouble has quietened down in the nation’s capital.

Steven added: “I have lived here for a year now and it started to feel like home to me, but this was just such a shock.

“It feels more normal now, and like home again, but that night felt like a million miles from home.”

Northumbria Police officers were drafted in to support the Metropolitan Police on Tuesday.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “We received a request from the Metropolitan Police for mutual aid and to assist with the current disorder.

“We can confirm we have sent officers to assist with the situation.”