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'People are now nodding their heads in approval' says MP de Bois
Wednesday, 08 August 2012
At the scene: Nick de Bois was in Enfield Town as the rioters hit
ENFIELD has come a long way since August 2011, says Enfield North MP Nick de Bois, who witnessed the borough’s riots first-hand last year.
“A year ago people were looking at London and Enfield and people were shaking their heads in shock and dismay,” Mr de Bois told the Advertiser.
“And here we are a year later and people are looking at London and nodding their heads in approval.”
Mr de Bois said the riots had highlighted misconceptions about Enfield, adding: “For the last 15 years governments have looked at the outer suburbs of London, like Enfield, and thought it looks pleasant and leafy.
“The riots showed that is not necessarily the case – Enfield has three of the poorest wards in the country and there are funding issues.
“Now we have got the Mayor’s Outer London Fund, the troubled families fund. But residents and businesses have also acted – they didn’t look to government. People just cleaned things up and got with it.
“Look at Sony – I spent time with Sony and they recommitted to the area. They were really keen to show a positive response.”
Mr de Bois said heavy sentences handed out by the courts to convicted rioters will have acted as a deterrent. But he added that there are lots of measures in place to help prevent future trouble.
“You can’t get away from the fact that there was a massive element of criminal opportunism,” he said.
“This was not all about a cry for social justice. There is no question that a lot of young people think they don’t have to work hard to earn things they want – which is proven by the fact that people were busy selecting which size Nike shoes they were going to take.
“But we are doing early intervention. The charity Chance UK is now working in Enfield, offering one-to-one mentoring for primary school kids who are on the edge.”
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