London: Twenty four people of Indian origin are among the nearly 3,000 suspects being tried for last year's shocking riots in London and other towns of England, new analysis of data shows, contradicting the belief that Asians had stayed away from the violence.
The cases of those arrested are continuing in various courts, but figures released by the Ministry of Justice show that as of 1 February, 2012, the number of suspects was 2710, of whom 89 percent were male.
The presence of Indian-origin and other Asians among the suspects contradicts reports at the time that youngsters from the community had stayed away from the disturbances, and only members of the White and Black communities were involved.
The riots sparked by the police shooting of black youth Mark Duggan on August 4, 2011 in London led to considerable financial and reputation loss as images of shops and rampaging mobs were beamed live on television across the globe.
The figures show that 41 percent of those brought before the courts identified themselves as being from the White group, 39 percent from the Black ethnic group, 12 percent he Mixed ethnic group, six percent the Asian ethnic group,
and two percent the Chinese or other ethnic group.
Of the Asian suspects, there were 24 suspects who identified themselves as 'British–Indian', and appeared at first hearings in courts.
Eleven of them have been convicted and sentenced for various offences, while 12 are awaiting the outcome of their cases, and one has been acquitted.
The 24 Indian origin suspects included 18 who appeared before courts in London.
The analysis shows that the average length of all sentences pronounced by courts for the riots was longer than for other crimes at just over 14 months.
According to the ministry, the public disorder began on 6 August. On 7th and 8th August there were further outbreaks of disorder mainly in London. On 9 August, the incidents were mainly outside of London, in Birmingham and Manchester, among others.
Nearly 1,900 of the 2710 defendants have appeared in London courts, followed by 301 in the West Midlands, 240 in Greater Manchester, 92 in Merseyside, 64 in Nottingham and 117 in other areas.
More than 2,500 shops and business establishments and 230 houses were attacked during the riots, including some shops owned by the British Indian community.
Justice Minister Crispin Blunt paid tributes to the legal system, and said: "The courts, judges and the probation and prison services have worked hard to make sure that those who attacked their own communities during the public disorder last August have faced justice quickly".
He added: "They played a key part in stopping the riots from spreading further by delivering swift and firm justice, and these statistics make clear that the disgraceful behaviour innocent communities endured last summer is wholly
First Published On : Feb 26, 2012 15:50 IST