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U.K. Envoy Says Britain 'Open For Business' After Rioting


A sign posted outside a looted shop after a night of rioting in and around Manchester, England on August 10.

A sign posted outside a looted shop after a night of rioting in and around Manchester, England on August 10.

Britain's ambassador to the Czech Republic, Sian MacLeod, has declared Britain "open for business" despite the recent scenes of rioting and looting that took the country by storm in the wake of a police shooting.

"The government sees it as a priority to get communities and businesses back on their feet quickly," MacLeod told RFE/RL. "Britain is very much open for business. Order was restored very quickly and the authorities are getting on with doing their job."

Sections of the British capital erupted into violence on August 6 after a demonstration over the killing by police of Mark Duggan in Tottenham, north London. The scenes were eventually repeated in some other British cities.

Businesses were burned to the ground and looted and at least five deaths were blamed on the rioting.

"What happened on the streets of the U.K. last week was deeply shocking and unacceptable. Politicians of all sides in the U.K. are agreed about that," MacLeod said. "There's also agreement that what we saw was not about economics or any other particular social tensions such as race. It was about criminality, and clearly the government and the police force and our local authorities need to work together quickly both to rebuild physically and in terms of longer-term community relations."

The rampages shocked Britons and the world, and sparked heavy criticism of police actions to combat the mayhem.

Police officials have expressed regret for the way they handled the initial protest, when family and friends gathered in front of a police station over the Duggan killing.
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