Looking back, 1985 was definitely the year of living dangerously for the UK as regards public order. In Brixton rioting broke out on September 28 . There were riots too that year in Birmingham , Bristol , Coventry , Peckham , Tottenham and Wolverhampton . On October 1 in Liverpool a controversial court case sparked a riot that night in Toxteth, an inner city area with a large black community where social deprivation was rife.
Rioting for a time seemed to have become the chosen route towards social justice in Britain, however misguidedly, though political and social motivations were often mixed confusingly with simple criminal intent – some people were always there to loot while the police were otherwise engaged.
The 1985 riot in Toxteth was by no means as serious as the nine days of disturbances in the area in the previous year of major social unrest, 1981; but five vehicles were hijacked and torched; the Hope Street police station was threatened by an angry mob, and pelted with stones and anything else that came to hand; at least three policemen were injured in clashes with the angry crowds. For a time there were fears of the violence escalating and widening as Toxteth tipped towards anarchy again.
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