1. ITV Report

Confessions of a rioter - 'for me it was political'

Jay Pike convicted and sentenced to prison over the riots Photo: ITV

18 year old rioter Jay Pike spent 3 months in prison after the trouble in Manchester. He stole from a jewellery shop during the disturbances and was convicted of theft, criminal damage and assaulting a police officer.

But why did he feel the need to join in that night?

"For me it was political, he told Granada Reports, "We needed to show the police."

Jay revisits the shop he stole from in the city centre with reporter Mel Barham Credit: ITV

Jay who now lives in Cheetham Hill was sleeping rough at the time of the trouble. He said he got the call from a friend and went to the city centre to see what was going on.

"The atmosphere was tense, it was like walking into a war zone, my intentions were to get one over on the police really you don't get that opportunity a lot. We showed if they want to take the mick out of us we can retaliate."

"They think they're above the law, in my eyes they're the same, I think something's wrong if people can be victimised by them."

Jay told Granada he thought officers had abused their powers searching and arresting teenagers for apparently no reason although he admitted many, "would chat for hours and are just trying to do their jobs." For him this was a chance to get back at them and retaliate for how he felt youths were being treated.

One other aspect the 18 year old added was of community spirit amongst gangs: "To me it was the best day Manchester had seen in a while, people won't understand this but it brought people together, gangs put differences aside, that's what a community is about. Maybe they could put differences aside forever. That day everyone came together."

Jay says he's turned his life around and hasn't been arrested since although he did admit 'riot night' was "fun."

£1.25m has been set aside to pay the bill caused by last summer's riots in Manchester and Salford. So far £867,000 has been paid to businesses who were damaged or looted during last year's trouble.

The rest of the money is due to be paid out as work on the claims continues.

The stats:

  • 241 people have been prosecuted
  • 208 were successfully prosecuted
  • 32 were acquitted or faced no further action
  • 26% of rioters were under 18
  • Almost 40% were aged between 18 and 24
  • 90% were male

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