Ten years since riots swept across the North West

Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rachel Townsend

Ten years ago today in Manchester, Salford and Liverpool rioters looted and burned their way across our cities. 

Shops were ransacked, buildings and cars were burned and people clashed with police.

Thousands took to the streets, as riots swept the country in the aftermath of the shooting of Mark Duggan by police in London.

Two people at the heart of that story - the then Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, and the Chief Prosecutor in the North West at the time - have been reflecting on what happened, and what they learnt from it.

Sir Peter Fahy said of Greater Manchester Police's handling of the riots: "I think we got the balance right. We used the force we needed to on the night. We kept public support. There was a huge swell of people saying 'we're not putting up with this.''

Asked if it could happen again, Sir Peter said there is 'always the risk', but went on:

Rioters set fire to cars in Salford Credit: ITV News

He added:

Former Chief Prosecutor for the North West, Nazir Afzal, told us:

"A significant number of people who came before the courts had never come before the courts before. Ordinarily we would have kept them out of the courts in some way with some penalty that reflected what they’d done without prison. And they were going to prison. I regret that. Lives were damaged by what happened back then. But, of course, they got involved. [...] Most of them did not know why they were doing it. They were asked -was it political? Was it austerity? And they said no- they wanted a new telly. A lot of people got caught up in it and they paid the penalty. And probably an excessive penalty in some circumstances."