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Haringey Council leader Claire Kober: 'Tottenham is a place of unity and pride'
The leader of Haringey Borough Council has said Tottenham is a place of “unity and pride” and better than how it is portrayed in the media.
Councillor Claire Kober made the statement after meetings with police and community leaders in the wake of the Mark Duggan inquest verdict.
The 29-year-old was shot dead by an armed police officer in Ferry Lane, Tottenham, on August 4, 2011, after the minicab he was travelling in was stopped as part of a police gun crime operation.
Yesterday, the jury in the inquest into his death ruled by an 8-2 majority that he had been lawfully killed, despite also deciding he was unarmed when the officer fired the fatal shot.
In a statement, Cllr Kober said: “What today’s conversations have confirmed is that Tottenham is a very different – and far better – place than has been portrayed in some of the coverage you may have seen recently.
“Those people who have chosen to make Tottenham their home, who are here day-in-day-out, know that it is a place of great cultural diversity, unity, community pride and opportunity.
“It is a place that continues to change and to improve, and it cannot be understood simply through the prism of the riots.”
The Seven Sisters ward councillor said the authority were now determined to act in the best interests of the community.
She said: “Of course there remains a need to confront some of the underlying issues facing Tottenham, not least the breakdown of trust between the community and the police.
“We will be continuing to challenge the police to work harder than ever to repair their fractured relationship with the community and rebuild confidence, which we know is amongst the lowest in London.
“And we remain committed to supporting and working with people who are eager to achieve and who are positive about helping to improve their neighbourhoods.”
Cllr Kober called on people to respect the findings of the jury and said the council will continue to offer the Duggan family its support.
This morning, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the shooting of Mr Duggan led to a "significant reduction in trust" between London's black communities and the police.
Today, he met with community leaders in Haringey to discuss how "confidence" in the Met can be improved.
He said: “Community leaders have told me of the dismay and anger at the verdict.
“We have all talked about our belief that we must move forward. “The leaders I met are committed to work hard with us to ensure that their community is not disrupted now as it was in 2011.”
He added: “This is about a relationship. It has much history and many difficult moments over the years. Yesterday was another.
“And yet the positive and constructive way in which we have discussed this challenge gives me great hope for the future.”
Sir Hogan-Howe praised Haringey Borough Commander Victor Olisa for being “terrific and energetic”.
He also acknowledged that inquest’s jury had concerns about the way in which the police gathered intelligence prior to the shooting.
However the commissioner said the Met would wait for any recommendations from the judge or the IPCC before giving a response.
The recommendations could take up to six weeks to be published.
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