1981 Chapeltown riots

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The Chapeltown Riots of 1981 took place in the Leeds district of Chapeltown in West Yorkshire, England, during a time when many other areas of the UK were suffering similar problems (such as London, Birmingham and Liverpool). The riots unfolded in July 1981 from a background of racial tension, inner city poverty, poor housing and high unemployment (which was rising rapidly as a result of the recession at the time).[1] This brought high tension, particularly amongst the area's Caribbean community, culminating in attacks on the local police.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reported on the events from a 'law and order' perspective, quoting police and council sources. The Leeds Other Paper reported on the social and community aspects of the disturbances, including the root causes.[2]

These were not to be the last riots in the area. In 1987 there was further rioting in Chapeltown and in 2001 there was widespread rioting in nearby Harehills.[3]

See also[edit]

Other riots in the UK the same year


  1. ^ Libraries, Leeds (11 October 2019). "The 1981 uprising". The Secret Library | Leeds Libraries Heritage Blog. Archived from the original on 15 November 2020. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  2. ^ Harcup, Tony (2013). Alternative Journalism, Alternative Voices. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-52186-4.
  3. ^ "Leeds footsoldiers and London bombs | openDemocracy". Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2008.