As an 18 year old growing up in Hackney, I know a lot about the trials and tribulations young people face. Gangs, violence and police are things we have to deal with every day.These things seem to have become an excuse for unnecessary thieving and glory hunting. The riot in Tottenham had a clear reason. However, the others just seem ridiculous.

I am very shocked and upset that people living in deprived communities feel the need to destroy the little that they have. It is very scary and everyone is involved. If you're lucky enough to still have your local clothes stores and food shops intact, you have the fear that your area may be targeted next. I’m heavily involved in helping my community but now my mum doesn’t want me going out of the house.

Its going to be impossible for us to gain respect again

Youths are now being stigmatised and it is going to be impossible for us to gain respect again. I understand people rioting because of the way police act towards young people but how will attacking local shops change that? It is just going to make them more hostile towards us. I believe as communities we need to vent this anger in a more positive way and shock the police into treating us better by proving to them we are not animals.

I also understand that there are riots about the lack of jobs, services and housing, but burning down businesses and flats is only making the situation worse. Today there are fewer houses, less jobs, and no money. The question now is, once London has been destroyed, who is going to build it back up?

This article was written by Nyasha McLean, 18

Photograph credit: Kerim Okten/EPA