Britain’s Prince Harry on Thursday met crisis service workers and shopkeepers caught up in riots last week in the northwestern English city of Manchester.
The prince, third in line to the throne, met police and fire crews who were sent in to deal with a wave of arson, violence and looting on August 9 as riots initially concentrated mainly in London and Birmingham spread north.
The 26-year-old took a day out from training as an army helicopter pilot to hear first hand about the night of the disturbances when more than 300 fires were started across Manchester city centre and Salford.
Police constable Andy Sheridan said: “Harry was very shocked. He said he had seen pictures and footage on Google and was shocked and outraged by what he had seen.”
The officer told the prince: “In 20 years of policing, last Tuesday was the most frightening thing I’ve ever encountered.” Harry replied: “I think it’s fantastic what you guys have done to keep a lid on it. It seems really quiet out there in Salford now.”
Firefighter Max Murphy, 28, said the prince “was expressing some dismay”.
He added: “He’s seen footage from the CCTV cameras, missiles being launched at fire engines, bricks, rocks, anything they could get their hands on.
“He was also expressing thanks for what we had all done.” The army captain met paramedics, including Neil Bruckshaw, 41, who said he was pleased to get “recognition” for the work of the emergency services during riots.
He added: “I was born in Salford and I’ve worked in this station for 19 years. In my time I have not witnessed anything like that before.” The prince also toured battle-scarred Salford Precinct to see the boarded-up shops that were looted during the mayhem.
Ismail Patel told the prince how one of his shops was ransacked and torched, causing #90,000 (105,000 euros, $150,000) of damage.
He said Harry “basically felt sorry for what happened.
“It is a good thing for us — at least somebody feels about us. It is a good feeling for me, he is a big person.” Harry’s visit comes the day after his fatherand his wife Camilla met families left homeless by the riots in London, as they toured violence-scarred neighbourhoods such as Tottenham, Hackney and Croydon