"[A friend phoned to say] riots are going on in town, that they were meeting there tonight, and: 'Are you on it?' I said yeah. [Was there a connection to what was happening in London?] Yeah … Probably money, ain't it? A chance to [do] what they're looting in London and they think: 'Yeah, fuck that.' And they want to take part and get some money, ain't it? Get some drugs. I just thought, like, the more people the less chance of getting caught. So, score against the police."
[He arrived in the city centre by bus and walked through Digbeth, in the city centre, with a group of 50 people, mostly men, aged between 16 and 30.]
"[There were] police around, blocking off roads. Basically all the looters were looking round for somewhere to loot … Kick down a few windows, burgle a few shops. Not good shops, like, Spar, Tesco's, trying to get into the good shops. Try to get into the TV shops and then the police came down in the vans chasing you. And you have to get off.
"[At a television shop] about 40 of us lifted up the shutters, kicked down the window and just ran through there, ain't it and opened up. TVs, stereos, everything, big ones, small ones.
"We were one team until we get the place open and then as soon as we got the place open we were out for ourselves. There were a few people who didn't get away with anything [and] waited for the looters who got away with stuff to rob them. There was one geezer that ran round the back of the flats with his TV and two geezers chased him right round the back and followed him. Then they came back down with the plasma. Everyone's got balaclavas on so you don't know who you're with.
"I saw some innocent bystanders that was just walking through town and then they [the police] went a bit OTT on them. They hit them with their truncheon and threw them up the wall, and they were just innocent people.
"You think there's no job out there for me, so you think fuck it, going to go out on the road and steal and sell drugs, do whatever to get your money. People our age. We didn't rob no women, no old men, no girls – we have our morals sometimes. I was fully covered from head to toe. Nice balaclava. Wore all black out so not to be seen. I'm already who I am now anyway, so I don't think I'm ever going to change. [Looting was] nothing personal. It's just business."