Andrew Parsons: London Riots

Andrew Parsons is an award-winning photojournalist who is best known for his political work. He has been documenting the British Prime Minister since 2005, from David Cameron’s bid to become leader of the Conservative Party through to victory in the bitterly contested General Election of 2010, including exclusive access behind the scenes to document the historic coalition talks.

Andrew began at the Cambridge Evening News from where he moved to the Times of London and covered international news, features, fashion and sport. He joined the the UK’s national news agency, the Press Association, in 2001 and later spent 18 months based in the Middle East where he covered features on Israel’s 60th anniversary as well as the rise and collapse of the Dubai economy.

Andrew is a respected war photographer and has worked in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Bosnia. His photographs capturing the moment a regiment was ambushed by the Taliban in 2007 were the first images of life-threatening injuries to British soldiers to come out of Afghanistan and led to his winning of the War Photographer of the Year award in the prestigious PX3 Prix De La Photographie.

Last month Andrew used his M9 to document destruction occurring much closer to home. Between 6 and 10 August, chaos ensued across the UK when riots broke out in many parts of the country. The riots started from a peaceful protest in Tottenham, North London, after the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan by the Metropolitan Police, and transformed into a violent riot. Further riots began across areas of London, greater Manchester, Merseyside, West Midlands, West Yorkshire and Bristol.

Many businesses were affected and shops stopped trading or closed early. There has been an estimated £200 million worth of damage done and the massive clean-up operation is still under way. It will take a number of months to get the affected areas back to normal.

As a result of the riots, 3,100 people were arrested and more than 1,000 were charged.  These have been the worst riots the UK has seen in a very long time. Andrew describes his experience shooting the riots as such, “Arriving in Tottenham North London early on Sunday August 7, I was met with scenes that reminded me of my time covering the troubles in Beirut, when I was based in the Middle East. I saw burnt out cars and buildings still smouldering and a community in shock and disbelief.”

-Leica Internet Team

You can see the range of Andrew’s work on his website, www.parsonsmedia.net.