A TOTTENHAM youth leader has said a breakdown in trust between the community and the police contributed to last night's riots.

Symeon Brown, a youth community leader who campaigned against cuts in Haringey Council's budget to services for young people, said teenagers did not trust police.

Twenty-six officers and three others were hurt in the violence which erupted after a protest over the fatal shooting by police of Mark Duggan on Thursday.

Mr Brown said: “There's a sense in the community that the police are 'not for us' and as we've seen with events this year like the student protest, there's a hostility between young people and police - and that has manifested even more so in 2011.

“The trigger for this was a young man being killed – this is the context that must not be forgotten.

Mr Brown added that he hoped the police investigation into the death of Mr Duggan would reveal the truth, but said that council cuts to youth services had affected work to engage the police with the community.

He said: “What I'm hoping for some truth and some honest answers – institutions that try and create that community spirit are suffering right now and this must not be forgotten.”