The police started the 1981 Brixton riots. A community already under pressure was driven over the edge by a heavy handed racist stop and search operation specifically targeting young black men. Tension between youth and police built up and finally boiled over on Friday 10th April 1981. The police, totally out of touch with local feeling, were unprepared. They had to grab dustbin lids from the street for protection. There was no plan. The police behaviour that followed was uncontrolled and outrageous.