Crawford’s senior vice-president oversaw the response by the loss adjuster, which has been nominated by the Home Office alongside Cunningham Lindsey to handle uninsured riot claims relating to the recent English disturbances

Q. What was your first reaction to the riots?

A. Like most people I was incredulous about the rapidity with which it spread. It ended up with eight police authorities affected to a greater or lesser extent.

Q. What operational difficulties did the riots present for loss adjusters?

A. We have people on standby, but when you are looking at these events, you are looking at crime scenes. Until the situation has calmed down, it’s not always possible to send loss adjusters into these areas. But we were able to get relatively quick access as soon as we were allowed.

Q. What did you think of the government’s move to allow more time for making claims under the Riot (Damages) Act?

A. The new timetable was welcome because it gives greater time to get greater clarity. We are talking about ancient legislation saying what you can and can’t claim. It’s an unusual and difficult situation and there are ongoing discussions over what you can and can’t claim for.

Q. How do the riots rank as a claims event?

A. It has generated a volume of claims, but it’s no more difficult than widespread flooding or last winter’s freeze, which were much greater. But it’s still a big event. The most important thing not to forget is that these are people’s homes and livelihoods. Lifetimes of work have gone up in smoke.