Tag Archives: riots

Opinion: Crime, transport and the battle for London Mayor

Just six months ago today London was emerging from its third night of rioting, with a semblance of order only just beginning to take hold as a massive police presence descended on the city. The fear in the streets was palpable. We had been given a brief and terrifying glimpse of what sheer anarchy looked like, the rage and shameless opportunism of London’s marginalised youth provoking deep existential questions about what was wrong with our society.

Yet, as the contest for London Mayor begins to build up momentum, Ken and Boris’ campaigns continue to revolve around the same old topic …

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Opinion: Court of Appeal upholds importance of social media in riot cases

This week (Tuesday, 18 October 2011) the Court of Appeal constituted by three of is most senior members, the Lord Chief Justice, the President of the Queen’s Bench Division and Lord Justice Leveson, gave judgment on ten cases arising out of the August riots.

Seven of the ten sentences were upheld including two where the offenders had committed their offences by posting on Facebook.

The LCJ began the judgment with a clear statement:

There can be very few decent members of our community who are unaware of and were not horrified by the rioting which took place all over the country between 6th

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Opinion: Summer schools? Little more than a sticking plaster

Nick Clegg’s conference announcement of £50m to fund summer schools for the disadvantaged caught the headlines (even in the Daily Mail!), and received some support in editorials and from some Lib Dem bloggers. However, though it might be a crowd pleaser and a nice idea, in truth it’s little more than a sticking plaster for deeper problems.

Would I have them rather than nothing at all? Possibly, but I’d rather the money stayed in the Pupil Premium where it is at least targeted through mechanisms (schools) that are already set up to identify and address students needs. Perhaps even

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Brian Paddick writes… Policing the riots

I am on the horns of a dilemma. I served Londoners in the Metropolitan Police for more than 30 years and loyalty to my former colleagues runs deep. As a sergeant, I faced bricks and petrol bombs on the streets of Brixton in 1981. So I know what officers went through during the recent riots. I later became one of a small cadre of advanced trained public order senior officers who took charge of policing protests and big events in London. So I know the strategies and tactics for dealing with riots. Yet I, like most Londoners, was disappointed by …

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The role of politicians in the cause of the riots

During the week, The Independent covered one of the most interesting pieces of work that has come out on the causes of the riots. It’s a piece of research that was released earlier in August from a group of researchers at Essex and Royal Holloway Universities:

Lack of trust in politicians was a significant factor behind the riots that erupted in England this month, according to a major academic research project.

Although poverty and lax moral values played a part in people’s decision to join the disturbances, a stronger influence was their attitude towards politicians…

According to the report, “There will be

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Video: Nick Clegg says, “We are not going to start cutting people off from social networks”

Nick Clegg has said that the government won’t “start cutting people off” from social networking sites, following the riots two weeks ago.

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Dee Doocey writes: Riots – a case for reason and not posturing

The TV comedy The Thick of It brilliantly satirised the tendency of New Labour to govern by ‘initiative’. Politics was reduced to public relations. Policies were created on the hoof with an eye to the next morning’s headlines.

If you thought those days ended at the last general election, think again. The recent riots should have given everyone pause for thought. Instead, many politicians and commentators were shooting from the hip or trotting out predictable responses.

Playing to the gallery pays only short-term dividends. Yes, “something must be done”. But politicians of all parties have a duty to think before they open their mouths, and not try to cash in on gut reactions or tabloid hysteria – despite the media’s hunger for sensational news and tendency to incite sensational comment.

Despite the pressure to meet emotionally-driven imperatives, only an intelligent, long-term, considered response will prevent a recurrence of these riots. What needs to be done?

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Brian Paddick writes: What we need to do in the wake of the riots

There are serious social issues that need to be addressed in the wake of the riots. The problem for politicians faced with situations like those we have seen over the past 10 days is the need to be seen to be doing something positive about it. Talk about long-term problems requiring long terms solutions just doesn’t cut it with the voters, even if that is the answer. Yet it is the responsibility of the Mayor to show political leadership, to inform, persuade and facilitate these long terms solutions, even if he has not direct power to do so.

Young people are …

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Opinion: Riots, prisons and us

The speeches this week by David Cameron and Ed Milliband made for a very interesting bit of bed-time reading. For me, both the Prime Minister and the Labour leader were pretty wide of the mark. Ed, as he often does came across as being reactionary. Too scared to be seen to defend looters and join the dots toward massive social injustice but too hidebound by his party to talk about throwing away the key, he was left very much floundering somewhere in the ether; neither talking about the roots of the problem (possibly because they lie a little close to …

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Opinion: the big society broken record

Our society really is big. And it suffers from no lack of definition. It’s a big society. It’s a broken society. It’s a big and broken society. The big society needs to save our broken society. There is such a thing as society, but it’s not the same as the state. And once, there was no such thing as society at all. There’s as good a choice of societies as you’d find at a student freshers’ fair.

Cameron’s election campaign was fought on his two favourite societies – the big one and …

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Meral Hussein Ece writes: my contribution in the Lords to the riots debate

This is the speech Meral made last Thursday as part of the Lords debate on the public disorder.

Baroness Hussein-Ece: My Lords, I, too, would like to associate myself and these Benches with the sentiments that have been expressed and to extend our condolences to those people who have lost so much in the terrible events from Saturday onwards. I thank my noble friend the Leader of the House for repeating the Prime Minster’s Statement today.

There is absolutely no excuse for the terrible scenes that we have witnessed on the streets of London and beyond in our cities over the …

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Tim Leunig writes: Riots, Justice and Reconciliation

Natasha Reid, a 24 year old graduate, was in McDonalds in Enfield on Sunday night. She noticed that Comet was being looted, and went in and helped herself to a £270 television. There is no suggestion that she caused any damage, or was violent in any way. She realised that what she had done was wrong, and handed herself in to the police.

She has been found guilty, and will be sentenced on 1 September. District judge Elizabeth Roscoe told her that her remorse would ‘very much go in your favour’ but warned that she could still face prison because of the ‘serious nature’ of the case.

That would not be appropriate. What Natasha Reid did was wrong, but, bluntly, since she got home with the television, and does not appear to have been caught on camera, she could probably have got away with it. She chose to confess, a remarkably brave thing to do given that sentencing was likely to be harsh.

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The Independent View: Not in my Name

The events of the last few days have been alarming and have raised many questions about our society. If you’re like me, you’re still trying make sense of the violence that we’ve seen in communities across England. As the leading independent voice for voluntary and community groups working with young people, my organisation has been inundated with calls and messages from our members expressing concern about the impact of the riots on young people, their image in the media and the programmes that are needed to support them.

There’s no escaping the fact that young people have been involved in …

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Nick Clegg’s speech to Liberal Democrat members on the riots

Nick Clegg spoke to party members yesterday (Saturday) in Liverpool and Manchester, discussing last week’s riots and their aftermath.

His speech featured the announcement that the Government is commissioning independent research into the riots, (including research into gang culture) and cautions against “overnight policy” and “instant announcements”.

Nick’s speech in full:

This has been a traumatic week.

Traumatic for the nation; for police forces around the country; and above all for the innocent victims who have lost their homes, their livelihoods and even, in the most tragic cases, their lives.

The images of burning buses, looted shops and wrecked homes will not fade quickly. But

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Jo Swinson MP writes: Determination, courage and kindness in response to riots shows true British society

Everyone across our country has been horrified at the scenes unfolding on our TV screens, and, for some, outside their homes and workplaces.

Watching from Glasgow, I was certainly relieved that the riots did not spread to Scotland, but I think it is unhelpful for anyone, especially the First Minister, to express any feeling of superiority about that. My constituents are feeling solidarity with the victims of the violence, and with everyone who is afraid in their own community as a result of the riots, not gloating that this hasn’t been happening in Scotland.

The question that everyone is …

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Opinion: Leading Labour figures guilty of the worst kind of opportunism

London burns and communities reel from successive nights of violence and looting, rumour is rife, facts are scare. All we know that peaceful vigil held for Mark Duggan, who was shot dead by police on Thursday night, somehow was hijacked by an angry mob and his death became the catalyst of nights of violence, which have now spread to other parts of the capital and country.

What do we hear from Labour politicians? Calls for calm? Space for the IPCC to carry out their investigation into the shooting? No, instead we have them lining up to link the violence to the …

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Opinion: Lessons learned the hard way will have to be re-learned following the riots in Tottenham

As a young research assistant I was in Northern Ireland on the day of the June 1987 General Election, campaigning for the re-election of my boss the Rev Martin Smyth, Ulster Unionist MP for South Belfast and head of the Orange Order.

Elections in Northern Ireland were always conducted in a way mindful of possible violence or terrorist attack, and an RUC patrol intercepted a car in the vicinity of a school being used as a polling station. The IRA occupants of the car were found to be armed and an explosive device was also found. Mr Smyth was in the …

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Brian Paddick writes: Lessons from the Tottenham riots

What can be learnt from the riots in Tottenham this weekend?  There have been many controversial police shootings in recent years but this would not appear, on the face of it, to be one of them.  The matter is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and from my experience that might be part of the problem.  There are also deeper issues that need to be addressed.

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Opinion: Tottenham points to wider policing problems

The last couple of evening riots in London, starting in Tottenham and working their way across the capital, seemingly sparing no town in its wake has left us in shock. People are being injured, the police and innocent bystanders as well as the rioters and looters. Again and again though, the question that people keep asking is “What’s going on?”

They are right to ask. Unfortunately, the riots have occurred while a high number of our leading politicians are out of the country. David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson, Nick Clegg, they all could have spoken with authority on the …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarLiberal Al 29th Aug - 12:22am
    This is truly scary news. When I first heard that a Tory had defected to UKIP and chosen to take a by-election, I chuckled, naviely...
  • User Avatarmuxloe 29th Aug - 12:01am
    @malcolmwood Many people in England don't want regional devolution but that doesn't mean that it necessarily follows that they are content with the west lothian...
  • User Avatarmuxloe 28th Aug - 11:55pm
    @johnmc No party has offered that possibility. (And no mainstream party will; its againstTory instincts while Labour and Lib Dems need the celtic votes) Why...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 28th Aug - 11:52pm
    It's very simple. You check until you are satisfied that you can take full responsibility for the decisions you make and the reliability of the...
  • User AvatarPatrick McAuley 28th Aug - 11:39pm
    Danny I hope I was clear at the start of the piece that this is a stain on all Local Authorities and we all need...
  • User AvatarPatrick McAuley 28th Aug - 11:37pm
    Richard you are right, the issue is to what end do you take your checks. Undermining a qualified professional with more experience and knowledge than...