Wednesday, August 10, 2011

London Riots 2011- Robust reponse ?? and Criminality !

A man is shot dead.
The police claim they acted to protect the community.
A peaceful protest takes place to the Police station to seek answers.
Protesters are kept waiting for hours.
It’s no ones jobs worth to speak to them.

That night, a riot ensues, and the next, day and the next...

Today,  the catalyst that has put the UK into mob rule, has all but been forgotten. It should not.

Politicians have found new words to give themselves wider girths. Words, now slogans which have become meaningless. " this is criminality", "we will meet this with a robust response", criminality, robust…  Thank the good Lord for the word "robust".

Simon Israel, Channel 4 News' crime correspondents  revealed last evening that a preliminary examinations by the authorities, the IPC, investigating the shooting, say the man shot dead, Mark Duggan, 29, did not fire at police.

Tragic doesn’t cut it. This is catastrophic. How could the police get it so wrong?
Not just today, but on every incident that has involved a public death: Tomlinson, de Menezes, the police’s policy seems to be defend the badge, rubbish every one else's account.

Except for this recent event included a crass act whose repercussions were so obvious that a school boy lesson on public relations and communications would have sorted this mess out.

Five hours the protesters waited and either through arrogance or ineptitude, the police did not see fit to supply answers to the family.

The stations police chief was on holiday. Whoever was left in charge and you have to wonder about the communications team or family liaison officer, they’ve been found imbecilically wanting and should be reflecting on their conscious.

No one watching the riots and looting with a scintilla of decency will not be hurting. The riots that have followed encumber a range of reasons, which politicians, themselves have shown to be out of sorts understanding, what to do.

The powder keg is now seemingly distant; the airwaves now filled with one group or another classifying the state the UK's in with analyses which can sometimes make you weep.

The causes are there, and the solutions by no means easy will require attention and resources governments are often loathe to give, or cannot give. In the heat of the moment, the sentiment is the obvious - arrest and prosecute - as well one should.

Many of the perpetrators may be first time offenders, the punishment they'll receive will only serve to expose the UK's criminal justice system. A substantial number will not be locked up. 

If they are their term, which could amount to 8 years for rioting may be worked down to 4 years. You serve half the time for a number of mitigating circumstances. The prisons will not be able to accommodate the swelling numbers, so the authorities are stuck where to put offenders.

And those that do get banged up, may well thank the circumstances: 3 meals a day, a gym, x-box, some order to their lives and now their own badge of honour.

I reported from within Wormwood scrubs - one of London's notorious prisons a good while back, and then as now, governors will tell you denying the freedom of an inmate is the punishment, not what constitutes their rights to lead a life.

Its chaos here, because the foundation for how civil society functions has been undermined by solutions that are outdated. Rich, poor, the privileged, the down trodden, the haves and have nots, and in between these strata the grey areas where many people live and want to make a living with the creed of looking out for one another in decent ways.

In a couple of weeks time as politicians, and those who are hurting, seek answers, we'll begin to hear about the human rights of offenders and what they are entitled to.

The European Courts will have a say, those who are in the business of liberty will be anxious society doesn't seek and get what they deem to be inappropriate.

How we got here is an issue that's going to need forensic handling, where we're going will need imagination. What to do today is the issue to hand, and frankly no one's got much of an idea.

At the very least please can we stop using the word "robust"