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To not understand why the army have not been involved in helping police during the riots.

(46 Posts)
stickwithit Wed 10-Aug-11 00:14:25

I am confused as to why the government have chosen not to involve the Armed Forces in tackling the riots.

I am no expert but to me it seems that the police are being outnumbered in places and surely using the Armed Forces would help?

I feel that as our taxes pay for the Armed Forces they should be able to help regain control in our towns and cities. Isn't this what they do for other countries?

AIBU to think that they should be involved?

electra Wed 10-Aug-11 00:16:10

They are too busy elsewhere - it would be impossible to deploy them apparently.

GypsyMoth Wed 10-Aug-11 00:18:41

ok,so what could a soldier do? remember he has no police powers,wouldnt have a weapon and cant use force......so wha would the army be able to do??

Nihilisticbunny Wed 10-Aug-11 00:19:48

How many of these pointless threads will we have?

EdithWeston Wed 10-Aug-11 00:22:48

There have been a lot of threads on this today.

It is not for the Government to dictate the conduct of police operations.

The Armed Forces are not involved because the police have not requested their assistance. If they do, there is a well established procedure (called MAGD, a type of Military Aid to the Civil Authority) for which there is existing legislation in place.

stickwithit Wed 10-Aug-11 00:28:34

It's not a pointless thread to me, I was hoping to understand this a bit more.

Tiffany, to be honest I am not sure exactly what I would expect them to do. However, I did think that in this type of situation they would be of some use.

My family business is in my home town in the midlands. It has been in my family for three generations, we employ 30 staff. I am really worried that it will be damaged, stolen from or torched so i guess my take on the situation is twisted by this as I wish there were sufficient police available to protect businesses whereas currently their priority understandably needs to be to preserve people's safety.

stickwithit Wed 10-Aug-11 00:31:05

Edith, thank you that is something I didn't know. I did have a look in Active Conversations for a similar thread but I didn't see any. I will have a more thorough look for one and have a good read.

EdithWeston Wed 10-Aug-11 00:31:09

I think she might mean pointless only because there have been so many threads today asking the same question.

GypsyMoth Wed 10-Aug-11 00:32:47

hope your family business survive intact!!

EdithWeston Wed 10-Aug-11 00:33:42

sorry x-post

Try searching "MAGD" as I've used the term in a few threads I've commented on (it's come up in some where it might nit be obvious from the thread title).

And I hope your family and business stay safe.

A1980 Wed 10-Aug-11 00:33:55

I don't understand why the police didn't use tear gas.....

scaryteacher Wed 10-Aug-11 00:48:02

SWI: because if the Armed Forces were involved it would not be pretty, and because it is not their job. This is a civilian problem, it is for the civilian police to sort out. The Forces should be a last resort. The police have not started to exhaust all their options by any means yet; and from what was said by the Met commissioner today, they weren't planning on pussy footing around tonight.

The Forces are also rather busy elsewhere at the moment.

TillyIpswitch Wed 10-Aug-11 00:55:38

Once the forces are involved it's a clear signal the any authority the police and government have has been lost, and this would send out a pretty terrifying message to the masses.

The armed forces should be a last resort - it's not something undertaken in any way lightly - we don't live in a totalitarian state, for one.

kitya Wed 10-Aug-11 00:57:54

Its not a needless thread, is it. The OP is asking a genuine question. We are all singing from the same sheet, I think.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Aug-11 06:25:25

YABU because the police are not outnumbered. 6000 wasn't enough on Monday night in London but an extra 10,000 officers were whistled up and the police commissioner I was listening to on the radio pointed out that he could add many more to that number if necessary. So the army were not required.

Gonzo33 Wed 10-Aug-11 07:16:39

As yet the Armed Forces are not required, and they have not been put on stand-by, if needed there are Battalions available no matter what the government say. IF they were deployed to help the Police that is all they would do. They would not be allowed to carry fire arms, they would basically have the same equipment as the riot police and support the riot police.

To impose martial law (or the UK equivalent) it would have to be far more extreme than it is now. The Armed Forces would then have a Northern Ireland situation. They would be able to carry fire arms and they would invoke the yellow card rule. Believe me, you do NOT want this on your streets if you can possibly help it. I'm proud of my husband (he is armed forces), but I would never want to see him have to do his job to it's full potential in UK.

Pedallleur Wed 10-Aug-11 09:03:53

This is not a 'riot' situation. It's not Mogadishu/Tikrit/Tripoli. It's ill-disciplined children running about hoping to have a pop at the Police and get new training shoes. If it was the sort of situation that occurs overseas, a lot of people on here would be asking why children were being shot/maimed etc.

GentlemanGin Wed 10-Aug-11 09:08:50

this sums it up quite well, from a leading newspaper who's name I'll not repeat for fear of being branded a wishy washy sandle wearing beardy....

'To call in the army would be a much more serious admission of governmental and policing failure than can yet be justified even by this week's torrid events. It was the right decision, too, to deploy greatly increased police numbers last night rather than to lurch at dubious technological panaceas which may produce tough headlines but sow dragon's teeth on the streets. Water cannon and baton rounds have their place in public order policing, but Northern Ireland has long proved that they should be weapons of absolutely last resort. Teargas, used disastrously in Toxteth 30 years ago, is even less desirable. Draconian legal measures, such as curfews or the suspension of basic rights, enabling more arbitrary arrest of suspects, should be resisted too. The streets are a battleground, but the nation is not at war. Containment and patience remain the wisest long-term approaches. Right now, kettling suddenly looks a sensibly proportionate approach.'

sausagesandmarmelade Wed 10-Aug-11 09:11:20

This is not a pointless question, it's a very valid one.

Some people on here are SO rude!

It's a question I asked myself.
I guess that while we have the police resources the army won't be brought in. The police would lose face if it seemed that they couldn't cope with this situation.

It does seem as if they are struggling....
The rioters have been running rings around the police and I can't understand why the police appear to stand back and let them run amok...burning buildings, destroying their own communities, stealing, ruining people's businesses and livelihoods.

Perhaps it's now time for a zero tolerance stance....
Bring in the water cannons and batton rounds if necessary. Whatever it takes...

There is no rhyme and reason to all this...it's anarchy, mindless violence....and is a national embarrassment.

niceguy2 Wed 10-Aug-11 09:13:03

I must admit my first reaction was we should deploy the army. But now I've had chance to think about it, i do believe it would have been an overreaction.

This is a bunch of youths seizing the opportunity to steal. This is far from a Northern Ireland situation. If our police can't handle this then you have to wonder what sort of police "force" we have. Hopefully they will get on top of this in the next few days.

Plus even if we did have the soldiers, what would they do? They are trained to kill, not contain & arrest. I'm not even sure your standard squaddie will have been trained to use a baton/riot shield. That said, i wouldn't shed any tears if a few looters skulls got cracked.

What I'd like to see after this is the government introducing laws to enable the police to be more effective. At the moment they understandably don't want to arrest people because the arresting officer has to go with the looter. How about in times of rioting police can be given the power to detain for 72 hours instead of 24? That way they can chuck them in the back of a van, carry on with their duties and sort them all out in a few days when trouble has subsided.

sprogger Wed 10-Aug-11 09:19:08

Good Lord, if we need the army to deal with a bunch of brats this country really will be in trouble.

Morloth Wed 10-Aug-11 09:23:00

Tanks and soldiers on the streets of London deployed against British citizens, think about what you are suggesting.

If it is at all possible to contain this with the police force they should.

GentlemanGin Wed 10-Aug-11 09:23:17

Someone in another thread wondered if there weren't any spare tanks and heavy artillery. confused

Agree with Sprogger. We're not in a warfare situation, it's all containable, bringing in the army is the worst thing we could do, and a sign that we are really in trouble.

OhdearNigel Wed 10-Aug-11 09:35:53

It would have a serious long term effect on the public's trust in the police if the army were to be drafted in. We are trained to deal with riots and large scale public disorder and it is OUR job to deal with it, not the army. If we have to draft in the army for every bit of disorder, what sort of message does that send to the youths that already have scant respect for hte police ?

After all the corruption scandals recently involving high profile and hig level officers at least this is an opportunity to show the public that the police mean business and to regain some of the trust that has been lost

CocktailMumma Wed 10-Aug-11 09:41:52

The Forces are equally as under manned as the police force and besides there is no oil in London or Birmingham for the government to warrent sending them in.

Our Forces are already severely over stretched (pre cuts) sorting out other countries crap - think Afghan and Libya just for starters! You may be shocked to realised how few "spare" forces there are actually ready here in the UK should some kind of attack strike the UK right now.

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