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Parliamentary Debate on Riots

(49 Posts)
working9while5 Thu 11-Aug-11 13:07:18

Anyone watching?

working9while5 Thu 11-Aug-11 13:10:17

Lots of talk about the police cuts, Cameron is saying that the police can always "surge" if there is trouble but it seems to me that there is often trouble like this in some areas, does there have to be a riot before there is adequate policing to deal with antisocial behaviour and criminality?

GypsyMoth Thu 11-Aug-11 13:19:25

What's this about new powers to get people to remove face coverings?

working9while5 Thu 11-Aug-11 13:21:24

Not been a lot said about it yet, mentioned in statement but hasn't been followed up.

It has taken up until about five minutes ago for someone to say that it's not enough to only provide for emergencies, that there needs to be tougher measures for general low-level antisocial criminal activity.

Apparently none of this has anything to do with inequality at all. It's about personal responsibility...

I am not really sure what Cameron's angle is yet.

boohoohoo Thu 11-Aug-11 13:29:59

So they flooded London with police over the last couple of days and there has been very little trouble, so it looks as though thats their answer. Gang culture is a real problem for London and other cities, they need to go in tough on these gangs, break them up. Its all about making the streets/neighbourhoods safer, so more police is needed not less, the government needs to stop cutting them. Am I right in thinking this is what happened in New York?

working9while5 Thu 11-Aug-11 13:32:00

I think so boohoo, but Cameron is sticking to cuts no matter what, facing quite a lot of pressure for it. He says that what is needed is the "ability to surge" but again, this seems to be in response to emergencies.

There has been some talk about gang injunctions for children and adults. Someone asked to clarify what this was, but no one has clarified, I'm not sure what it is.

XRoads Thu 11-Aug-11 13:33:29

While this is going on Police have been told to work 12 hours shifts and no holiday leave until further notice. We need more police not less!

Good god the goverment are stupid at times with their "im alright jack mentality."

working9while5 Thu 11-Aug-11 13:36:46

He is being faced time and time again with cries not to cut, not to cut but he has put himself in a situation where he can't back down -

"I simply refuse to accept that we can't get better value for money" etc.

boohoohoo Thu 11-Aug-11 13:45:37

Im thinking that these riots were orchestrated, now what was strange that gangs obviously `worked together` in this? Living in central London and having been a PS teacher the gang culture is really quiet scary. Boys of ten/eleven are scared to walk around their own streets, they are targets.

The `abilitity to surge` is a response to violence, what we need is an answer to the problem, Im not sure if you`ve been watching `24 hours in A&E` set in Kings, the amount of gang injuries going in every evening is unbelivable. I was under the impression that New York had this problem and that Guilliano (SP?) flooded the streets with police and this has really helped the problem (I could be very wrong with that and apologies if I am).

At the moment, all I can see is the desperate need for a more permanent presence for more police.

flatbread Thu 11-Aug-11 13:47:18

A number of members are asking for stiff sentences. Someone is suggesting 10 years shock. Bet that member would not suggest that type of sentence for MPs who embezzle our tax money and weaken our political institutionshmm

No discussion of economic inequality. Ed Miliband made a passing reference to a culture of entitlement rampant in all institutions, from boardrooms to benefit offices, where people take whatever they can get away with. But that is it. The focus is on 'criminality', stiff sentences and parental discipline

boohoohoo Thu 11-Aug-11 13:49:56

working, I know but if he doesnt back track then we are going to have this again, I heard him say just now, that the police were not robust enough, really not quite sure what they were meant to do when faced with so many rioters as in clapham junction. I know if I was a police officer down there on that night I would have very fast in the opposite direction!

flatbread Thu 11-Aug-11 13:55:07

Do we really want policing aka New York? I lived in the USA and one of the things I love about UK is the friendly bobby.

In NY, it wasn't just having more police on the street, it involved having armed police, promoting a police culture of intimidation, the ability to impose really stiff sentences and generally have an 'us vs. them attitude' rather than community based policing. I rarely felt comfortable asking the police in the US for directions or any kind of help. And if you are stopped for speeding, they come down like a ton of bricks, very intimidating.

Do we really want this type of police force?

working9while5 Thu 11-Aug-11 13:55:33

He seems to be taking his usual line that we are "all responsible", I hear "Big Society" stuff in here.. lots of tributes to people defending their own property which I think is worryingly opening the door to vigilantism.

Flatbread, he absolutely shouted one member down for mentioning "inequality". He was very clear that this has nothing to do with inequality... there are a lot of mixed messages here.

He wants people to "take responsibility" for their own actions, but I don't want to have to "take responsibility" by arming myself with a bat outside my own home because there's no police about as the criminality isn't deemed an emergency so there's been no surge!

Pan Thu 11-Aug-11 14:00:16

Yes Camrun was doing a sort of 'having my cake and eating it' sort of thing.

Jack Straw is asking for a general increase in the prison population because he has a financial interest in prison building. Jack Straw is an utter cunt.

EdithWeston Thu 11-Aug-11 14:00:38

London police numbers are actually scheduled to rise over the next year, before the cuts over the next couple of years after that. Therefore there's no need to go for party political point scoring (like Harman) about an immediate moratorium.

For once, Boris has got it right, calling for a proper examination of the size force London needs and expecting idc to be calling for readjustment in the current plan. The "reverse the cuts now" rhetoric isn't helpful. Actually examining what went wrong (and what went right) might be helpful - as will a proper assessment of what is needed (eg different, not just more).

flatbread Thu 11-Aug-11 14:03:31

Working, I agree with you. This type of vigilantism is dangerous and may lead to racial riots down the road.

I totally agree that police cuts are insane at this time. But the calls for harder and more robust police action are a bit scary. Who is going to make sure that an empowered police will only use their powers to control the 'bad' guys, and not use it to intimidate the rest of us?

Have to say, the whole debate seems of pretty poor quality, very little insight or solutions on the table

boohoohoo Thu 11-Aug-11 14:15:47

Flatbread, as I said I wasnt sure how it worked in New York and I absolutely agree with what you are saying. Yes I did wonder what DC meant by more robust policing, that is scary, jeez what is the answer then?

Vigilanties terrify me, even here in Brockley people were talking about taking to the streets to defend property, christ could you imagine what would happen, and I agree would lead to racial problems.

Any answer is going to be long term policies, this is an oppotunity now for a complete new look at the social problems that we have in society, but that is going to takes years.

working9while5 Thu 11-Aug-11 14:17:34

Yes flatbread, a friend was sexually assaulted by a traffic cop in the States who stopped her for a broken taillight sad. It's not always great to have police with immense powers, is it?

Edith, that sounds sensible.. but I do worry about the message of cuts in this area at this time.

I am concerned that there can be no debate about inequality on this issue. Cameron is taking the line that it is simply criminality in his responses, although his statement did suggest there was a "context", but he sees that as being personal responsibility alone. He is pooh-poohing any suggestion that youth services cuts can increase criminality despite research etc... I am not in the basis of condoning the actions of any rioter, but some of these kids were 11, the majority were secondary-aged.. talking about them as hardened criminals who deserve "the full force of the law" in the absence of discussions about how to turn this situation around seems short-sighted.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Aug-11 14:45:38

I think the two issues are getting confused and conflated. On the one hand there is the subject of policing needs of major cities, what are the right strategies e.g. dealing with the gangs, and what is the right level of manpower. On the other hand there is a rather different discussion on how to re-energise poor areas, find purposeful activity for young people, raise personal standards and persuade them into education, training or work. And then there's the thorny 'elephant in the room' which is not about poverty or police levels but about the personal morality that makes the outwardly respectable people we've seen in court this week turn into looters...

If we don't separate the debates and think all that's necessary is 'throw more money at it' then we simply repeat the mistakes of the last government and we get nowhere.

aliceliddell Thu 11-Aug-11 15:04:00

Callmedave of course doesn't want to discuss inequality. 'Spirit Level' & 'Affluenza' dealt with that, not in a way he'd like. He suggested eviction from social housing for convicted 'rioters'. That'll help.hmm No homelessness if you bought a flat, then. Apparently we wil be helped if we lost home or business due to riots. But not if it was due to banks foreclosing. Also he stated that if you're old enough to do the crime, you can do the time. Supreme Court might not agree? Might be an idea to check the actual law, with him being Prime Minister.

MackerelOfFact Thu 11-Aug-11 15:12:52

This infuriated be (from BBC):

Mr Cameron told MPs: "There were simply far too few police deployed on to our streets and the tactics they were using weren't working.

"Police chiefs have been frank with me about why this happened.

"Initially the police treated the situation too much as a public order issue - rather than essentially one of crime.

"The truth is that the police have been facing a new and unique challenge with different people doing the same thing - basically looting - in different places all at the same time."

And what about how long it took YOU, the Prime Minister, to decide to tear yourself away from your luxury f*cking Italian holiday? Why is it always everyone's fault but your own, Dave?

boohoohoo Thu 11-Aug-11 15:23:45

Basically what I think dave is trying to say is nothing will change, wasnt my fault and if it happens again we`ll bring the police from other counties in again. As for taking the opportunity to see what the fundamental problems are and what needs changing, he wont. Paper over the cracks and move on.

aliceliddell Thu 11-Aug-11 19:06:36

I don't think I'm the only one thinking 6hose cracks are getting too big to paper over.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Aug-11 19:20:47

Accusations of papering over cracks have to be set against the bigger picture. The country is holding its head above water at the moment economically, just. If we want to help the disenfranchised by cracking poverty we need to create jobs & if we want to create jobs we need to create opportunities for growth and attract investment. You've seen what's happened to Eurozone countries and the US for dithering about cutting expenditure and dealing with their debts. It's not happening here for the reason that our government is seen as being in control of the purse strings. We may not like what that entails for the police or youth clubs or libraries eor wherever else that money used to go but if the government were to cave in on this one and say 'OK we'll pump in loads of cash we don't have'.... then we would be economic toast.

Vivianna Thu 11-Aug-11 19:28:42

People are angry, angry with the inequalities of life, bankers being given millions in bonuses, MP's swindling thousands in expenses, Murdoch quietly walking away from the pain he directly caused. Is it then really a surprise that the youth of poor areas, who see nothing for themselves in their future, yet, are surrounded by wealth, demonstrate their frustration with such violence?

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