Tuesday, December 20, 2011
‘The state ceased to exist’: Damning verdict on lazy British police during summer riots
Rioting spread across Britain during the summer because police ‘lost control of the streets’, a devastating report by MPs says today. The home affairs select committee accuses police of failing to appreciate the ‘magnitude’ of the task they faced.
The committee’s chairman, Keith Vaz, said that some parts of the country ‘the state effectively ceased to exist - sometimes for hours at a time.’ He adds: ‘This is an utterly unacceptable situation and should never occur again.’
Groups on the Left have attempted to find other explanations for the riots, which broke out in Tottenham, north London, on August 6, following the fatal shooting by police of Mark Duggan. They then spread to other parts of the capital and other English cities, including Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham, Manchester and Salford – leaving five people dead.
A joint report by the Guardian and London School of Economics claimed that deep-seated anger and frustration towards the police was a significant factor behind the riots, with officers’ incivility a major concern. Political, social and economic grievances contributed to the unrest, the report said.
But the MPs lay the blame squarely at the police’s door. In terms of motives, the MPs say there is no ‘clear element of protest or clear political objectives’.
They said the perception that police had lost control of the streets was the most important reason why the violence and looting spread. Mr Vaz said: ‘Individual police officers acted with great bravery, and we commend them for their actions.
‘However, in London and other areas, in contrast with the effectiveness of police responses in some towns and cities, there was a failure of police tactics. ‘This situation might have been avoided had police appreciated the magnitude of the task.’
The committee’s report found the operation to police the disorder in many towns and cities, and especially in London, was flawed. Forces were not quick enough in flooding the streets with officers, there was no system to give businesses in areas affected by the riots early and consistent advice on what to do.
The report says: ‘What ultimately worked in quelling the disorder was increasing the number of police officers on the street. ‘If numbers could have been increased more rapidly, it is possible that some of the disturbances could have been avoided.
‘We regret that this did not happen and, with the benefit of hindsight, we regard the operation to police the disorder in many towns and cities, and particularly in London, as flawed.’ In the future, a ‘strong police presence should also have a deterrent effect on those opportunists considering joining in the disorder’, the report said. It added: ‘The single most important reason why the disorder spread was the perception, relayed by television as well as new social media, that in some areas the police had lost control of the streets.’
The committee’s report said the specific causes behind the riots were still unknown. The MPs say: ‘It has been clear from the start that the death of Mark Duggan acted as a trigger. It is also clear that there was a great deal of ‘copycat’ activity. But the clarity ends there. ‘Even in Tottenham, it is not clear that the circumstances surrounding the death of Mark Duggan were the only influences at play. ‘In other locations, the link to the original trigger is even more tenuous and provides no explanation for what went on.
‘Unlike some events in the past, including the riots in the 1980s, there does not seem to be any clear narrative, nor a clear element of protest or clear political objectives.
‘There may also have been some engagement by gangs, but in general this seems to have been opportunistic rather than organised and, on this occasion, appears not to have been a significant cause of the rioting and looting.
‘Many people seem to have been drawn into criminal activity almost on the basis of joining in a big party and without any sense of the seriousness of the acts they were undertaking.’
The MPs call for the Government to speed up the process of reimbursing people for damages and to review whether the £15 victim’s surcharge should be increased for future riots.
Last week, Home Secretary Theresa May said most rioters were hardened criminals driven by a desire for ‘instant gratification’.
Persecuting the innocent is what the British police do best
Teenagers who found girl, 5, sleeping in abandoned stolen car are arrested THEMSELVES when they call police
Two teenagers who spotted a five-year-old girl sleeping in a stolen car have told how they were arrested for 'doing the right thing' when they called police.
Tyler Thompson and Connor Roderick were held in custody for four hours and had their DNA and fingerprints taken. Their clothes were also kept by police following the incident in St Helen Auckland, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham.
Now Tyler,16, and 18-year-old Connor plan to submit a complaint to the authorities about their treatment.
The teenagers were on their way to a shop to buy milk at about 10.15pm nine days ago when they found the abandoned red Skoda Fabia with its engine running. It had been stolen from outside the Royal Chef Chinese takeaway in nearby Manor Road.
The driver had left his keys in the ignition while he went in to place an order and three youths were spotted driving the car away shortly after 10pm.
The friends recognised the car and while Connor ran to find the owner, Tyler spotted the young girl on the back seat and guarded the vehicle.
Connor then brought the police and the girl's father to the car where officers arrested them.
'We couldn't believe what was happening,' said Tyler. 'We hadn't done anything wrong. We thought we were doing the right thing but the police just didn't believe us. We were gutted. 'If we had left that car, I never would have been able to forgive myself if something had happened to that girl.' Both were held until 3am when they were released without charge.
Tyler, who has taken part in police projects as a member of Bishop Auckland Theatre Hooligans drama group, added: 'We were kept in a cell for doing something good. We felt like criminals.'
The best friends, who have never been in trouble with the police, said they would now think twice before doing a good turn for fear of getting into trouble.
'We have had strangers coming up in the street asking us why we did it,' said Connor. 'Everyone in the village has been talking about it. It has been horrible.'
A Durham Police spokesman said: 'Police arrested a man and a youth at the scene as they matched a description given to police. They were later released without charge. 'The suspects were dealt with as quickly as procedures allow while ensuring that the matter was thoroughly investigated. 'Two other youths have been arrested in connection with this incident and bailed pending further inquiries.' [No hint of an apology for their woefully bad judgment]
Elderly British woman penalized for thrift
There's clearly some rules that need changing here
A frugal spinster who saved more than £20,000 out of her benefits has been left penniless because she did not tell officials about her nest egg. Pauline Ford, aged 58, lived in a rusty mobile home, never went out, smoked or drank, and only spent the bare minimum she needed to feed herself and her 15-year-old dog.
She wanted to build up her savings for her old age but fell foul of the law by failing to declare her assets when she applied for means tested benefits.
Ford's miserly lifestyle meant she saved around £2,000 a year and grew so large they affected her eligibility for council tax and housing benefits.
There would have been no problem if she had spent all the money but now she has been forced to repay more than she saved and has been left with no savings at all.
Ford, of Valley Walk, Plymouth, had admitted three counts of benefit fraud and was jailed for four months, suspended for two years by Recorder Mr Jeremy Wright at Plymouth Crown Court. He made no order for costs or compensation after hearing she now has no savings left after repaying £28,000.
Miss Jo Martin, prosecuting, said until 2005, Ford received incapacity benefit and disabled living allowance, neither of which were means-tested and council tax benefits, which were.
By 2005 her savings had grown to £15,000 which meant she should have declared them when she continued claiming the housing and council tax benefits. In 2008, she applied for income support, which is also means-tested, without revealing she had just invested £21,000 in a Nationwide fixed bond.
Plymouth City Council carried out a 'Midas' check which revealed her savings, and in 2010, Miss Ford was interviewed by the council and Department of Work and Pensions investigators.
She admitted she had hoarded the money and should have told the authorities about it. Miss Martin said the total overpayment of £28,205.76 had all since been repaid, and Ford was now back living on benefits. She said that claimants were entitled to hold savings of £3,000 to £16,000, but received lower benefits on a sliding scale.
Mother whom arrogant Scottish social workers branded 'too dumb' to have children gives birth to second baby
Eugenics is supposed to have died with Hitler but not in Scotland apparently. But Hitler was a socialist and Scots in Scotland are instinctive socialists so I guess it figures
Two years ago she was written off by social workers as 'too dumb' to marry, let alone become a mother. But last night Kerry McDougall - who fled the UK to stop social workers taking her first son into care - was celebrating the birth of her second child in Waterford, Ireland.
The 19-year-old, along with husband Mark, 28, son Ben and new baby boy Lochlan are now looking forward to a family Christmas together.
Mrs McDougall, who has mild learning difficulties, said: 'Having another baby is a dream come true. Lochlan is beautiful and Ben adores him. 'We both feel so lucky to have two gorgeous little boys.'
The birth of Lochlan marks the end of a two-year battle to stay together as a family. Mrs McDougall was a baby when her parents handed her over to her grandmother and her care was overseen by social services. When she met Mark, she moved in with him and when she became pregnant they decided to marry.
But their nightmare began when in an unprecedented step social workers in their home town of Dunfermline, Fife, dramatically halted their church wedding - claiming she was not intelligent enough to understand the vows.
Mr McDougall, an artist, said: 'Everything was booked - the dress, the reception, food and flowers but we had to cancel the lot and call off all the guests. It was devastating.' Worse was to come when social workers said they believed Kerry wasn't bright enough to be a mother and warned their baby could be taken into care at birth.
In the middle of the night, the couple fled to southern Ireland, where they hoped social workers would be more sympathetic to their plight. They were put up by friends and in January 2010, she gave birth to 7lb 3oz Ben. But Irish authorities had discovered through her medical records that social workers had concerns over Kerry.
Three days after Ben was born and she was breastfeeding him on the maternity ward, social services confronted them - and took Ben into foster care. After a nine-month investigation the couple - who were allowed to visit Ben in foster care - finally brought him home for good.
They then married after discovering the legal wedding ban did not apply in Ireland. Some of the 30 guests were officials involved in their case.
On Mother's Day this year, Mrs McDougall discovered she was pregnant again and 5lb 3oz Lochlan was born four weeks ago. Mark said: 'Our family are still in the UK and although they visit regularly, we do miss just being able to pop in to see them.
'As far as we are aware, the situation hasn't changed with them and if we went back, ultimately the risk remains that both our sons could be taken into care.'
His wife added: 'With a lively toddler - who talks constantly - and a new baby, life is busy. But I love being a mum and couldn't be happier.'
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.