Puzzled by Police 169

I have just been watching live BBC helicopter footage of a group of young criminals attempting over a long period to break into a bookmakers and other businesses in (I think) Hackney. Police in full riot gear were just down the street, watching and making no attempt to disperse them.

I have been on perfectly peaceful demonstrations and been pushed around by policemen acting far more aggressively – and in hugely greater numbers – against non-violent protestors than they are reacting against violent criminals against whom, frankly, the police should be reacting with force; proportionate, but force.

Very hard to understand this at all.

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169 thoughts on “Puzzled by Police

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  • Guest

    “These rioters are the children of New Labour.”
    These rioters are the children and product of ongoing Thatcherism.

  • de Quincy's Ghost

    “The home secretary, Theresa May, has … insisted the British did not respond to austerity by rioting on the streets.”
    It’s time to dissolve the British people and elect another.

  • Mark

    The Clapham Junction riot – This was a form of collective action by a large number of youngsters who have lost faith in the justice or efficacy of the conventional methods for distribution of goods and opportunity and are also hostile to the existing mechanisms of authority, represented by the police.

    The recession is making these things worse, of course. The police will probably be asked by the Tory/Lib coalition to take on an even more repressive role as the opportunities for these youngsters within the formal economy vanish to nothing.


  • John Goss

    A bit of an incongruous thought, but while shopkeepers worry about their premises coming crashing down, the financial markets are worried about their empires coming crashing down.

  • conjunction

    I bought a paper copy of the Guardian this morning, and I was struck by how much the theme of ‘it’s the police’s fault’ seemed to keep cropping up. There was also an electronic piece by someone saying that twenty years ago the police decided there were no-go areas in many inner cities, and they would not be policed in the normal way, but there would just be ‘neighbourhood policing’, ie diplomats to talk to local community figures. The piece described this as a copout.
    Maybe, but even strict zero-tolerance policing can’t achieve much in the long-term without social policies that are inclusive, which as has been said we haven’t had in any form since 1980.
    Also the police may be corrupt, and ordered by political and media moguls to protect their own, but I’m not sure I would swop them for any other police force I’ve ever heard of. I’m glad Cameron’s putting more into London at the moment.

  • Jonangus Mackay

    ‘An absence of morality can easily be found in the rioters and looters. How, we ask, could they attack their own community with such disregard? But the young people would reply “easily”, because they feel they don’t actually belong to the community. Community, they would say, has nothing to offer them.’

  • McLeod

    The Police want it to be as bad as possible, its obvious as a result there will be no police cut backs, big pay rises will follow, pensions will be enhanced, numbers will swell and they will be given greater powers and they will be held to less account for theirs actions when they make mistakes.

  • mary

    9 August 2011 Last updated at 12:03
    Parliament recalled to tackle riots – David Cameron

  • wendy

    it seems like another one of those opportunities to bring in more constraints and additional authoritarianism ..
    watching the reaction of the politicians, police, they all appear rather casual . apart from the usual rhetoric thats expected .

  • Tony_opmoc

    I just posted this on Alternet

    As ugly as it is – and its mainly under 16 year olds doing this…its a kind of karma.

    The UK is Bombing the Fuck out of Tripoli Every Fucking Night.

    I am completely disgusted at both events.

    You can’t bomb for peace.

    Its now hit Manchester – close to where we currently are.

    This is not political in the conventional sense and neither is it racist.

    Its the very young dispossessed who have had their hope and future ripped away by us Older Greedy Bastards.

    There’s no difference between a kid in Libya, London, Baghdad or New York, except the kid in Libya is probably better educated and has a higher standard of living or did have until WE started dropping bombs on him to steal his oil.

    We need to stop doing this or the entire world will catch fire as we descend into hell.

    We need to give Children all over the world some hope of a future that gets better rather than worse.

    It is us adults who have failed our Children


  • John Goss

    ‘Courtenay, it’s so complex. I’m quite sure a lot of these kids have jumped on the wave so as not to be seen as outside of the circle. I’m sure a lot of them come from good homes and their parents would (will) be appalled if (when) they find out what they (have been) are up to. I’ve been young. I’m supportive of these kids, like you, I would fight for their rights, like you.’ Last night I made this observation. Tonight I learn that of those caught looting one is a university under-graduate, another an armed forces recruit.

  • mary

    How did the media know so quickly of their past records? Were they fed the biographies by a helpful police spin person? Also were these particular baddies, first in the line up through the 24 hour magistrates’ court sitting, chosen specifically to get the headlines? Their names, occupations and records, if any, will be on the front pages and are already taking the lead on the news programmes on TV and radio.

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