Riot Special Question Time


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Riot Special

In a week when riots have spread from Tottenham across London and now other major UK cities, David Dimbleby chairs a panel of politicians and public figures.


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With me in London tonight, the former Deputy Prime Minister, John

:00:01.:00:08.

Prescott. The Conservative David Davis, former Shadow Home Secretary.

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Liberal Democrat Brian Paddick, who stood for Mayor of London after

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retiring from the Metropolitan Police. The Archbishop of York,

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John Sentamu. The founder of the charity Kids Company, Camila

:00:19.:00:29.
:00:29.:00:37.

Batmanghelidjh. And the editor of Thank you. Before I go to the first

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question, with no respected David Davis, you may be wondering why

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there is no Cabinet minister on this important occasion. We did ask

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for a Cabinet minister to join the panel tonight and not one of them

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would agree to come. Just in case you are curious. They were all in

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the House of Commons today. All of them in the debate. Just so that

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you know, because it is a surprise they are not here. Our first

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question from William Brewster. a resident of Clapham Junction, I

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felt very exposed as I waited for the police to arrive on Monday

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night. How are we going to make sure the police are not outflanked

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again as we return to normal policing levels. No longer with

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16,000 police on the streets of London. David Davis. One of the big

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concerns was not just how late they arrived but even when the police

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got to the site of the looting and the rioting there was what appeared

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to be, anyway, and order to stand back, to allow the violence and the

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crime to go on. One of the lessons that David Cameron made clear in

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the House today, one of the lessons that has been learned from this is

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that the way you police a mass criminal activity, which is what

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this has been, is very different from the way you police and

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ordinary demonstration. This is completely different. The police

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who operate under so-called public- order policing rules, which are

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designed not to deal with this. In future, I hope we will see that

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when the police get there they will intervene before, all whilst the

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crime is taking place and not wait until afterwards, leaving us to

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clear up the mess. Do you agree with David Cameron, that the police

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chiefs have actually said they made a mistake here? I am sure that is

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right. They were operating under a set of rules which were really

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designed for demonstrations which might go wrong but are generally

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peaceful. This was not that at all. This was a mass Quim of outbreak.

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Very different. Brian Paddick, how come this would happen. The first

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thing to say is that I think that if the disturbances in Tottenham on

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Saturday night were handled properly, if they had sufficient

:02:48.:02:51.

officers there - and it should not have been a surprise because when I

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was Police commander in Brixton we had somebody shot by the police, a

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peaceful demonstration turned into a riot - there was no excuse for

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not having sufficient officers on duty in Tottenham on Saturday night.

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If we had had that, and if the officers had acted, rather than

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standing back - we saw the pictures on the television of officers

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standing back and allowing people to go looting - then I do not think

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we would have a copycat violence in Clapham Junction or anywhere else.

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As far as the specific question, these crowds were organising

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themselves using social network, using Twitter, Facebook, BlackBerry

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Messenger. Why weren't the police on Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry

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Messenger, getting one step ahead of the crowds? You are very

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critical of your former colleagues. Where do you think it has gone

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wrong with the Met? They have lost a lot of experience at the top of

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the organisation, in terms of experience of dealing with public

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order situations. This is the first thing. I was talking to officers

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about this this afternoon, and they are very concerned, after the G20

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and criticism of the police in those demonstrations, that if they

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do police robustly, which I think is what the majority of the public

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want, they fear they will not be supported by their bosses, should

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there be a complaint. Therefore, not only are the senior police

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officers telling police officers to watch, we will get them afterwards

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with closed circuit television, sending the wrong signals to the

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public and the rioters, but officers are afraid of acting

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robustly because they think there will be complaints and they will

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not be supported by their bosses. number of people wanting to come in.

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I dispute that, actually, because there was a news bulletin on Monday

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night. My friend's flat in Clapham was burnt out completely. If there

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were four officers at the scene watching with him while people help

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themselves to shops around, stood there doing nothing. Surely they

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would be able to employ an amount of reasonable force in order to

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prevent the destruction that continued for two hours before they

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intervened. A thing we agree with each other. On the point that was

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made about using reasonable force, I think the public, the media and

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the politicians, we all send mixed messages to the police. In April

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2009 we had the G20 protests and police were accused of being heavy-

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handed and there is now an opera -- an officer on a manslaughter charge.

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To pick up on the point that Brian Paddick made, if Sunday night had

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been policed properly, we would be sitting here saying the police were

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heavy-handed and did not act proportionally. They cannot win

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either way. Do you agree? I think there are difficulties but let's

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recognise there have been 29 civil disturbances since 19 some T5. This

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is of a different magnitude altogether. -- since 1975. The

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scale of it, the use of social Messaging, all of that as played a

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part in making this different. What I find it difficult to understand

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is why the police, that have these powers, did not exercise them in

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the way they could have done. 1, numbers, no doubt about it. 16,000

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showed that people stayed off the street. You cannot sustain that, so

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the Public Order Act would allow you to designate special powers to

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deal with them. I believe politicians, whatever they do to

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get all the back, must recognise, designate a special area, which

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requires bigger than the police to talk together about that, put a

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proper police numbers in to deal with it. Thirdly, let's deal with

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these people who covered their faces with scarves in order to

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commit criminal acts. Make sure that if they are involved in that

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designated place, they are acting in a criminal way and they must

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face the consequences for that. That is obviously an issue. But I

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think that when we talk about the police, I think it is important to

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remember that the police are actually part of our society and

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individuals with families themselves who also have - it's the

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job. It could be a vocation, but it is a job and it is important to

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remember that they do not get backing. This gentleman's point

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about mixed messages. No support, very little support, mixed support

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when things go wrong. If they were heavy-handed, they would have been

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filmed and the rest of it. And then they are on a manslaughter charge

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and they do not get the backing from senior officers, all from the

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public that they deserve. Most of the time. Brian Paddick's point was

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that these were orders to behave as they did, not an individual

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policeman deciding how to react. Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of

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Constabulary, in his review of public order policing, said exactly

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what this gentleman said, which was that there is no guidance to

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officers as to what reasonable forces, no consistency across the

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country about reasonable force, and officers need that protection.

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feel that this has been an evolution of responses to

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demonstrations in the past. You started to see it towards the end

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of the student riots. Instead of clustering in one area, the

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students went into small gangs, people wanting to cause

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disturbances went into small gangs, because they knew the police would

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kettle them, for instance. Second, I do not feel additional violence

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from the police would solve the problem, because that is pretty

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much what caused it in the first place, isn't it? What do you call

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additional violence? I am talking about people calling for people to

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be shot, using rubber bullets, for instance. The mistake that the

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police made was to stand and observed on Monday night because

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that is what they have always done. But none of us ever expected these

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riots happening in diverse places in London. Tottenham, arguably, was

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predictable because there were bad moves their head. But nobody would

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have thought Croydon, Woolwich. I think Brian is being a bit mean on

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his former colleagues. They do monitor Twitter and BlackBerry. But

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do you know how many people in London use them? There is no way

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the police can sit and work out. If somebody says, I predict a riot,

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they may be talking about a pop song. You cannot do that, unless

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you set up a fascist state. We could be sitting here saying, the

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police were brittle and look at all of the people they have beaten up.

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I think it is amazing that there have been no instances of police

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brutality. I would rather live in a city that erred on that side,

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rather than going in with shields and batons. This issue of social

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networking is extremely important. My children in infield picked up

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that there was going to be a riot in Enfield at 1pm. That is when

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they picked up a message. It happened at 4pm. They gave me the

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time. That is three hours. Why weren't the police there? The man

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in the red tie. If we think that the police were not heavy-handed

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enough, what does the panel think they should be doing differently,

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and what other techniques should they be using on the streets of

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London? John Sentamu. I think the first responsibility of any

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government is to keep the peace, above everything else. So we have

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to ask the question, is the Government keeping the peace

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through the police? Because don't just simply blame the police.

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Because if the police can't actually do it, vigilante groups

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grow up. Nature always fills a power vacuum. Are you in favour of

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vigilante groups? No. Do you disapprove of people standing in

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front of their temple, armed in case it was attacked? Be careful if

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you want to go that way. If you have a liberal democracy, where

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people are accountable through Parliament and the police are

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accountable as well, it will be a matter of time before people begin

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to say, and I heard on one particular social network where

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people were saying, I think we had better go and get it done because

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we need to protect ourselves. Please, let us not go down that

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road. -- go and get a gun. But if you know there is a mob coming up

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the road, are you right or wrong to get together with colleagues and

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stand outside and say, if you come, I will hit you. I would say to the

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gross surfacing that difficulty, where are the police? Where are the

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police. They have a responsibility to keep the peace. And the

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Government have a responsibility. Therefore, you have to ask yourself,

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do we have sufficient numbers of police? Do we really want to go

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down a road which says, get in and use as much force? If there is a

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lot of violence already and we respond with more violence, you

:12:16.:12:26.
:12:26.:12:26.

create a darkness on a night when If we are talking about more force

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being used, what force is that? If people are waiting for the

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criminals to be identified on closed circuit television, then

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there have to go in and arrest the looters in the act of committing it.

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That sends the signal that the police are doing something direct,

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and it sends the signal to the rioters that they cannot get away

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with it. Camella, you live in Peckham. I work in Peckham. Where

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do you live? In West Hampstead, if you must know. Where there were no

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riots. What do you think about the issue of how the police reacted?

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think the police have an incredibly difficult job, in very challenging

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areas. Potentially if they had got in very heavy handed in some of

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those neighbourhoods, it could potentially have led to use of

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firearms by people in those areas. What we have got to understand is,

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as you rightly say, the police are human beings. They were also taken

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by shock. They had to ascertain how to ascertain the situation.

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Potentially, I think this situation may have calmed down. Unfortunately

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because David Cameron was suggesting that rubber bullets and

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:13:58.:13:58.

water cannons would be used, and even though I regret the fact that

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warlike behaviour is responded to with warlike language, I think the

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police feel they needed back up. you thought the first reaction of

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the police on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, was the right reaction, to

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stand back and watch rather than making arrests? I think we can

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never make judgments sitting behind the desk. There were lots of people

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in very heated situations on those streets, both victims, perpetrators

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and the police. I think we have to be very cautious about blaming

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people in these conditions. Let's hear more from the audience.

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disagree. I expect my police to stop people in the act of a crime.

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And what was your reaction to the way that they responded? Blind

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panic. I could not believe the pictures that I saw on Saturday

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night of non- intervention and CCTV policing going on. That is not the

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right way to deal with a mob like that. Brian has touched on the

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point, but this is very important to understand. People have compared

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this to the G20. That was broadly speaking a peaceful demonstration.

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The man That died was not committing an act of violence or a

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crime. It is very dangerous to use the same rules for that as you use

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for this. And what we need to do is to give our police the discretion

:15:30.:15:35.

on the ground to act when a crime is being committed, and to act

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appropriately. If that means force, then that means force. The real

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problem, as you know, the police claim the right to have the powers

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to control, operation rights. Governments of the poster not

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interfere. In this situation, a remarkable situation, one which has

:15:54.:15:58.

to be dealt with in a different way, COBRA was pulled together, and then

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all the arguments about water cannon came up, because of the

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political discussion between Government and the police. We need

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to know exactly what should happen in these exceptional circumstances,

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how the police should act. If you leave it to the Chief Constable of

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the moment, or even a commissioner, you get different solutions at

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different times, which causes confusion and encourages people to

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do the looting because the police don't know how to act in that

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situation. Are you saying that the commissioner or the deputy

:16:30.:16:33.

commissioner of the Net police was not in a position legally to deploy

:16:33.:16:39.

the police as he wanted on Saturday and Monday, that he had to wait for

:16:39.:16:43.

the Prime Minister? They have the powers under the Public Order Act,

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but to use them they are required to discuss the Government. They did

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not discuss any of that and Government was not there any way.

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So they called COBRA. COBRA was only called when the Prime Minister

:16:54.:16:58.

and Home Secretary came back from their holidays. The place where

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this is discussed is broadly among senior police officers and they

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made the mistake, bluntly. They applied rules for a demonstration

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to a circumstance which was about crime. That is why it was discussed.

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What they have all now recognised, it has come up in the house today,

:17:15.:17:19.

they got that wrong and they need different rules of engagement for

:17:19.:17:23.

their police officers on the ground. Until the Prime Minister came back

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from holiday, the police could not have acted. Do you agree with John?

:17:30.:17:33.

The idea that the police commissioner should call a room

:17:33.:17:37.

full of politicians and ask them what to do, that would make the

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situation worse. That is called COBRA and it happens constantly.

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That fills me with dread, asking you what to do now. Sorry! Let's

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assume it is your mate David Cameron. They can have the

:17:55.:17:58.

discussion, politicians and Government. Where they do not have

:17:58.:18:02.

it, they have the mess that we have had over the last few days.

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police got it right in the end. You put more police on the streets.

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police had sufficient powers on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. They

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have the authority of to use baton rounds and Robert -- rubber bullets

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if they wanted to. When it came to Manchester, the police had learned

:18:25.:18:29.

what went wrong, so they intervene straight away. Or it was a

:18:29.:18:35.

different police commander. The man over there? I think the problem was

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that they did not have any rubber bullets. They have four policeman

:18:39.:18:45.

in Clapham Junction and that was it. If you of four policeman with 250

:18:45.:18:51.

rioters, you cannot do anything about that. On your own, to hundred

:18:51.:18:56.

and 50 rioters. In your view why were there only four? God only

:18:56.:19:03.

knows. There were riots in South London anyway, but... The woman in

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red? I put it to you that the decision was taken deliberately to

:19:07.:19:13.

have lax policing in order to after the events that happened push more

:19:13.:19:17.

rules for were it to stop protests, to stop the working class having a

:19:17.:19:25.

voice, and to stop... -- forward. Initial point. I drove round many

:19:25.:19:32.

areas of South London where I live and there were no police. I cannot

:19:32.:19:35.

believe that in five different large areas there were no police.

:19:35.:19:38.

Eyesore crimes being committed and I cannot believe there were none.

:19:38.:19:47.

It was deliberate. -- five saw crimes. Do you think it was

:19:47.:19:50.

inevitable that the police would be limited in their ability to handle

:19:50.:19:55.

the situation effectively considering a mistrust of the

:19:55.:19:58.

police that pervades through so many of the communities affected by

:19:58.:20:06.

the violence? I think that there are challenges in relationships

:20:06.:20:11.

between the police and these communities. Funnily enough, I

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don't think they stem necessarily from the police. I think that the

:20:16.:20:22.

police end up with the bulk of our social troubles and they become an

:20:22.:20:28.

agency that in effect has to suppress people's rage and protest

:20:28.:20:32.

and that is what we are doing to our police. We are asking them to

:20:32.:20:35.

do everything without really giving them the equipment to do it

:20:35.:20:40.

sensibly. What is very interesting for me throughout this is that

:20:40.:20:45.

actually the areas that did not get raided, like Oxford Street, like

:20:45.:20:49.

Knightsbridge, it is well worth thinking what happened that those

:20:49.:20:54.

areas did not really get attacked, and... Why do you think they did

:20:54.:21:00.

not? I think the police caught on to what was happening and prevented

:21:00.:21:07.

attacks on those areas by really pulling the crowd in. There is some

:21:07.:21:13.

discussion among children at street level that suggests that the really

:21:13.:21:18.

wealthy areas were well protected and the areas that we economically

:21:18.:21:28.
:21:28.:21:29.

more vulnerable were less protected. I will take one more point. Given

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the speed with which all of the gangs seemed to be organised,

:21:32.:21:36.

because of the use of social media, surely the police had an impossible

:21:36.:21:40.

task? There cannot organise themselves quickly enough to follow

:21:40.:21:45.

the gangs. What do you say to communities that did on themselves,

:21:45.:21:50.

prevent trouble, when there is no adequate police response? I would

:21:50.:21:55.

like to come back on this actually. The kids at street level did say

:21:55.:22:01.

that the gangs that would normally be fighting each other United in

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these circumstances to fight what they perceived to be the wrongs of

:22:06.:22:10.

Government and the police. Does that make it better? I am just

:22:10.:22:16.

stating what happened. I am not saying it is a good thing. This is

:22:16.:22:20.

exactly the kind of liberal rubbish that has put this country in a

:22:20.:22:28.

state we are in today. And to Lord Prescott, with all due

:22:28.:22:34.

respect, the Labour Government over the last 13 years created this

:22:34.:22:37.

culture of impunity that has led to the senseless act that we have seen

:22:37.:22:42.

on the streets of our country this week. How dare you sit there and

:22:42.:22:47.

defend your record? Because unemployment reduced by 2 million.

:22:47.:22:53.

You always quote that. You always have facts and figures but people

:22:53.:22:57.

of the country know the truth. Interesting that riots happened

:22:57.:23:01.

under the Conservatives. They happened under a Conservative

:23:01.:23:07.

Government. Labour are being paid off to be quiet. Who are being paid

:23:07.:23:13.

off? Since they have come to power, there have been more riot because

:23:13.:23:19.

cuts are being made, welfare payments are not as generous. And

:23:19.:23:26.

people... People what? I think Labour tried to create this state

:23:26.:23:31.

for the voters. We need to move through these topics because there

:23:32.:23:36.

are several to raise. Just before we do, this programme is also being

:23:36.:23:41.

broadcast on Radio 5 Live and on BBC local radio in London, the West

:23:41.:23:45.

Midlands and Manchester, and we welcome all of those listeners. The

:23:45.:23:48.

debate will carry on after this programme is over in all of those

:23:48.:23:55.

places. In the meantime, you can join the discussion on Twitter. You

:23:55.:24:01.

can send us text messages. And we will tell you what other people are

:24:01.:24:05.

saying. John Prescott has his own tweeting going on here. You can

:24:05.:24:10.

also press the red button to see what other people are saying.

:24:10.:24:18.

you know that you are called dimple pot? I do! We are having a serious

:24:19.:24:23.

discussion but I do know that is my name. I know there is a dimple

:24:23.:24:30.

dance and I know that I can do it, too! This is neither the time nor

:24:30.:24:37.

the place. The question from Emily, please. What do you think about the

:24:37.:24:41.

petition demanding that those convicted in the riots lose their

:24:42.:24:46.

benefits? This petition has been set up by the Government, whereby

:24:46.:24:49.

you can petition Government and get hurt if over 100,000 people signed

:24:49.:24:56.

it. This petition has now reached that. It is suggesting that people

:24:56.:24:59.

convicted in the riot lose any welfare benefits that they receive.

:24:59.:25:03.

Are you in favour of that? I know the Government is looking seriously

:25:03.:25:09.

at this. At the moment, if you go to prison, you do not get your

:25:09.:25:11.

benefits but that is because the Government is looking after you in

:25:11.:25:19.

prison. OK, not very good food but to get the idea. If you get a non-

:25:19.:25:23.

custodial sentence, you still get benefit. They are thinking about

:25:23.:25:28.

putting them. Benefits could be used as part of the penal system

:25:28.:25:31.

here. That might be a good or bad idea but I think now was not the

:25:31.:25:35.

right time to make the decisions, right in the heat of it. We are

:25:35.:25:38.

getting all kinds of suggestions and the worst possible thing would

:25:38.:25:46.

be to come out with a Tony Blair style of the five things to do. We

:25:46.:25:50.

should have the discussion, but when but tempers have calmed down.

:25:50.:26:00.
:26:00.:26:01.

OK, 100,000 signatures. Anyone in I think it is completely right. If

:26:01.:26:05.

you have broken the law in the way that these people have done and

:26:05.:26:08.

destroyed their community, why should they be receiving tax money

:26:08.:26:14.

to go about their lives in the way they want to? It is disgusting.

:26:14.:26:18.

the second row. Do you not think if you take away benefits and put

:26:18.:26:21.

these people in prison you will make it even harder for them to

:26:21.:26:24.

contribute to society when they come out? I am just asking the

:26:24.:26:31.

question. They should have thought about that. Isn't it going to

:26:31.:26:36.

create a vicious cycle? No, they should take responsibility for

:26:36.:26:41.

their actions. I am asking if it will alienate them further from

:26:41.:26:48.

society. They should have thought about it. What do you think? They

:26:48.:26:51.

should take away their benefits and confiscate their private property

:26:51.:26:58.

as well, in order to pay for the damage that has been caused and

:26:58.:27:01.

compensate the victims, which include My cousin whose flat was

:27:01.:27:05.

burnt down in Clapham on Monday night. Why should the taxpayer pay

:27:05.:27:12.

out even more for these riots? David Davis, his petition is there

:27:12.:27:15.

and there was talk in the House of Commons about removing people from

:27:15.:27:19.

social housing, council housing, if they offended. Do either of those

:27:19.:27:25.

ideas seem practical to you? I have slightly more sympathy for the

:27:25.:27:30.

social housing aspect because that is a privilege. You have a 17-year-

:27:30.:27:35.

old who was arrested... With a -- with respect, let me finish because

:27:35.:27:38.

this is a difficult area. Fraser Nelson was right that decisions

:27:38.:27:42.

made on this in the heat of the moment normally generate bad law

:27:42.:27:46.

and we live to regret it years later. For example, if you take

:27:46.:27:49.

away benefits and housing, you end up with a social case not just of

:27:49.:27:54.

the individual but maybe their children. You cannot make sweeping

:27:54.:27:58.

judgments. These judgments should be made by people who have all the

:27:58.:28:03.

facts at hand, normally the court. That is where I like to see

:28:03.:28:07.

judgments made on people's misbehaviour, not in Parliament and

:28:07.:28:12.

not, with the best will in the world, on your programme, David.

:28:12.:28:17.

And what about the e-petition, organised by Downing Street, with a

:28:18.:28:23.

Cabinet that if they reach 100,000 they will go before Government.

:28:23.:28:26.

That can be debated and that is fine. Many things will be debated

:28:26.:28:29.

which will be uncomfortable for Parliament in coming years, which

:28:29.:28:32.

people want to debate. At the end of that, hopefully parliament will

:28:32.:28:35.

deliver laws which will be interpreted by the courts. We will

:28:35.:28:40.

not have one law for a crime committed on this circumstance and

:28:40.:28:43.

another law for exactly the same crime committed a year later

:28:43.:28:48.

perhaps not in the glare of the public eye. John Prescott, what do

:28:48.:28:52.

you think of this sort of punishment, the gentleman was

:28:52.:28:56.

saying, for those found guilty? think that is happening on the

:28:57.:29:01.

social network now. I got 30,000 against the bankers bonus. They are

:29:01.:29:05.

deciding to participate in the debate. If you get 100,000 for a

:29:05.:29:08.

petition, I am not against Parliament debating it. Why

:29:08.:29:12.

shouldn't they? But I think what might happen is that the facts

:29:12.:29:14.

might come out about the circumstances of what you were

:29:14.:29:18.

dealing with. We found with hanging and abortion, there was lots of

:29:18.:29:21.

emotion and feeling but when Parliament had to make a decision

:29:21.:29:24.

against a background of those problems it did not arrive at the

:29:24.:29:28.

same conclusion. I am happy to see that happen. But I think we have

:29:28.:29:32.

only been told today that something like 50% of those before the courts

:29:33.:29:37.

in London are under 18. Do you mean the 18-year-old, or do the whole

:29:37.:29:43.

family get thrown out and become homeless? Do you change the law to

:29:43.:29:46.

deal with homelessness? It is not just a simple solution to a problem.

:29:46.:29:56.
:29:56.:29:57.

Parliament has to make those kinds of decisions. I want to comment on

:29:57.:30:00.

David Davis when he said about council accommodation being a

:30:00.:30:06.

privilege. Have you lived on a council estate? I was brought up on

:30:06.:30:10.

one. Believe me, it is no privilege. A lot of these people don't have

:30:10.:30:15.

nothing. If you take away their accommodation, what happens then?

:30:15.:30:19.

That is why I said it is a decision for the court with full information.

:30:19.:30:23.

How many family are there, how many dependants, what was the

:30:23.:30:27.

circumstance and the nature of the crime, all of the crimes committed?

:30:27.:30:32.

Those are decisions that have to be taken properly, not in this way.

:30:32.:30:36.

you evict those people, what happens to the family who are

:30:36.:30:43.

innocent? I agree, which is why I say it is a decision forecourt.

:30:44.:30:46.

First of all, the most informed people to make these decisions as

:30:47.:30:50.

to what the appropriate punishment should be are the courts. They get

:30:50.:30:54.

social reports and so forth. If the court decides somebody on benefits

:30:54.:30:58.

should be fined, they get time to pay, and it effectively takes away

:30:58.:31:02.

their benefits, as some people are suggesting. The other thing that

:31:03.:31:06.

already exists with some social landlords are things called

:31:06.:31:09.

acceptable behaviour contracts, where when they take over social

:31:09.:31:12.

housing families, particularly those who have children with a

:31:12.:31:16.

record of misbehaving, signed something to say they will keep

:31:16.:31:19.

their children under control and behave themselves. That is a

:31:19.:31:24.

condition of tenancy. I see no objection to that. But to take away

:31:24.:31:27.

somebody's home, where it has not been agreed in the first place,

:31:27.:31:30.

just to blanket takeaway benefits because a crime is committed, I

:31:30.:31:40.

think that is going too far and it is too simplistic. In response to

:31:40.:31:43.

Lord Prescott saying that 50% of those convicted are under 18, why

:31:44.:31:48.

can't we offer them vocational apprenticeships to rebuild the

:31:48.:31:51.

communities that are really damaged that they have destroyed

:31:51.:31:55.

themselves? Instead of giving them a sentence, give them community

:31:55.:31:58.

service where they can go and learn how they can actually help in the

:31:59.:32:04.

future and give them a job? That is one of the things we have to

:32:04.:32:07.

consider in dealing with the kind of problems in society. Give them a

:32:07.:32:11.

chance and an opportunity. That is what many of them are calling for.

:32:11.:32:14.

They are acting this way because they don't think they have any

:32:14.:32:24.

opportunities. The man on the far right over there. If these people

:32:24.:32:27.

on benefits, committing these acts, which we don't know, if you take

:32:27.:32:31.

away what meagre sums they are run, they will have no money and will be

:32:31.:32:34.

more likely to steal more because they will not have any money to

:32:34.:32:40.

live on. Let me move on to the people who were engaged in the mobs

:32:40.:32:46.

that were rioting, or whatever you like to call it, with a specific

:32:46.:32:53.

riot, or looting. Matt Sheffield has a question. How can we engage

:32:53.:32:57.

with rioters when they show no respect for society and appear to

:32:57.:33:06.

lack the intelligence and understanding to be a part of it?

:33:06.:33:14.

John Sentamu. Sadly, we have created an individualistic society

:33:14.:33:18.

with a weakened family and community structures, where the

:33:18.:33:23.

interests of me, myself have become prominent. From my point of view,

:33:23.:33:27.

in many ways we have made a gob of self and self interest. The

:33:27.:33:32.

difficulty is that our education system, as we have got it, what do

:33:32.:33:36.

you do when all that you have been doing his driving towards higher

:33:36.:33:40.

and higher academic achievement? Some of these people, quite frankly,

:33:40.:33:44.

the system has not delivered for them. You have been requiring them

:33:44.:33:47.

to do the same thing. I have a friend of mine who says, if you

:33:47.:33:51.

want to make sure that your pig grows fast and quickly and you want

:33:51.:33:56.

to sell it, the best ways to feed it and not to constantly way it. We

:33:56.:34:00.

have had these attainment targets every time and some of our people

:34:00.:34:05.

just cannot make it. It is time to recognise that within society some

:34:05.:34:08.

people are going to be better off on apprenticeships, the kind of

:34:08.:34:12.

thing you are suggesting, better off in other areas. The education

:34:12.:34:17.

system, friends, needs to be looked at very carefully. And remember,

:34:17.:34:21.

quite a number of these have been excluded from schools. I am not

:34:21.:34:26.

making an excuse for anybody who committed a criminal act. The other

:34:26.:34:30.

thing is that if you go into a house and you find that water is

:34:30.:34:35.

leaking down the stairs, it is no good getting a mob to mop up the

:34:35.:34:42.

water. It is better to find where the taxes, and to turn it off. --

:34:42.:34:51.

where the tap is. Isn't it fair to say, answering the question there

:34:51.:34:56.

and what the panellists are saying with regards to respect, over the

:34:56.:35:00.

last few years we have seen a number of major court cases, MPs'

:35:01.:35:04.

expenses and the phone tapping, with regard to the rich and

:35:04.:35:08.

powerful who are somewhat immune from being prosecuted in any way,

:35:08.:35:12.

shape off-form? These people have nobody to look up to. They are

:35:12.:35:15.

supposed to look up to politicians and police, and all they do is to

:35:15.:35:19.

see them as the enemy, the people that have, when they are the have-

:35:19.:35:25.

nots. They feel as though they have been left out. Fraser Nelson, do

:35:26.:35:30.

you agree? I am not sure how many of us look up to politicians,

:35:30.:35:34.

lovelies -- lovely though some of them are. But you are right about

:35:34.:35:37.

the absence of role models. We are talking about people who have been

:35:37.:35:42.

given, to a large extent, a bad education, short changed by the

:35:42.:35:46.

schools. We have this ongoing scandal of sink schools in the

:35:46.:35:49.

country, particularly in the poor parts of London, where they churn

:35:49.:35:53.

out people who can barely read and write at the age of 16. How are

:35:53.:35:56.

they expected to get a job and provide for themselves like that?

:35:57.:36:02.

Then they need to find a job and an employer. And right now, a lot of

:36:03.:36:06.

them are better off on benefits than they would be working. You get

:36:07.:36:12.

taxed on your work. We paved a road for them which leads to a welfare

:36:12.:36:16.

ghetto. Are you saying we have created the circumstances for

:36:17.:36:24.

looting mobs to go round the cities of London, the Midlands and so

:36:24.:36:28.

forth by the way that society has been constructed? Absolutely not.

:36:28.:36:31.

There are lots of very poor people in this country and hardly any of

:36:31.:36:35.

them would even think about that kind of behaviour. It is an insult

:36:35.:36:38.

to those who are struggling to put food on the table, struggling to

:36:38.:36:43.

find a job, that poverty leads in its grip -- inextricably to mooting.

:36:43.:36:49.

So what are you saying? The welfare state was set up to cure what

:36:49.:36:54.

Beveridge called the giant evil of idleness. What the welfare state is

:36:54.:36:58.

now doing is unintentionally creating joblessness, creating the

:36:58.:37:04.

very evil that it was designed to eradicate. John Sentamu -- John

:37:04.:37:06.

Prescott is screwing up his face because his record in Government

:37:06.:37:10.

was not good when it came to dealing with this. We owe it to the

:37:10.:37:13.

poorest to give them a decent education system and the ability to

:37:13.:37:18.

find a job. We are churning them out of schools at the age of 16...

:37:18.:37:23.

How dare you blame the state education for the system when you

:37:23.:37:27.

and you're not come from a private education system. You have no idea

:37:27.:37:33.

where I came from. 7% enjoyed private education, becoming bankers,

:37:33.:37:37.

politicians, dominating most of the decision-making. And don't say that

:37:37.:37:41.

has been free from corruption. The bankers have created part of the

:37:41.:37:44.

problem we have got today and you cannot put that down to state

:37:44.:37:50.

education. Do you think some schools are a problem? Yes, we

:37:50.:37:57.

tried to do with them. What success did you make? We built a new

:37:57.:38:00.

schools. You and your lot knocked them down and gave us deplorable

:38:00.:38:08.

conditions. Look at your moral righteousness. Bankers did not come

:38:08.:38:11.

from state education and they have given us the biggest problem we

:38:11.:38:14.

have in our society and it is the poor people that are having to

:38:14.:38:19.

carry it, not you lot. What is your answer to the question, how can you

:38:19.:38:23.

engage with rioters when they show no respect for society and lack the

:38:23.:38:27.

understanding and intelligence required to be part of it? You have

:38:27.:38:32.

to separate them into those who are obviously criminal and older. You

:38:32.:38:36.

have to do with them fiercely. No doubt about it. But with the

:38:36.:38:40.

younger people, we have to hope we can rehabilitate those people, give

:38:40.:38:45.

them hope and opportunity. That is the challenge. Nobody knows the

:38:45.:38:47.

exact formula but we had better start thinking of it or else we

:38:47.:38:50.

will be saying to a lot of these young people, you have no role in

:38:50.:38:53.

this society, and they will continue to be antagonistic to it

:38:53.:38:58.

through the rest of their lives. We cannot want that. We will get more

:38:58.:39:06.

of this. I think it is very important to separate the moment in

:39:06.:39:13.

which people engage in a riot and are not thinking from their normal

:39:13.:39:18.

level of intelligence and their capacity to think. I think it would

:39:18.:39:22.

be wrong to suggest that all of the rioters were somehow lacking in

:39:22.:39:28.

intelligence and not part of society. That is the first thing.

:39:28.:39:32.

The second thing to understand is that, whether we like it or not,

:39:32.:39:37.

and I appreciate that there are a lot of heated feelings around the

:39:37.:39:41.

despair that this situation has caused, but whether we like it or

:39:41.:39:46.

not, there are large numbers of exceptionally disenfranchised and

:39:46.:39:49.

disengaged individuals living in the ghettos of Britain. They have

:39:49.:39:56.

not had a voice. The whole dynamic of the interactions politically has

:39:56.:40:00.

been dominated by people who have a voice and a media who can express

:40:00.:40:04.

things the way they want to. These people have not had a chance to say

:40:04.:40:09.

it. It does not justify them rioting, but they have not had a

:40:09.:40:12.

chance to say many things and we must not dismiss them. This is an

:40:12.:40:18.

opportunity to listen to them as well. This is all very interesting,

:40:18.:40:22.

but the vast majority of the people who went out mooting over the last

:40:22.:40:26.

few days were just going out there to get things for free because they

:40:26.:40:36.

thought they could get away with it. -- looting. Yes. We had a teaching

:40:36.:40:39.

assistant brought up before the courts. We had a student who

:40:39.:40:43.

admitted they were stealing to pay for a trip to Africa during their

:40:43.:40:48.

gap year. Yes, there are these problems, but let's separate that

:40:48.:40:53.

from this mindless violence we have had over the last few days. I think

:40:53.:40:56.

it is very interesting how this has got packaged, because you have

:40:56.:41:00.

these people paraded in front of all of us to suggest that there is

:41:00.:41:06.

this brand called "the criminal" and there is nothing else to this.

:41:06.:41:09.

That would be missing an opportunity to understand some

:41:09.:41:19.
:41:19.:41:21.

On this occasion I disagree with you. Brian was that the riots in

:41:21.:41:26.

1985, and there was a political background to them. This was

:41:26.:41:30.

clearly a criminal exercise at every level. There were gang

:41:30.:41:39.

members... I will come back to that in a second. Let me finish. I will

:41:39.:41:43.

come back to the precipitation. It starts off, I am afraid, with a

:41:43.:41:49.

large number of gangs in London, 200 gangs in London, I think, and

:41:49.:41:53.

many of them in Brixton, Hackney. And that is where the organisation

:41:53.:41:59.

came from. I don't come from public education or a private estate, as

:41:59.:42:03.

you well know. I will tell you a story that Alan Simpson told me, a

:42:03.:42:06.

left-wing member of the Labour Party, talking about problems in

:42:06.:42:12.

Nottingham. He said there were estates in his constituency when

:42:12.:42:17.

young people had �30 per day paying for drugs and the man to look up to

:42:17.:42:22.

was the drug dealer because he had a big car and he lived well. Before

:42:22.:42:26.

you create circumstances like that, it will be no surprise that we get

:42:26.:42:29.

the problems we have had in London and the Midlands and the North and

:42:29.:42:36.

the last week. Why does Sweden not have this problem, and Norway?

:42:36.:42:40.

Because it is a more egalitarian society. Thank you. I want to bring

:42:40.:42:44.

in a man that commented on David Davis. We have failed to recognise

:42:44.:42:48.

that everyone is quick to hammer into them, and we are not looking

:42:48.:42:53.

at why things started and why it escalated. You make that point

:42:53.:42:56.

about state schools. As a council estate boy that went to a good

:42:56.:43:01.

state school, you reach the point when you have to go into the public

:43:01.:43:05.

school sector to progress your career. We need to look at why that

:43:05.:43:10.

is. I had to do that. You cannot become a politician, you cannot go

:43:10.:43:15.

on into those careers. We need to look at young kids, and provide

:43:15.:43:18.

real characters that they can look up to because they are not people

:43:18.:43:23.

like me in the Cabinet. There are not people like me that our MPs and

:43:23.:43:29.

we need to look at why that is and address it. You are saying why did

:43:29.:43:36.

it start now? I grew up in a council estate. I am well-educated.

:43:36.:43:42.

I have got a great job. I bet you any amount of money that I have

:43:42.:43:46.

been stopped and searched more times than David Davis, more times

:43:46.:43:53.

than that editor. There is a real distrust within that level of

:43:53.:43:56.

society that you just don't trust the police. You need to address

:43:56.:44:00.

that to stop the riots. I want to hear from more members of the

:44:00.:44:04.

audience that have had their hands up for a long time. Going back to

:44:04.:44:08.

what the panel said about education, I work in a secondary school in

:44:08.:44:12.

East London and I teach citizenship. I think we can all agree that the

:44:12.:44:17.

rioters that we have seen over the past few days all lack basic

:44:17.:44:22.

citizenship values. Why has this subject like citizenship been

:44:22.:44:25.

planned to be removed? It is the only subject that teaches young

:44:25.:44:32.

people about their rights and their responsibilities. Why is that?

:44:32.:44:38.

you get a good ear from your pupils if you talk about citizenship?

:44:38.:44:41.

majority of the young people IT to articulate with views and they care

:44:41.:44:51.

about their future and they want to go into politics and careers. And

:44:51.:44:56.

to judge all the young people by the behaviour of a few is not fair.

:44:56.:45:03.

Young people can be engaged but blue -- we will not engage them

:45:03.:45:11.

without the necessary subject. you in the 4th row? I think it is

:45:11.:45:14.

all good that politicians are condemning everything that has been

:45:14.:45:18.

going on, but what in reality is deterring these people from going

:45:18.:45:24.

back to attacking our streets? I read in newspapers today that one

:45:24.:45:28.

boy got sentenced to two days in prison. What in reality is stopping

:45:28.:45:32.

them going out and doing all that they have done all over again?

:45:32.:45:37.

would you like to see happen, yourself? I think this talk about

:45:37.:45:44.

scrapping benefits, we know that it is not realistic. I don't know

:45:44.:45:48.

either what will stop them. David Davis, what do you think?

:45:48.:45:53.

think we start by the court being sensible about proper penalties. If

:45:53.:45:57.

the courts do not do that, it will be a terrible signal for the rest

:45:57.:46:03.

of society. The politicians set the sentences. The set a maximum and

:46:03.:46:10.

the men are men and then the courts choose it. -- they set the maximum

:46:10.:46:15.

and the minimum. They are passing these on to the Crown Court to give

:46:15.:46:20.

a heavier sentence. That is why we have to deal with this... We will

:46:20.:46:24.

come to parenting in a moment. is going to deter people from

:46:24.:46:29.

rioting is the certainty that they will get caught. The reason why it

:46:29.:46:33.

went viral was because people thought from what they saw on the

:46:33.:46:37.

television that they could get away with it. It is not about how tough

:46:37.:46:41.

the sentence is, that should be appropriate to the crime and the

:46:41.:46:45.

circumstances of the individual. What will deter people is if the

:46:45.:46:50.

police are there, arresting people at the time. And if people really

:46:50.:46:54.

believe. Why was Oxford Street not attack? Because it is covered, end

:46:54.:47:00.

to end, with very good CCTV. So people thought better than to go

:47:00.:47:07.

there because they would be caught. 10 minutes away from my house there

:47:07.:47:11.

is just as much CCTV. It is the fact that the police were told to

:47:12.:47:17.

stand back. Oxford Street is a safe haven, the centre of the city. We

:47:17.:47:21.

saw what happened with the students, when Kettering was going on. It

:47:21.:47:24.

makes sense for them to go to their own homes and neighbourhoods

:47:24.:47:29.

because they do not respect them. When the student protests on there

:47:29.:47:35.

were attacks on shops on Oxford Circus. That does not hold water.

:47:35.:47:41.

This lady made a good point about parenting, so let come back to it.

:47:41.:47:48.

But you are against CCTV, have you changed your mind? No. Intrusive,

:47:48.:47:55.

expensive and not effective. That is exactly right. Guess where those

:47:55.:48:02.

words came from, from the man that ran CCTV in the Met Police because

:48:02.:48:06.

there was CCTV all the way up and down Archway Road, a lot of crime,

:48:06.:48:13.

and they were never used. Nobody has never said don't have CCTV. I

:48:13.:48:21.

wrote the policy. Make sure it is properly controlled. They work

:48:21.:48:27.

effectively. Exactly. Let's move on it to parents. And to tie into it,

:48:27.:48:34.

this question, saying that many of the rioters will be parents in the

:48:34.:48:36.

next few years and what does the panel think the next generation

:48:36.:48:43.

will be like in the light of that? With parental rights, a lot of it

:48:43.:48:47.

has been removed. Parents cannot discipline their own children, they

:48:47.:48:51.

cannot correct them, they cannot ask them to stay in. They just go

:48:51.:48:57.

out and do what they like. Why cannot they ask them to stay in?

:48:57.:49:01.

Because children are parents these days. That is nonsense. Children

:49:01.:49:06.

just don't listen. We have cinemas everywhere, on the buses, so unruly.

:49:06.:49:15.

They have been given so much liberty. So many things go in, and

:49:15.:49:19.

so children perceive they have rights. The teachers are afraid,

:49:19.:49:23.

parents are afraid. Who will give them the right values for Society

:49:23.:49:28.

for them to be good citizens? Where does it come from? What do you

:49:28.:49:32.

think? We need to restore that because the children of today of

:49:32.:49:36.

the adults of tomorrow. We saw that in the student rampages well. 20

:49:36.:49:41.

years ago they were all children. What will happen in this

:49:41.:49:51.
:49:51.:49:51.

generation? I think for me, remembering parenting when things

:49:51.:49:55.

go wrong only is not helpful. We should remember it all of the time.

:49:55.:49:59.

Actually we have got social pressures. Controlling small

:49:59.:50:02.

children is not that easy. I have been a parent and a foster parent

:50:02.:50:07.

and all I will say is this. When children are growing up, when they

:50:07.:50:12.

become teenagers, like me they seek independence from their parents. I

:50:13.:50:16.

wanted a peer group to which I could belong. Fortunately for me

:50:16.:50:20.

there were proper structures. At the moment, there are no proper

:50:20.:50:24.

structures, no proper care and concerns, so what tends to happen,

:50:24.:50:32.

if they are not safe, then unsafe structures will emerge. And gangs

:50:32.:50:37.

developed to create that structure which is not safe. So I set up a

:50:37.:50:42.

Youth Trust. I can tell you the story of a little man. A teenager

:50:43.:50:46.

that move to Manchester, after his friend Damilola Taylor was shot. He

:50:46.:50:53.

got involved in gun crime in Manchester. He was met by one of

:50:53.:50:57.

our projects, and he is now studying for a degree in youth and

:50:57.:51:02.

community work. Why? A structure was provided that took him away

:51:02.:51:06.

from that difficulty. Please don't undermine the social pressure of

:51:06.:51:16.
:51:16.:51:17.

our society now. I just want to follow up on that and ask about the

:51:17.:51:21.

cuts to after-school programmes, sports programmes, at and youth

:51:21.:51:27.

clubs. How is that going to help these people get into something is

:51:27.:51:37.
:51:37.:51:40.

good. -- which is good? They need to reform the school system. The

:51:40.:51:44.

Conservatives are taking city academies, one of Labour's good

:51:44.:51:49.

ideas, and putting rocket boosters and of that. We have been talking

:51:49.:51:53.

about guidelines, legislation and education for children. There is a

:51:53.:51:56.

link between ideas of responsibility and what the state

:51:56.:52:01.

can and should not do in order to create an environment for people to

:52:01.:52:05.

take on responsibility and accepted for themselves. An interested in

:52:05.:52:11.

asking the panel about what they think about the Government appetite

:52:11.:52:17.

to instigate change, to make things happen. I am not talking about cuts

:52:18.:52:21.

and increased legislation to stop people doing stuff, I am talking

:52:21.:52:25.

about empowerment and creating an environment for people to take

:52:25.:52:29.

responsibility for themselves. empowerment of teachers and parents,

:52:29.:52:37.

you mean? Absolutely. What do you say to that? I think there is an

:52:37.:52:42.

appetite for that. As has been said, if a young person thinks they will

:52:42.:52:47.

be caught and punished, then they will not take part in the crime. If

:52:47.:52:54.

over the course of their years from year 7 onwards, the parents do not

:52:54.:52:58.

keep them under control, do not set rules and guidelines, and the same

:52:58.:53:01.

happens at schools because the teachers are afraid to exercise

:53:01.:53:05.

those powers, then they find they can break the rules and nothing

:53:05.:53:09.

happens, then they do it again. Then they come into contact with

:53:09.:53:13.

the law, they break the rules and nothing happens. By the time they

:53:13.:53:17.

get to 16, actually, even if they are certain they will get caught,

:53:17.:53:24.

they tend to commit crimes and that is a real problem. We have got a

:53:24.:53:27.

moment for a last question, which comes back to what happened over

:53:27.:53:34.

the last few days. A lot of people have commented on this. Under what

:53:34.:53:38.

circumstances is vigilante action justified to defend your community

:53:38.:53:42.

or home? We have talked about the police, we have talked about

:53:42.:53:50.

parents and schools and the rest of it. John Prescott? There are

:53:50.:53:53.

vigilantes because there is a breakdown of law and order and we

:53:53.:53:56.

are not providing law and order. I find I cannot condemn people if

:53:56.:54:00.

they stand outside their property and say you cannot come into this

:54:00.:54:06.

church, and they take those actions. Basically, I understand that, but

:54:06.:54:11.

the failure is all of us that have a responsibility to make sure law

:54:11.:54:15.

and order is maintained in our streets. People that are vigilantes

:54:15.:54:19.

do not want to do it. They do it because we are failing to provide

:54:19.:54:24.

the proper cover on the streets. Under what circumstances do you

:54:24.:54:28.

think vigilante action is justified? I think we should avoid

:54:28.:54:36.

it at all costs. No. You saw an incredible amount of disorder at

:54:36.:54:42.

street level. One set of people start, then another set joins in.

:54:42.:54:49.

It just escalates and I don't think we should have vigilantes. So what

:54:49.:54:52.

happens to the vulnerable in society that cannot stand up to the

:54:52.:54:57.

thugs? What about my 92 year-old mother? She will not turn into a

:54:57.:55:00.

vigilante. She will not stand up to these people and she has to rely on

:55:00.:55:05.

the police and we should rely on the police. The question is in what

:55:05.:55:09.

circumstances is vigilante action justified? In whatever

:55:09.:55:14.

circumstances, you get people like the English Defence League, roaming

:55:14.:55:18.

round Lewisham, purporting to be protecting society, but in fact

:55:18.:55:26.

they are justifying their racist attacks on black people. What do

:55:26.:55:32.

you think? The man in the yellow. But then you also get people

:55:32.:55:36.

roaming around looting, purporting to be acting in response to the

:55:36.:55:42.

death of Mark Duggan. I think there was a very small minority of people

:55:42.:55:45.

on the Saturday night that were really angry about what happened

:55:45.:55:49.

with the police shooting. I think what happened subsequently that was

:55:49.:55:53.

In a week when riots have spread from Tottenham across London and now other major UK cities, and the Prime Minister and Mayor of London have cut short their holidays to deal with the crisis, Question Time returns for a special edition.

David Dimbleby chairs a panel of politicians and public figures as they take questions from the audience on what sparked the rioting, the police response and how to deal with the root causes of the unrest.