The Response: extra police on streets, images of suspects released, parents blamed for riots

CCTV pcitures from Croydon: police

As the clean up around south and east London continued today after a relatively peaceful night on Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police have renewed appeals for information about all those whose images were caught on CCTV cameras. A total of more than 760 people have already been arrested.

Thousands of extra police were expected to remain on the streets of London again tonight, with all leave still cancelled and the Special Constabulary drafted in for support. Magistrates courts sat all night on Tuesday and Wednesday to deal with the dozens of arrests.

Police have also named the man who died after being found shot in a car in Croydon on Monday night. He was Trevor Ellis, 26, of Brixton Hill, south London. His body was  discovered  in a vehicle in Duppas Hill Road at its junction with Warrington Road, Croydon. He was taken to St George’s Hospital with a gunshot wound to his head.

Further images were released yesterday of suspected looters and rioters in London on top of those which were issued on Tuesday. The Met have also set up a dedicated webpage displaying the images of people being sought. In addition Flickr is hosting the same photos.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister, David Cameron gave permission to the police to use water cannon and rubber bullets. Sir Hugh Orde, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said that he thought water cannon would not be appropriate.

“Water cannon are used to deal with fixed crowds to buy distance,” he said. “The evidence from your camera people shows that these are fast-moving crowds where water canon would not be appropriate.

As the streets calm down, the political debate has now started. Education Secretary, Michael Gove, accused Peckham MP Harriet Harman of “Double dealing” because she suggested that the rise in university fees and removal of the Educational Maintenance Allowance should be reconsidered. On Wednesday night, Hackney MP,  Diana Abbott,  condemned the riots and yet suggested that the cuts might be partly responsible for the sudden eruption of anger. Gavin Esler, anchoring BBC Newsnight, pointed out that: “The cuts haven’t happened yet”.

The night before, also on Newsnight, student Yohannes Scarlette quoted Martin Luther King: “A riot is the voice of the unheard”. He was taken to task by Kelvin McKenzie, ex editor of the Sun, who called for harsher punishments: “These are vile people who have had no discipline and home and no discipline at school.”

Elsewhere the commentariate are also divided: The Guardian‘s  Seamus Milne says: “These riots reflect a society run on greed and looting. David Cameron has to maintain that the unrest has no cause except criminality – or he and his friends might be held responsible”  The Daily Mail’s Melanie Phillips blames the likes of Milne: “Britain’s liberal intelligentsia has smashed virtually every social value”.

For Alison Pearson in The Telegraph, its all down to the parents: “Raised to rampage: The chilling images of child rioters across Britain prompt one question: where were their parents?”  She has a lot of support for this view on Twitter though  @Vicky Pollard has a slightly different take on the theme: “people on the news are blaming the parents for the riots, you can’t blame mine, they been in prison since january.”

Prime Minister, David Cameron, agreeing with the Telegraph and the Sun said yesterday: “There are pockets of our society that are not just broken, but frankly sick,” he said,”We need to have a clearer code of values and standards that we expect people to live by and stronger penalties if they cross the line.”

A spokesman for the Metropolitan police said: ”If anyone recognises individuals in the photographs (link above) or has any information about the violence and disorder that has occurred they should contact the Major Investigation Team on 020 8345 4142. Alternatively anyone can report crime and provide information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Our live blog of events on Tuesday is here


Leave a Reply