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Posts Tagged ‘riots

Half of those arrested over riots were busted again in past year

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Nearly half of those held over riots arrested again in past year…As the anniversary of the violence and looting approaches, the data reveals that 44% of riot suspects have been arrested on suspicion of committing further offences in the last 12 months.

More than half of suspects who were locked up over the disorder have since been freed while thousands more who took part evaded justice.

The statistics, released under the Freedom of Information Act, showed police in Nottingham made 143 arrests following last August’s disorder, of whom 86 were charged…

But in the last year, 72 of those suspects – half the total arrested – were held again for crimes including rape, arson, robbery, threats to kill and breaching bail or parole conditions, and some even arrested for multiple crimes…

The true number across the country could be even higher, with some of the largest forces including the Metropolitan Police unable to calculate the proportion of reoffending due to the sheer number of cases it had to deal with, the Daily Mail reported

Dr David Green, of the think-tank Civitas, told the newspaper: “This is a reminder that in this country we do not punish our career criminals properly.

They are allowed to go in and out of jail and this just reaffirms that we are continuing the same bad practice. If you punish them lightly you will get more crime…”

I have no problem with warehousing violent criminals, those whose property crimes endanger a peaceful life for ordinary citizens. It’s no different from jailing drivers who continually risk killing others on the road with their drinking addiction.

Yes, we can treat causes, we can effect the delivery of appropriate counseling – while offenders are on the inside. Removing unnecessary risk is at least as important as catching criminals and preventing crime in the first place. In my neck of the prairie it’s not unusual to read of DWI offenders with arrests in double figures. The same for junkies who support their addiction with burglary.

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Written by Ed Campbell

August 5, 2012 at 2:00 am

Most London looters had prior convictions — and no jail time!

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Two in three of those involved in the riots who had a criminal record had never been to jail, despite amassing an average of 15 previous offences each, figures have shown.

One in four people charged over the violence and looting that swept through English cities had committed more than 10 previous offences, with one in 20 having more than 50, the Ministry of Justice figures showed…

Four in 10 of males aged 10-17 who were brought before the courts over the riots had at least one previous conviction, compared with just one in 50 of those aged 10-17 in the general population.

But the officials said that while those involved in the violence and looting were ”much more likely than the population as a whole to have previous convictions, there is also evidence of some people being drawn into the criminal justice system for the first time…”

New figures for the crown courts showed 79 jail sentences have been handed down so far, with nine in 10 of those appearing in crown courts being sent to prison, compared with one in three for similar offences last year.

For those dealt with in magistrates courts, 97 have been sent to jail – four in 10 of those who have been sentenced – compared with one in 10 of those who appeared before magistrates for similar offences last year.

Overall, sentences were tougher too, with those involved in the riots being jailed for an average of 10.4 months for violent disorder, compared with an average of 5.3 months last year.

For burglary, the average for those involved in the riots was 14.1 months, compared with 8.8 months last year.

Mr Clarke added: “I congratulate the courts for delivering swift and firm justice, which stopped the riots spreading further.

I am dismayed to see a hardcore of repeat offenders back in the system

He went on: “We are making our jails places of hard work, getting criminals off drugs and alcohol, toughening community sentences and making offenders pay back to victims and communities for their crimes.”

The paying back part is praiseworthy – not often realistic though.

Sounds like the Brits have to make the same sort of decision we’re barely starting to make in the US about our own drug gangs. Make rehab and education available in the slammer — but, count on warehousing some of these miserable lowlifes often and for bigger time.

Written by Ed Campbell

September 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm

English riots blamed on feral underclass of hardcore offenders

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Remembering three young men murdered by rioting thugs
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

The justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke, has blamed the riots that swept across England last month on a “broken penal system” that has failed to rehabilitate a group of hardcore offenders he describes as the “criminal classes”…

Writing in the Guardian, Clarke dismisses criticism of the severity of sentences handed down to rioters and said judges had been “getting it about right”. However, he adds that punishment alone was “not enough”.

“It’s not yet been widely recognised, but the hardcore of the rioters were in fact known criminals. Close to three quarters of those aged 18 or over charged with riot offences already had a prior conviction. That is the legacy of a broken penal system – one whose record in preventing reoffending has been straightforwardly dreadful.”

He says: “In my view, the riots can be seen in part as an outburst of outrageous behaviour by the criminal classes – individuals and families familiar with the justice system, who haven’t been changed by their past punishments.”

Clarke uses his intervention to call for the coalition government to adopt a “renewed mission” in response to the riots that addressed an “appalling social deficit”.

His comments will reignite the debate on the causes of the disturbances, which the prime minister, David Cameron, has said “were not about poverty”…I agree.

“There is an urgent need for some rigorous social research which will look, without prejudice, at the causes and the consequences of the recent riots,” Professor Tim Newburn said. “Crucially, it is vital that we speak with those involved in the disturbances and those affected by them to try to understand any lessons for public policy…”

Clarke writes: “The general recipe for a productive member of society is no secret. It has not changed since I was inner-cities minister 25 years ago. It’s about having a job, a strong family, a decent education and beneath it all, an attitude that shares in the values of mainstream society. What is different now is that a growing minority of people in our nation lack all of those things and indeed, have substituted an inflated sense of expectations for a commitment to hard graft.”

Not especially different from what we witness, case by case, incident by separate incident on the nightly news here in New Mexico. The culture of repeat offenders let loose on society time after time – until that day when one or a few commit commit some crime horrific enough to get the attention of politicians and pundits.

When the furor dies down the courts/jails/police revert to being a revolving door.

Written by Ed Campbell

September 6, 2011 at 6:00 am

Guardian Eyewitness: Riots cleanup

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Guardian Eyewitness is always one of the best daily journalist photo blogs.

In this photo, residents of Clapham Junction, south London, gather outside looted shops to help clean up the streets following appeals on social networking sites.

Written by Ed Campbell

August 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Thousands at funeral of young defenders killed by riot gangsters

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25,000 mourners remember brave men who died for the whole community
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

In a remarkable show of solidarity and respect, thousands of people gathered today for the funerals of three men killed as they protected their community’s shops and houses from rioters.

Haroon Jahan, 21, and brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, died in the early hours of August 10 after being run down by a car in the Winson Green area of Birmingham.

Along with dozens of others, they had turned out to protect their property after gangs of men were seen driving around and attempting to break into shops…

Friends, family and members of the local communities – Asian, white and black – turned out in Summerfield Park in a show of support, many wearing t-shirts showing slogans such as “My Brothers” and “Gone but not forgotten.”

A message on screens read: “Three precious souls gave their lives protecting all of us“, whilst Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, a scholar asked by the families to address the crowd, said: “They made an example of how a Muslim should be and what Islam is. These three people are martyrs and the best we can do for them is to pray for them and for ourselves. To pray for our community.”

Mr Jahan’s father, Tariq Jahan, whose plea for calm on the day his son died was praised by the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Chris Sims, for preventing further violence, thanked the crowd before a private burial service was held, with all three men being laid to rest side by side.

I have nothing new to add about this funeral. I have been to too many. I don’t attend anymore.

I’ve stood alongside old and young, Black and White, religious and atheist willing to stand up and defend their communities against evil and violence – whether that destruction was being visited upon them by anarchy and gangsters, racists, even police and armies representing the “forces of democracy”. In many lands.

I hope the memory of these funerals bring change and the collective power of ordinary people to bear upon the roots of these murders. I always do. Mourning is something we all participate in one way or another.

Written by Ed Campbell

August 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Hooligans jailed for inciting to riot – which they put on Facebook!

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Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan and Jordan Blackshaw

Two men have been jailed for four years each in northwest England for inciting disorder via social networking sites, as rioting and looting erupted in London and other cities last week…

The pair, who were arrested last week, were named by Cheshire Police as Jordan Blackshaw, 20, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22. Neither of their Facebook posts resulted in any rioting, a Cheshire Police spokeswoman said.

Sutcliffe-Keenan had set up a Facebook page called “Warrington Riots” that urged rioters to gather in the northwestern town on August 10, while Blackshaw had created a page encouraging people to cause trouble in his home town of Northwich on August 9, the spokeswoman said.

Residents and businesses reported the posts to police, and the men were arrested before any disorder occurred, she added…

More than 1,300 people have been charged across England in connection with last week’s unrest, which led to widespread looting and damage. Five deaths have been linked to the violence…

England’s cities have remained calm for the past week after a massive police deployment on the streets, but officers continue to make arrests based on security camera images and intelligence.

Police in London said they had arrested a 31-year-old man Tuesday on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with an incident in which two officers were bowled over by a vehicle, as they chased looters last week. Both were injured.

How stupid can you be? Let me count the ways:

1. Inciting to riot ain’t exactly a new violation of law. Most Western nations have similar laws – sometimes abused by backwards governments and coppers; but, long-standing and valid in an appropriate context.

2. Taking advantage of legitimate concerns, genuine public protest, to stake a criminal claim on a community through riot and arson is despicable.

3. Thinking that you are invisible in the online world is about as dumb as it gets.

Throw away the key.

Written by Ed Campbell

August 17, 2011 at 10:00 am

UK may block gangbangers using social networks during riots

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Woman jumps into the arms of firefighters during London riots

Britain is considering disrupting online social networking such as Blackberry Messenger and Twitter during civil unrest, Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday, a move widely condemned as repressive when used by other countries…

Police and politicians have said online social networks, in particular Research in Motion’s popular Blackberry Messager (BBM), were used by rioters and looters to coordinate during four days of disorder across England this week.

“We are working with police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality,” Cameron told parliament during an emergency session prompted by the riots.

Many of the rioters favored Canadian firm RIM’s BBM over Twitter and other social media because its messages are encrypted and private…

Online social media was also widely used by members of the British public in recent days to help others avoid troublespots and to coordinate a clean up after the rioting had ended.

Open social media isn’t the problem. If the police and government were competent, messaging in non-encrypted networks would be another information source. Accurate or otherwise.

Problems with encrypted transmission are a horse of another color. Then, you also have to add Skype to the mix of considerations – since it is encrypted communications.

Written by Ed Campbell

August 11, 2011 at 10:00 am

Haiti rioters attack Peacekeepers – blame them for epidemic

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Protesters in Haiti, blaming United Nations troops for a cholera epidemic that has killed hundreds of people, attacked U.N. peacekeepers in two cities on Monday.

One protester was shot dead in the clashes and six U.N. peacekeepers were injured.

The U.N. mission blamed the violence in Cap-Haitien and Hinche on political agitators it said were bent on stirring up unrest ahead of presidential and legislative elections set for November 28 in the earthquake-hit Caribbean country.

In Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second city on the north coast, U.N. blue helmets were fired on by armed demonstrators and one demonstrator was killed when a peacekeeper opened fire in self-defense, the U.N. mission (MINUSTAH) said in a statement. U.N. troops also used tear gas against the protesters…

At Hinche in the central region, U.N. peacekeepers were among several people injured by stone-throwing protesters who attacked Nepalese troops stationed there.

The Nepalese have been the subject of widespread rumors that they brought the cholera bacteria behind the month-long epidemic of the deadly disease in Haiti that has killed more than 900 people and sickened close to 15,000…

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said DNA testing shows the cholera strain in Haiti is most closely related to a strain from South Asia. But it has not pinpointed the source or linked it directly to the Nepalese troops, whom the U.N. says tested negative for the disease…

The cholera epidemic has inflicted another crisis on the Western Hemisphere’s poorest state as it struggles to rebuild from the earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people.

Not that it means a whole boatload to political opportunists wishing to profit from a lynch mob stage setting.

Same as it ever was in an American state where the defining issue in the November elections was “protecting” court systems from shari’a law [WTF]. Same as it ever was when Congress offers memorials telling China how to manage their currency, Middle Eastern nations how to manage their relations with Israel and the administration why beancounting takes priority over unemployment insurance.

Stone Age genes + ignorance = stupid behavior, senseless populism, xenophobia every time.

Written by Ed Campbell

November 16, 2010 at 9:00 am

Riots, arson and looting hits Greek cities

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Protestor hurls Molotov Cocktail at police in Athens
Daylife/Reuters Pictures

Violent riots hit the streets of Greek cities late Saturday and early Sunday as hundreds of youths battled police after an officer shot dead a teenager late Saturday.

The rampaging youths, many of who were self-styled anarchists, threw firebombs, smashed storefronts and burned businesses as they battled with police, who fought back with tear gas.

The shooting death of a 16-year-old boy by a member of an elite police corps was the trigger, officials said. The incident started when six youths pelted a police patrol car with stones.

The teen was shot as he tried to throw a fuel-filled bomb at the officers, police said.

Government officials, fearing more violence, swiftly condemned the shooting.

I’ve been shot at by coppers who deserved to have every bit of the force of law brought down on their heads. First time, in fact, was while leading a peaceful march to a funeral parlor on behalf of a kid unjustly killed by a beat cop. Doesn’t change the circumstances reported, so far.

You throw rocks at a police car. Prepare to hurl a Molotov Cocktail at the coppers. You get what you deserve. This was not a political uprising against a military dictatorship – even though anarchists consider any elected government to be oppressive by definition.

Written by Ed Campbell

December 7, 2008 at 8:00 am

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