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Why the Met’s deployment of rubber bullets is very worrying


10:45 am - November 8th 2011

by Carl Packman    


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Though the tactic of kettling was devised under former Labour Mayor Ken Livingstone’s term, and used before recent student demonstrations (notably as a means of keeping EDL thugs from clashing with counter protests), it was still a shock the first time I saw it being used on young people, who were visibly scared and certainly no threat.

On more than one occasion I have seen tensions rise, not before, but as a consequence of, the tactic of kettling.

It was my opinion at the time that police were using kettling as a way of putting young people off protesting.

For these reasons I am concerned about the decision for police to use rubber bullets during the November 9 demonstration.

Yes, the police have a duty to keep the peace, but I believe they have often failed to do this because of the way in which they have deployed certain tactics such as kettling.

I must be careful, also, not to predict too early that police will misuse rubber bullets.

Of course they are only supposed to be deployed when a member of the police force feels his life is in danger.

But police need to exhaust all other methods of peacekeeping if such an eventuality presents itself.

I would suggest not kettling young innocents indiscriminately as a first measure, and immediately whistle blowing heavy handedness if it occurs (which video evidence shows it has before).

What this boils down to is that not enough is done to police marches properly, to sort trouble from peace. And further, rubber bullets kill, they have done before, and they could again. Why would we take such risks?

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About the author
Carl is a regular contributor. He is a policy and research analyst and he blogs at Though Cowards Flinch.
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Reader comments


Not only do plastic bullets kill, but they are more likely to do so when used against young people. Since their introduction in Northern Ireland at the beginning of the 1970s, 17 people have died as a result of injuries sustained from plastic bullets. Of this 17, eight were under the age of 18 — a far higher proportion of deaths than the number of under-18s taking part in any given disturbance.

So even the very threat of using these against a protest by students and school students is a morally reprehensible act. I can think of no situation where the protection of property should be given a higher priority than the life of a child, and any police officer who fires this kind of weaponry at a crowd of unarmed teenagers should be prosecuted for attempted murder, no matter what the circumstances.

While I think kettling is a blunt tool – can anyone suggest any alternative that delivers the key requirement, which is to control a number of people who are demonstrating a desire to ignore the agreed protest march plans?

If the protestors were to stick to the agreed routes with the police, then kettling wouldn’t take place.

And before people call me naive – I’ve looked at the details and kettling only takes place when crowds refuse to move on as previously agreed, or start diverting down different roads.

In such a situation, the police have two choices – control the crowd in one location, or let clusters build up all over the place, which is not possible to police with limited resources.

The best solution to prevent problems is for both sides to agree on a route AND stick to it.

3. Chaise Guevara

@ 2 IanVisits

“While I think kettling is a blunt tool – can anyone suggest any alternative that delivers the key requirement, which is to control a number of people who are demonstrating a desire to ignore the agreed protest march plans?”

That’s a loaded question. It’s a free country, so I don’t accept your assumption that the police should be able to dictate where you may and may not go in a public area, let alone that they should be able to punish you on the spot if you disobey them.

A preferable alternative to kettling is no kettling. The sweet spot would probably be allowing kettling but with a number of (enforced) rules making it humanitarian and non-facistic: banning its pre-emptive use, saying that anyone who appears or proves themselves to be under 18 must be immediate charged or released, allowing people out in ones and twos if they behave calmly, giving people the right to be escorted to a police station rather than kept in the kettle, provision of certain basic services if the kettle is maintained for a certain amount of time, disbanding the kettle in a timely fashion.

While some of the above are subjective and situational, you could create a system where courts can require local police forces to pay compensation to the victims of unjust/heavy-handed kettling. This would create a disincentive from using kettling as a bullying tactic, while still allowing police to use it where necessary and appropriate.

I’d be interested to know how this issue of the rubber bullets came out.
If from nowhere, the police made it known that they would have rubber bullets with them and might use them tommorow, then I would agree with the OP.
But if it was an answer to questions from reporters looking for a story, who for no particular reason asked ”are you going to deploy rubber bullets at the domo?” ….. to which the police gave the stock answer that they are prepared for all situations, then it would just be a storm in a media tea cup.

I don’t know which one it is, but there is no need to talk of rubber bullets anyway as there is only a thousand to one chance that they would ever be used, and only then due to some very serious rioting …. which just isn’t going to happen. But if it did, the blame would have to be on the rioters, as there’s no reason for any trouble tommorow.

But if there was rioting like was seen at Gothenburg and Genoa in 2001, then it wouldn’t really be the police we’d need to be looking at.

Joe Hill – hasn’t this come up before on LC? The rubber bullets used in NI in the 70s were significantly different to the modern equipment. That’s not to say that there are not serious risks involved but that the stats you’ve brought up aren’t the best basis for argument.

More generally, the police had a collective failure of will, deployment and tactics earlier this year. That’s why they’re almost literally bringing out the “big guns” now.

Joe Hill,

I can think of no situation where the protection of property should be given a higher priority than the life of a child,

I can’t either. But what makes you say this? Have the police ever indicated otherwise?

… and any police officer who fires this kind of weaponry at a crowd of unarmed teenagers should be prosecuted for attempted murder, no matter what the circumstances.

What if doing so to prevent some greater harm?

IanVisits: “While I think kettling is a blunt tool – can anyone suggest any alternative that delivers the key requirement, which is to control a number of people who are demonstrating a desire to ignore the agreed protest march plans?”

This shows the fundamental problem: if there’s a threat to public safety (i.e. people are attempting to attack other people, burn down buildings, etc etc) it makes sense to take measures to prevent that. However, people with “a desire to ignore the agreed protest march plans” are not automatically a threat to public safety. Indeed many people would dispute the authority of police to authorise or put requirements on protests at all beyond those needed to ensure public safety.

There is a mentality I think many have (particularly in the police but also elsewhere), which says that any public demonstration which hasn’t been fully negotiated beforehand and specifically authorised by the relevant authorities is ‘disorder’ and therefore must be prevented. Further, there’s an idea that protest generally (being that it is something which always carries a threat of ‘disorder’ and indeed of crime) is something the police should try to prevent through deterrent measures. Gratuitous kettling and deliberately visible surveillance are ways of deterring protest.

8. Robin Levett

@Chaise Guevara #3:

“While I think kettling is a blunt tool – can anyone suggest any alternative that delivers the key requirement, which is to control a number of people who are demonstrating a desire to ignore the agreed protest march plans?”

That’s a loaded question. It’s a free country, so I don’t accept your assumption that the police should be able to dictate where you may and may not go in a public area, let alone that they should be able to punish you on the spot if you disobey them.

I’ll start by saying that I’m surprised that the Courts have taken the view they have of kettling; I too see it as unlawful imprisonment unless very carefully employed.

Having said that, I don’t think that you can simply dismiss the question IanVisits raises as “loaded”. There is a clash of rights here; on the one hand, the right of peaceful protest, on the other the rights of non-participants to go about their lawful business unhindered by large crowds using the roads not as a means of getting from A to B, but as a venue for protest. The effect of a demonstration is to shut down thoroughfares that would otherwise be used by non-participants going about their own lawful business. It obstructs the highway. Both the demonstrators and the police gain benefits from agreeing routes. The police will agree to close roads so that the demonstrators don’t need to dodge traffic, will provide protection from counterdemonstrators etc etc; while the police will be able to plan for dealing with the necessary road closures, marshalling the participants, policing the proportion who use the demonstration as cover of their own rather less lawful activities.

In that context, how do the police deal with splinter groups? Arrest the lot of them for obstructioin as soon as they leave the agreed route and prevent others going about their own business?

9. Robin Levett

..oh, and rubber bullets? No, just no.

I don’t know if I’ve missed the point somewhat, but doesn’t the article you cite actually say to be used in circumstances of ‘extreme disorder’? I’m not exactly one to come running to the defence of the police using stupid and disproportionate violence against protesters, but saying they’re *going* to use rubber bullets, when they actually said they might use them in extreme circumstances is a bit misleading.

I highly doubt rubber bullets are going to come into play on our streets. If they do then the police will probably deserve the proverbial kicking they’ll receive, which I imagine to be the main reason they would avoid using them.

Did you see that black ex soldier who died in police custody. (Which in English means they beat the shit out of him)
1o years later they have found his body because they buried the wrong one. I would not trust the police with a rubber toy let alone rubber bullets.

12. Chaise Guevara

@ 8 Robin

It’s a very difficult question. I’m not sure how the rights of the two groups can be reconciled. If the police lay down the rules, what’s the distinction that legitimises arresting Charlie (walking down the road singing “give peace a chance) but not Desmond (walking down the road shouting “I’ve got to get to work!)?

My main issue is with the amount of power the police have and the amount that they take upon themselves. The way I see it, if I’m trapped in a kettle (whether as a protester or a commuter who got swept up in the crowd), I have a right to go home unless I’ve been arrested, with (crucially) the duties of care that I can expected to be afforded to me at that point. There may be some leeway, but if I’m being held without arrest for more than a few minutes, I want facilities and compensation should I, for example, lose my job as a result of being late to work.

The problem is that kettling is a grey area. Police appear to be able to exercise all of their rights with few of their responsibilities. And in some cases the tactic has clearly been deliberately used as a way of punishing people for using their freedom of expression.

@11 – Whats his skin colour got to do with anything? Typical response from a brownshirt tory troll, open your eyes and reject your corporate masters you facist neo-somethingism

Chaise,

I’m not sure how the rights of the two groups can be reconciled. If the police lay down the rules, what’s the distinction that legitimises arresting Charlie (walking down the road singing “give peace a chance) but not Desmond (walking down the road shouting “I’ve got to get to work!)?

I don’t think Robin was talking about how police distinguish between them but the conflict between the right of the protesters to move about and the right of non-protesters to move about. The police have to weigh up these conflicts and AIUI they are supposed to facilitate both as much as possible. I’m not sure how they could distinguish between non-protesters in a crowd of protesters.

My main issue is with the amount of power the police have and the amount that they take upon themselves. The way I see it, if I’m trapped in a kettle (whether as a protester or a commuter who got swept up in the crowd), I have a right to go home unless I’ve been arrested, with (crucially) the duties of care that I can expected to be afforded to me at that point. There may be some leeway, but if I’m being held without arrest for more than a few minutes, I want facilities and compensation should I, for example, lose my job as a result of being late to work.

Well, legally speaking you don’t have such rights etc (IIUC).

If you look at this judgement I think you’ll see, whether you agree with the conclusions or not, what seems a comprehensive consideration:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2005/480.html

Before anyone has a go, I’ve stated many times before here that kettling for 7 hours or more seems wrong on the face of it. But I rarely (if ever) see on threads like this mention the reasons the Met put forward: violence and disorder at previous protests, leaflets and websites that could be read as encouraging disorder and property damage, etc (the judgement briefly contrasts a peaceful Trade Union march with disorder at the May Day protests on 1 May 2000). Apparently there are some 1000 protests a year in London that proceed without any criticism. Why do some protests ‘go wrong’?

There’s one slight problem with this article, and indeed all other ones which take this approach: the central claim is absolute bollocks. Don’t believe me? Don’t blame you, so give this article a quick read, would you?

http://blog.indexoncensorship.org/2011/11/08/plastic-bullets-protest-london/

Do some basic research next time. Overblown, misleading tosh.

16. Leon Wolfson

Troubling? I’d use the word “predictable”

The police are being used, LETTING themselves be used, as a tool for the government.

@2 – We’ll see, given the case currently going about it being illegal.

17. Leon Wolfson

12 – the problem I suspect is police fear that if they don’t kettle a load of idiots will break off and start smashing things up – whereupon the police will be accused of being ineffective.

19. So Much For Subtlety

18. Richard

the problem I suspect is police fear that if they don’t kettle a load of idiots will break off and start smashing things up – whereupon the police will be accused of being ineffective.

So the solution is to let them. When they start to smash things up bring in the snatch squad to grab them. Or if that is impossible, live ammunition. We should allow peaceful protest. Indeed we must allow peaceful protest, which is why the police were right about the Battle of Cable Street and the radicals wrong. But we need to prevent the outbreak of violent disorder.

20. Chaise Guevara

@ 19 SMFS

Are you entirely driven by your burning desire to see as much death as possible, or are there other motivating factors in your life as well?

21. Chaise Guevara

@ 17 Leon

“Oh look, intimidation”

The content of those letters amounts to “If you break the law, we’ll arrest you”. If you think that makes the police “jackbooted thugs”, I can only assume you’re against any form of law and order whatsoever?

The link in post #15 got it right IMO. Owen Jones got it very wrong.
This is really a non story – and everyone ends up sounding like Sally.

Unless of course if the police really wanted this to be a media story. Did they?

Banana republic.

The ruling classes are starting to get worried. Students for God’s sake!
If we can’t kettle them then we’ll shoot them…nice!

24. Leon Wolfson

@21 – The police are a gang of jackbooted thugs. They’ve proven this repeatedly.

The final straw for me was their pushing the prosecution of Alfie Meadows. Even the Chinese police don’t bother prosecuting the people they sent to hospital when they violently quell protest.

The police cannot make anything safer, just less safe. The only way out now is a wholesale revision of police training, which needs to be changed to a single national standard and a rapid replacement of all police officers.

25. Chaise Guevara

@ 24 Leon

“The police are a gang of jackbooted thugs. They’ve proven this repeatedly.”

Has it occurred to you that it’s only the dramatic incidents that get into the newspaper? E.G. “Police accidently kill suspect through incompetence” is a story, “Police arrest suspect and adhere to all rules and regulations” isn’t.

“The final straw for me was their pushing the prosecution of Alfie Meadows. Even the Chinese police don’t bother prosecuting the people they sent to hospital when they violently quell protest.”

Here’s the problem: you’re talking about the police as a group, but what percentage of coppers were involved at any point in the Alfie Meadows case? How does one event allow you to leap to wild conclusions about thousands and thousands of coppers?

“The police cannot make anything safer, just less safe.”

That’s crap, and I think you know it. If you really can’t envisage a scenario in which police would make you safer, you’re a fantasist.

“The only way out now is a wholesale revision of police training, which needs to be changed to a single national standard and a rapid replacement of all police officers.”

Um, what? We’re going to fire all existing officers for what reason, exactly?

26. Leon Wolfson

@25 – What? How does that excuse their actions?

This is a trend, a basic sickness, running through the police’s interaction with the public. Yes, something pushed me over the edge, but it was the final of MANY straws. This isn’t a casual or narrow conclusion on my part.

The police set off riots – unpunished. They’ve beaten, savagely, peaceful protesters. They’ve kettled kids. They’ve been given a free hand to lie in any situation (The F&M case).

” If you really can’t envisage a scenario in which police would make you safer, you’re a fantasist.”

Nope. They’re a threat to anyone they encounter, period.

“Um, what? We’re going to fire all existing officers for what reason, exactly?”

Danger to public health and safety.

27. Chaise Guevara

@ 26

“What? How does that excuse their actions?”

Excuse me? How does what excuse whose actions?

“This is a trend, a basic sickness, running through the police’s interaction with the public. Yes, something pushed me over the edge, but it was the final of MANY straws. This isn’t a casual or narrow conclusion on my part.

The police set off riots – unpunished. They’ve beaten, savagely, peaceful protesters. They’ve kettled kids. They’ve been given a free hand to lie in any situation (The F&M case).”

Apart from that last one, which is untrue (police can get jailed for lying), what you’re talking about here is a problem with police policy, some individual cops, and possibly the attitudes of some people at the top (whether police or politicians). It’s not an indictment of every single police officer.

“Nope. They’re a threat to anyone they encounter, period.”

Bullshit. Police prevent crime and save people’s lives. The existence of negative effects does not somehow cancel out the positive effects. Can you imagine what the country would be like if criminals could act without fear of retribution from the law?

“Danger to public health and safety.”

Please show me your study demonstrating that each and every individual police officer is guilty of this.

28. Leon Wolfson

@27 – I’ll make it clearer – why are you writing an apologia for the police’s actions?

“Apart from that last one, which is untrue”

Nope. The F&M case gives anyone except the head of the service in the UK an get-out-of-lying-free card. And excuses, excuses, excuses. The problem is too widespread to be waved away as you are doing.

“Bullshit. Police prevent crime and save people’s lives.”

They cause crime and kill people. The difference between them and other gangs of thugs is they can better use the law as a shield for their actions. It doesn’t matter what the gang colours are of the people who beat you and send you to hospital, or how they punish you for being in their way, later.

And my case study is the blood on the streets. You’re lapping it up.

There are some 20,000 firearms operations a year in England and Wales.

Here is a table of deaths resulting from police shootings:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_use_of_firearms_in_the_United_Kingdom#Statistics

31. Leon Wolfson

@29 – Yes, the modus operandi here lately has been beatings, you might have noticed.

32. Chaise Guevara

@ 28 Leon

“I’ll make it clearer – why are you writing an apologia for the police’s actions?”

I’m not. Where have I defended any inappropriate actions, such as violence?

“Nope. The F&M case gives anyone except the head of the service in the UK an get-out-of-lying-free card. And excuses, excuses, excuses. The problem is too widespread to be waved away as you are doing.”

You’ll have to unpack that. There’s a difference between “police tend to get away with lying”, which I agree is a problem, and “police have total immunity”, which seems closer to what you’re saying.

“They cause crime and kill people. The difference between them and other gangs of thugs is they can better use the law as a shield for their actions. It doesn’t matter what the gang colours are of the people who beat you and send you to hospital, or how they punish you for being in their way, later.”

I notice how you conveniently ignored my point about negative actions not deleting positive actions. Why is this?

Police do cause/commit crime (relatively rarely) and kill people (more rarely still; if a cop kills someone it’s pretty much automatically deemed newsworthy). However, they far more often prevent crime and save people. They even do this passively, simply by existing: the knowledge that a system exists to prevent crime is powerful disincentive to criminal action. If you doubt this, just look at the countries where the law is barely enforced.

“And my case study is the blood on the streets. You’re lapping it up.”

Dun-dun-DUUUN!

You don’t actually have a study, then, I take it? So, again: what’s your basis for saying that EACH AND EVERY currently serving police officer is not suitable for the job? Please actually answer the question this time, instead of responding with evasive rhetoric. At the moment you’re just coming off as irrational and prejudiced.

33. Leon Wolfson

@31 – You’re defending one of the gangs on the British streets, a highly violent one, called the “police”. And yes, the F&M ruling gives the police TOTAL IMMUNITY about lying, in ANY situation. All they have to say is “what I said wasn’t sanctioned”.

And if a gang scrubs some graffiti off a wall, under your theory that then means they’re fine and dandy when they break the knees of the graffiti artist. That it’s “rare” (and it’s not) doesn’t excuse the culture which produces these actions. It’s also dangerously close to arguing the ends justify the means.

Why do you support them? Vicarious sadism from watching a street gang at work? The *culture* of the police is broken and again, it doesn’t matter WHICH gang beats you. You’re making a false distinction based on the “honour” of being beaten by a gang with a certain set of colours.

I’m civilised – there can be no excuse for this kind of unwarranted, repeated violence initiated by a group, ANY group within our civilisation. It seems you are not, that you stand with the barbarians. Well, your choice.

34. Chaise Guevara

@ Leon

“You’re defending one of the gangs on the British streets, a highly violent one, called the “police”.”

Watch those goalposts shift! Just to be clear, are you now no longer accusing me of defending inappropriate action, just of defending the police in general?

“And yes, the F&M ruling gives the police TOTAL IMMUNITY about lying, in ANY situation. All they have to say is “what I said wasn’t sanctioned”.

I’ll need a source for that.

“And if a gang scrubs some graffiti off a wall, under your theory that then means they’re fine and dandy when they break the knees of the graffiti artist.”

Straw man. I never said behaviour like that was acceptable on the part of gangs, the police, or anyone else.

“That it’s “rare” (and it’s not) doesn’t excuse the culture which produces these actions.”

Agreed (except the bit in brackets).

“It’s also dangerously close to arguing the ends justify the means.”

As I’m not actually arguing that the ends justify the means, you arbitrarily labelling it as “dangerously close” is pretty irrelevant, isn’t it?

“Why do you support them? Vicarious sadism from watching a street gang at work? The *culture* of the police is broken and again, it doesn’t matter WHICH gang beats you. ”

I support the police in general because, in general, they do a good job. I look forward to you ignoring the words “in general” when you reply, and saying something stupid like “SO BEATING PEOPLE UP IS DOING A GOOD JOB IS IT YOU FACIST!!!!11111111”

“You’re making a false distinction based on the “honour” of being beaten by a gang with a certain set of colours.”

Another straw man! Who mentioned honour? If you’re going to argue with some imaginary opponent who only exists inside your head, fine, but have the basic decency not to falsely attribute his beliefs to me.

“I’m civilised”

…although you lack basic decency (see above)…

“there can be no excuse for this kind of unwarranted, repeated violence initiated by a group, ANY group within our civilisation.”

Agreed – but there’s also no excuse for tarring innocent people with the actions of other people in their “group”. If I work in an office, and an office worker somewhere murders someone, that doesn’t make me a murderer. Likewise cops.

“It seems you are not, that you stand with the barbarians. Well, your choice.”

That’s three straw men and counting!

Now, I asked two questions in my last post that you dodged. In both cases, you were in fact dodging them for the second time. Why are you dodging questions? What is the answer to the two questions? I’ve listed them below for your convenience:

*I notice how you conveniently ignored my point about negative actions not deleting positive actions. Why is this?

*What’s your basis for saying that EACH AND EVERY currently serving police officer is not suitable for the job?

I’ll give you two options: answer my questions and stop arguing with things I’ve never said, or go shout at someone else.

35. Leon Wolfson

@33 – So now you’re lying again. The goalposts are right there – you’re doing both.

You are EXPLICITLY defending the jobs and the culture of the gang known as the police. That means you’re endorsing their actions. You carefully avoid talking about the common abuses they perpetrate, the ongoing breakdown in relationships between the police and law-abiding communities.

The culture of the police is sick. Under your concept, the casual racism of the police was acceptable and not a problem, since white people were not being generally harassed, just the sub-class of “darkies”. Hint: Action was taken then. Action must be taken now, and things are FAR worse now than then.

To answer your questions AGAIN:

You are arguing that “good” actions outweigh barbaric acts of violence. I disagree. If someone gives a million to charity then pushes someone down the stairs, we sentence them to jail based on the pushing someone down the stairs. You cannot use scales to excuse violent crime no matter the colours of the gang, either justice is for all or it’s for the privileged.

I change my position – you ARE arguing that the means justify the end. Which is an inherently barbaric position.

And this is of course all easy to google, but hey, let’s educate you about the basics; *Start* here;

http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/Documents/ipcc_bcs_report.pdf
http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/bocsar/ll_bocsar.nsf/vwFiles/Jackson_Jon_paper.pdf/$file/Jackson_Jon_paper.pdf

36. So Much For Subtlety

20. Chaise Guevara

Are you entirely driven by your burning desire to see as much death as possible, or are there other motivating factors in your life as well?

No. Pretty much just the death thing. It is a worry when on this thread I am the sane end of the comment spectrum, isn’t it?

However kettling shows what is wrong with modern British policing. Protesters have a moral right to protest peacefully. The police should not stop them. But because protest organisers want a riot, they invite the sort of people who will riot, they refuse to police themselves, and so a riot inevitably occurs. The police solution is to kettle people. This is wrong. The solution should be to allow the peaceful majority to protest peacefully, but to remain on alert for the minority who wants to smash things up. And then to come down like a ton of bricks on those rioters. As arresting them is kind of tough, an armed response to the throwing of bricks and the like seems reasonable to me.

Or of course we could just let shop owners defend themselves. The Koreans got together in LA and provided an armed response to riots back in the day. Their shops were left alone after that. In the recent riots, Asian communities, who are not as passive and institutionalised as White British ones, got together to defend themselves. Coming from cultures where the police are useless, they are much better at coping with modern Britain.

I expect that in the long run people will start to arm themselves illegally, knowing the police cannot be trusted. Then we will have a lottery to see if the jury sides with the shop keeper or the police determined that no one should do anything to look after themselves. The worst of all possible world really.

37. Chaise Guevara

@ 35 SMFS

“The solution should be to allow the peaceful majority to protest peacefully, but to remain on alert for the minority who wants to smash things up.”

Fair.

“And then to come down like a ton of bricks on those rioters. As arresting them is kind of tough, an armed response to the throwing of bricks and the like seems reasonable to me.”

Depends what kind of armed response. I’m not in favour of esclating from violence to lethality. Even if you subscribe to the view that the rioters sacrifice their rights when they break the law, it’s all too easy for innocent people to get caught in the maelstrom. I’m not blaming the police for this, even trained armies have friendly fire, but it seems sensible not to use such a permanent tactic against someone who might later turn out to be a commuter on their way home, no?

“Or of course we could just let shop owners defend themselves. The Koreans got together in LA and provided an armed response to riots back in the day. Their shops were left alone after that. In the recent riots, Asian communities, who are not as passive and institutionalised as White British ones, got together to defend themselves. Coming from cultures where the police are useless, they are much better at coping with modern Britain.”

Better at coping with extreme events like riots, maybe. Our police aren’t useless, far from it, they’re just not omnipotent. Taking the same attitude in a day-to-day way – say, chasing down a burglar and beating him half to death instead of detaining him and phoning the police – is not such a good coping mechanism. It gets you jailed, and a good thing too.

Britain isn’t the wilderness that more excitable types like to make out. In places where it seems like one, there’s either an uncommon event at work (riots) or the problem is, in part, a lack of police presence (bad estates where mugging and rape are common). We probably need more resources going into the police force – not just to increase the number of officers on the beat, but also to ensure they’re properly equipped where necessary.

38. Leon Wolfson

He’s arguing for automatic weapons fire into crowds. Rivers of blood.

And our community handle day to day policing as well as building security and response during the riots ourselves. Inevitably a long wait for someone to bother to come over to get the crook when he’s been caught.

And right, MORE thugs on the beat, literally.

39. So Much For Subtlety

36. Chaise Guevara

Depends what kind of armed response. I’m not in favour of esclating from violence to lethality. Even if you subscribe to the view that the rioters sacrifice their rights when they break the law, it’s all too easy for innocent people to get caught in the maelstrom. I’m not blaming the police for this, even trained armies have friendly fire, but it seems sensible not to use such a permanent tactic against someone who might later turn out to be a commuter on their way home, no?

I am not so sure. It is hard to imagine what sort of armed response you do have in mind then. Law breaking needs to be stopped. That is why we arm security guards for instance. I assume we would agree that if someone tried to take off with a cash box from a bank and they did not stop when asked to nicely, the security guard would be within his rights to shoot said thief dead? Even more so if he is armed. Even if there is a risk that innocent by standers might get hurt. What to do with people throwing bricks and burning stores? Sharpshooters perhaps? I doubt we would have to deploy them more than once.

Better at coping with extreme events like riots, maybe.

Better at coping with life at the bottom of British society. Their daughters are not taking smack and getting pregnant at 16. Well not without a husband they are not. They also tend to cope better with crime. It was Asians who drove street prostitution out of their neighbourhoods into White neighbourhoods a few years back. Just ordinary life really.

Our police aren’t useless, far from it, they’re just not omnipotent. Taking the same attitude in a day-to-day way – say, chasing down a burglar and beating him half to death instead of detaining him and phoning the police – is not such a good coping mechanism. It gets you jailed, and a good thing too.

Together with the Courts, they are useless. They won’t even come most of the time. They won’t do anything if they do. Although they will provide you with a number to help with the insurance claim. That is about it. They are not even able to catch most murderers unless they are dumb enough to be found standing over the body with a blunt object in their hand. Chasing people down the street and beating the crap out of them is the only response in much of Britain. The police won’t do a thing. And this is where Asians do better – people rarely complain to the police because they know he has ten cousins who will beat the crap out of him again if he does. A good thing? I had a friend who used to live in a Little Italy in America. Sure everyone had to pay off the local hoodlums, but street crime was low. He was happy with the arrangement. Street crime three blocks down was not low. But they knew if they came into Little Italy and mugged someone’s grandmother, someone else would break their legs or worse. I would prefer that end without the leg breaking, but that end anyway.

Britain isn’t the wilderness that more excitable types like to make out.

Where you live.

We probably need more resources going into the police force – not just to increase the number of officers on the beat, but also to ensure they’re properly equipped where necessary.

We have poured vast resources into the police forces. We have given them more equipment than they know what to do with. We have vastly more police now than we did in the 1950s. This is not the problem. It is just the typical Leftist stand by that any problem can be solved by giving people like you more tax revenue to spend as you see fit. As with the NHS we have tried that and we know it is not true. What we need is to remove career criminals from the population through a Three Strikes law so that the police do not waste all their time with the Frequent Fliers and might have a chance to solve a few crimes.

So no one got shot with a rubber bullet then?
I knew it was a bs story.

Is Leon Wolfson a wind up merchant having a joke? I suspect he is.
Leon, you should have watched ”Cops with Cameras” tonight.
They do some vital work.

Devon and Cornwall officers Dan Ritson and Emma Parsons are involved in a dramatic car chase, and Greater Manchester’s Tactical Aid Squad raids the house of a suspected drug dealer. In Oldham, PC Darren Hancock has to deal with a man who is sleeping on the pavement and Sgt Garry Watters comes face to face with burglars.

41. Robin Levett

@SMFS #39:

That is why we arm security guards for instance.

Do we? First I’ve heard of it (outside the armed forces and say the DPG).

I assume we would agree that if someone tried to take off with a cash box from a bank and they did not stop when asked to nicely, the security guard would be within his rights to shoot said thief dead?

You have a very strange view of rights. No, a security guard doing this would be properly tried and convicted of murder.

SMFS,

That is why we arm security guards for instance.

Which ones?

I assume we would agree that if someone tried to take off with a cash box from a bank and they did not stop when asked to nicely, the security guard would be within his rights to shoot said thief dead?

No.

Even more so if he is armed.

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/self_defence/#Reasonable_Force

Even if there is a risk that innocent by standers might get hurt. What to do with people throwing bricks and burning stores? Sharpshooters perhaps?

Arrest the brick throwers and arsonists.

I had a friend who used to live in a Little Italy in America. Sure everyone had to pay off the local hoodlums, but street crime was low. He was happy with the arrangement. Street crime three blocks down was not low. But they knew if they came into Little Italy and mugged someone’s grandmother, someone else would break their legs or worse. I would prefer that end without the leg breaking, but that end anyway.

Sure, everyone in the East End had to pay off Reggie and Ronnie but they were nice boys really. I mean, it would cost you one day a week to stop having your shop smashed up and your teeth smashed in, but that’s the price of living in an area free of other gangs, isn’t it?

Good times.

43. So Much For Subtlety

42. ukliberty

Sure, everyone in the East End had to pay off Reggie and Ronnie but they were nice boys really. I mean, it would cost you one day a week to stop having your shop smashed up and your teeth smashed in, but that’s the price of living in an area free of other gangs, isn’t it? Good times.

You miss the point. As the police fail to do their job, people are forced to find alternatives. If the police won’t protect people, then they will be forced to pay someone else who will. The Crays are the future of many British working class neighbourhoods. Just as in the past the police did not care about these areas, so too are they now too incompetent to police them. The future is bright for psychotics.

Sad, but there you go.

44. Leon Wolfson

@40 – Do you enjoy beating people? I suspect you do!

No, THAT’S a wind-up. I’m absolutely serious about detesting gangs, no matter what their colours.

“They do some vital work.”

Gotta beat them all!


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