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SGM
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Post by SGM » Wed August 10th, 2011, 7:41 pm

We do have firearms officers who are very well trained but in general they keep a very low profile (and there are probably more of them than the general public are aware of). But the visible face of the police in the UK "the bobby on the beat" does not carry a firearm except around New Scotland Yard -- in fact, it came as a real surprise to me when I saw one there with a gun. In fact, most contraversey over here in recent years has been because the police have used fire arms not because they have not used them. That is just our way.

We don't have that many "riots" so it takes us a while to get into gear when events like this happen. it would be considered a huge political event for the government to countenance the use of some of the options mentioned on the mainland of the UK which is why we don't have them to hand to use now. And there are probably as many people in the UK who would prefer not to see troops on the streets as those who would. I remember the days of the "ring of steel" in London in the 90s to protect us against the bombing campaigns and I really prefer not to go through that again.

The events are horrendous and truly dreadful for the shopkeepers, business owners and residents in the areas affected but don't get the impression that the majority of the UK is living in fear for their lives because it just isn't the case.

It is hooligans, thugs and opportunist looters causing this but it is heartening to see communities coming together to stand against them, a notable example of which was seen yesterday in an area near me -- the looters really didn't want to take those guys on and didn't.

Much though I loathe The Sun and would never buy it, its headline tends to stand out in the Newsagents and today it is -- "Shop a moron" with a full page of CCTV images of some of the culprits. Many, many of these hooligans have already been identified and will be rounded up and punished.
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Michy
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Post by Michy » Wed August 10th, 2011, 8:10 pm

[quote=""SGM""] but don't get the impression that the majority of the UK is living in fear for their lives because it just isn't the case.

[/quote] When it comes to the media I am very skeptical. I think if you take what they say and divide it by 10 you'll probably come closer to the truth. All newspapers (and other news sources) everywhere sensationalize so as to produce screaming headlines that will sell their particular form of news.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Wed August 10th, 2011, 8:16 pm

"Shop a moron" with a full page of CCTV images of some of the culprits. Many, many of these hooligans have already been identified and will be rounded up and punished.
When Vancouver BC had their share of riots and looting after the Stanley Cup final, many were identified in similar manner. I believe a Facebook page was even started so folks could post photos they'd taken of the looters and identify them. IIRC, one young Olympic hopeful kind of had a whoooooooooooooole lot of egg on his face and probably won't be going to the Olympics after all.
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SGM
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Post by SGM » Wed August 10th, 2011, 8:58 pm

[quote=""Michy""]When it comes to the media I am very skeptical. I think if you take what they say and divide it by 10 you'll probably come closer to the truth. All newspapers (and other news sources) everywhere sensationalize so as to produce screaming headlines that will sell their particular form of news.[/quote]

The media over here rather revels in these events too, particularly now it has to fill 24 hours a day rather than the more limited coverage they had in previous years. I am a huge supporter of the BBC but.....and I am, of course glued to it too.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

Ash
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Post by Ash » Thu August 11th, 2011, 12:24 am

I was listening to a reporter from the Guardian talking about the riots. He said the group he saw were mostly men of all colors, between 10 and 20!! Dear lord

Also heard a horrible story about three muslims who were run down and killed when they tried to protect their community.

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Thu August 11th, 2011, 9:01 am

I remember the ring of steel well, and it did work, pretty much. I also used to feel sorry for the poor policeman in the City at the weekend - when you could drive up to the West End and park - who was standing all by himself at the cordon in the rain.

I've seen armed police at mainline stations too, and not just at the moment; but generally they do only seem to be very visible in high profile and busy areas.
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sweetpotatoboy
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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Thu August 11th, 2011, 12:06 pm

If you want some analysis of the various explanatory factors that have been put forward, this is a starting place:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14483149

To my mind, it's a whole lot of things. But it's clear that certain segments of society have broken down, with two or even three generations now without any strong authority framework or figures that can inculcate values of selfless, considerate behaviour to others and pride in an honest day's work. That, combined with the sense of entitlement engendered by an overblown benefits system, house-price inflation, an untrammelled materialism derived from celebrity culture and our increasing dependence on technological advance, pure opportunism and the inherent herd mentality that is particularly acute among the younger generation.... A nasty mess. Will this week's events be a wake-up call for parents? Or is it too late for many?

SGM
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Post by SGM » Thu August 11th, 2011, 6:03 pm

[quote=""Madeleine""]I remember the ring of steel well, and it did work, pretty much. [/quote]

Apparently the air quality in London improved exponentially during the "ring of steel". it quite probably hadn't been that good in a millennia. Unfortunately, I had to travel through it and work in it every day and I, personally, hope not to see it again in my life time - others might feel differently.

However, ask any police officer you know who their most effective police constable is and they will tell you he is PC Rain -- well, he has been back on shift and things have, indeed, been very much calmer.
Last edited by SGM on Thu August 11th, 2011, 8:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Miss Moppet
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Post by Miss Moppet » Thu August 11th, 2011, 9:33 pm

[quote=""Ash""]
Also heard a horrible story about three muslims who were run down and killed when they tried to protect their community.[/quote]

The father of one of the men spoke publicly about his grief and appealed for calm. I had to turn off the BBC feed because they kept repeating it and it was so difficult to watch. The driver has been arrested and charged with murder.

[quote=""SGM""]However, ask any police officer you know who their most effective police constable is and they will tell you he is PC Rain -- well, he has been back on shift and things have, indeed, been very much calmer.[/quote]

Yes, thank goodness. Long may it last.

Meanwhile things are much quieter than usual in the capital, even for August when many people are away. I saw a couple of open top tourist buses in Pall Mall yesterday with about two people on each vehicle.

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Thu August 11th, 2011, 10:12 pm

I went to an inner city pub in Nottingham on Tuesday night with my menfolk. Elsewhere in the city, one of the police stations was firebombed by a mob. Where we were, there was nothing. In the pub, an older guy - late 40's at least, was bemoaning the riots. 'Let's face it,' he said. 'When I went out rioting in the 60's and 70's, I knew what I was rioting for.' Okaaaayyyy.....

I actually thought this was a very telling blog and it made me stop and think and question my own 'shoot the bastards' knee jerk reaction when the news first started coming through. http://pme200.blogspot.com/2011/08/scum.html
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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