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article imageOp-Ed: Mindless criminality – the verdict on the London riots

By Alexander Baron     Aug 8, 2011 in Crime
As rioting spread from Tottenham to Enfield, and to Brixton in South London, those on the frontline of social unrest condemned it as mindless criminality.
BBC TV’s Breakfast news programme this morning covered the London riots in considerable depth, and interviewed two people who are intimately involved in the fight against lawlessness and gun crime. Commander Adrian Hanstock of the Metropolitan Police and Claudia Webbe of the Operation Trident Independent Advisory Group were unanimous in their condemnation of the rioting; Webbe alluded to it as “mindless criminality”. The same programme reported that more than a hundred arrests had now been made.
Commander Hanstock made the point that the grass roots local communities were horrified by the violence and looting, adding that he was too as a Londoner as much as a police officer. Writing in the Guardian earlier, Claudia Webbe took a slightly different approach, but it is clear that whatever spin mainstream black politicians and activists put on the alleged catalyst for this latest unrest, there will be no apologetics as there were in the 1980s: “Those mindless thugs that destroyed people's businesses and livelihoods clearly had no sense of valuing their own surroundings – unless it was just a mob coming from elsewhere to cause destruction. ”
What was noticeable with the footage from one of the copycat riots was more white faces. Or perhaps they were red? Whatever, this is the sort of “inter-racial solidarity” we can all do without.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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