No, this is not an article about the waste of my footballing talent or my great academic genius. This is a factual blog, not a work of fiction. I’m not Jeffrey Archer. Mind you, I wish I had his money.
This blog post is prompted by recent stories in the news. Yesterday morning as I set off for work and rode past Ilford Police Station, a large area was taped off and ominously, the forensic officers were wearing white boiler suits. This usually signifies a major crime has taken place. Forensic do not wear white suits to take fingerprints from your broken window after a burglary. The area was still taped off on my way home last night.
Sadly, a 17 year old male had been stabbed following a disturbance involving 2 gangs of males at 0400 after a private party. Sadly he died some 9 hours later in hospital. What a waste of a young life. He was somebody’s son, somebody’s child. A life ended before it had begun. No doubt at least one or more others will end up in prison possibly facing a life sentence as a result of this incident.
Only this week, a 16 year old child has been charged with the murder of a 60+ man in Ealing last week. The gentleman’s life was taken as he tried to put out a fire during the riots last week. He was apparently kicked and stamped to death for trying to defend his business against looters. What a waste of at least 2 lives, that of the victim and the life of the 16 year old who is looking at a lengthy period in custody for his actions. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23978455-boy-due-in-court-over-riot-murder.do
That brings me onto the riots themselves. I will start by mentioning an event in the run up to the riots. On the Thursday before the Tottenham riot, a Mark Duggan was shot and killed by police in a taxi in the Tottenham area. The Metropolitan Police made a number of decisions, one of which was the delay in notifying the deceased’s family and appointing a liaison officer. More importantly however was the information leaked that in the incident a police officer was shot, and his life only saved by his police radio which took the brunt of the force of the bullet. The implication of this is that Duggan had been involved in shooting at the police. A week later, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) released quietly under cover of the riots, a news item confirming the bullet in the police radio was actually a police issue bullet and therefore this officer was shot by the police. This was probably a ricochet.
This was the BBC story on the day after the shooting http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-14423942 Notice the line “it is believed that one shot was discharged from an illegal firearm inside the car” This was nonsense as the police already knew the deceased had not fired a weapon even though he did have an illegal firearm.
Strange that the police initially spin stories that the victim was to blame and had acted in a way that meant the police had to kill them. Then further down the line the truth emerges and it is shown the police had lied and lied to deliberately get off the hook. Do I hear you mention Jean Charles De Menezes back in 2007 in Stockwell, an innocent electrician going to work who was killed on the orders of the (in my opinion) incompetent Gold Commander that day Cressida Dick. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Jean_Charles_de_Menezes
Now given that I have ridden the last 2 years in the USA to raise money for police officers killed in the course of duty, you may wonder why I am so critical of the police here. Well, there is a big difference between supporting the police doing what is a difficult and dangerous job and the police deliberately lying and perverting the course of justice to cover up their mistakes. I am not necessarily criticising the 2 killings. I was not there and was not operating under the pressure those officers were in each incident. What I am criticising is the Metropolitan Police and their deliberate lies and smear campaigns against the victims. Take a look at the Crown Prosecution Service’s website at www.cps.gov.uk You will find there lots of references to treating victims properly. There are any numbers of initiatives looking at the treatment of victims at all stages of the Justice System. Yet here we have the police deliberately lying to blame the victim eg Duggan fired at police; Jean Charles De Menezes ran from police, he was wearing a padded coat that looked like a suicide bomb etc.
Metropolitan Police bosses should hang their heads in shame. They should be in the dock facing charges of perverting the course of justice. Harsh you say? Well the police charged someone this week with perverting the course of justice for burning the clothes they wore allegedly at the scene of a crime. If that is a crime, then surely deliberately lying about the actions of a deceased man is as well. It is so much worse when you think that the victim cannot defend their name from these false smears. How awful that must be for the families of the deceased in these cases.
I’m not even going to mention in detail the foul and awful lies South Yorkshire Police spread after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 when they accused Liverpool fans of robbing and urinating on the corpses of fellow fans who had died as a result of amongst other things policing failures by senior officers.
This brings me onto the riots themselves. The riots started after a protest over the killing of Duggan. Let’s assume for a moment the protestors had a valid grievance against the police re Duggan’s killing in North London. How does that explain looting electrical stores, sports goods stores, phone shops and jewellers all over London and England? Not to mention the arson, not only of shop premises but flats with people still living inside them. What have any of these premises got to do with the killing of Duggan? It was not a protest about policing but an excuse for looting and greed by thugs.
The details of people appearing in court makes grim reading, hundreds of children charged with offences. Some out looting with their parents. We’ve had people working as learning mentors in schools, law and other students, others with decent jobs all looting to satisfy their greed. We hear so much rubbish about “we are getting our taxes back”. From whom, a fellow tax payer by destroying their homes and businesses? If protests were directed at police etc, then it may be understandable, if not acceptable. Similarly as some people are claiming it is a protest against the government, then why target businesses and individuals?
What a waste of careers for so many for the sake of a pair of trainers, or in one case a bottle of water.
Make no mistake about it these riots were about greed and nothing more. There are inequalities in society, but looting a 52” plasma TV or a pair of trainers and burning someone’s home with them still in it is not a protest against anything .