Friday, August 19, 2011

From 'Thought for the Week' - Rabbi Mark Goldsmith

.......we heard some remarkable statistics about the riots last week. One in particular surprised me. This is that of the 1733 people arrested across London so far resulting from the riots and looting, 86% already possessed a criminal record. Commander Basu said that this meant that what really happened in these riots was not that disaffected young people, previously blameless, rose up due to their difficult circumstances, but rather that London’s habitual criminals found a good opportunity to organise themselves to steal, evidence showing that they moved across London to do so. The point that he felt must be made is that no ethnic or local community in London should be stigmatised as a result of the disturbances, except for the criminal community. Twenty eight of the thirty three London Boroughs experienced disturbances and whilst no group in the Borough of Barnet exceeded 40 or 50 people and most were stopped in their tracks by the Police, there were violent gatherings of up to 2000 in Croydon and Tottenham.

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