“The softly–softly approach to crime led us to the August riots”
Richard Tracey (pictured right) today put his name to a report which suggests that the August riots were the result of a criminal minority believing they could get away with vandalism and looting because police are ham-strung by politically-correct thinking that deters them from taking necessary action to restore order.
Amongst the recommendations put forward was:
8.6. Recommendation: We recommend that the option of using water cannon is considered by the MPS. The use of water canon could have acted as a deterrent during the riots and critically could have helped make up for the lack of riot-trained police officers during the first few nights of disorder.
The report also called for support for the police
3.4: We recommend that politicians, the media and the public give police support to use robust enforcement to preserve the peace and, in future, do not undermine them.
Speaking as Conservative members of the London Assembly made their submission to the Riots Communities and Victims Panel, Mr Tracey said:
“Parts of my constituency, particularly the area around Clapham Junction, were extremely badly hit by the August riots. The fear amongst residents and business people was palpable because they believed that police could not protect them.
“In the interests of retaining order in a free society we must focus on the needs of the law abiding citizen and not those of rioters and looters. In fact it beggars belief that I should even need to state something so obvious.
“But a culture has been allowed to develop in this country whereby if the police act robustly to maintain law and order they are criticised and reprimanded. Clearly criminal elements had become wise to this and took their chances - and in August we saw the consequences.
“A corrosive, softly-softly approach led to the shocking scenes of last summer. Police must be supported to the hilt in whatever action they deem it necessary to take – and if that means using water cannon then so be it, the public expects nothing less.
“So I strongly back this report. The August riots were a wake up call. I hope that as a country we do wake up.”
November 9, 2011