The English riots

10 August 2011 by

England has experienced a fourth consecutive night of rioting and looting in its cities, prompted by the shooting by police of Mark Duggan in Tottenham.

New and social media have seen almost blanket coverage of the events, so I have little to add, save to link to some interesting legal coverage of the issues involving policing policy, blaming social media, vigilante justice, journalists’  rights and paying for damage under riot law.

One issue which sadly has not arisen from these riots is freedom of speech; it would appear that there has been little sense or motive behind the violence following the initial catalyst.

Finally, legal blogger David Allen Green has published a number of posts: on Jack of Kent; Predicting a riot  Let’s not bring in the army; and in The New Statesman; Keeping the riots in proportion Rioters, police, and sentimentality.

Sign up to free human rights updates by email, Facebook, Twitter or RSS

Related posts


  1. Peter Baxter says:

    Rob a bank and you get 10 years The Bank robs you and they get a seven figure pension.

    Factors that contribute to rioting are population size, the breakdown of respect for social order, poverty, the lack of opportunities for personal advancement and Debt.

    Today the people that led the world into debt by their corrupt practises within the Banking, Insurance, and Financial sector have been reappointed by President Obama to head his financial team. No one has been brought to justice for the debt all the world is now paying and rioting about.

    All the banks had AAA status just before they collapsed from Standard and Poor the same people who have just downgraded USA economy?

    University Professors who advised the governments were working without declaring their paid interest for these corrupt banks etc. just before the crash.

    If you check the facts you will find a transfer of wealth from the poorest to the top one percent and these crooks are still running all our economies.
    This was achieved by getting companies like standard and poor to give false assessments of bad debt which was then sold to our pension funds as triple A.
    Whilst ever these crooks go unpunished and are rewarded by huge golden handshakes and top government jobs, riots will get worse.

    We all have a remedy it is our vote and a free press.
    Make sure you give your vote wisely and all the politicians who supported crooked bankers, insurance companies, are swept from power.
    To the press it is time to expose these crooks. Name and Shame

  2. Diogenese Associates says:

    Sadly the rioters have given the government just the excuse it needs to impose further legislation to remove the right to freedom of speech.

    We would say that these people are looters rather than rioters as they one aim seems to have been to line their own pockets with goods which they had no intention of paying for which is, of course, theft.

    There is a section of the population that is fighting hard to grab back freedoms which have been removed by successive governments; these people are acting in accordance with the Magna Carta and exercising their right to Lawful Rebellion.

    These looters, for reasons of greed have undermined the case for Legal Rebellion making it harder for the real voice of dissent to be heard; such a shame.

  3. ELIAKIM says:

    Times have changed. This is the age of the nonconformist, the Aquarian Age where the world as we have known it is coming to an end. We have a police force that is nothing but a bully and discriminate against everyone. A police force that think nothing of pushing a 57 year old white woman against the wall and then bullying them all night in a prison cell, for not responding to their force and political agenda. The police discriminate against everyone. I am taking my own case to the IPCC as I received no satisfaction from the Chief Constable.

    You have innocent children being stopped by police on their way home from work without cause or justification. So those children that once had respect for the police do not have it anymore. Basically, those of us that in the know, know that the people that know what is going on have lost all respect for the police and justice system in this country. There is no justice, even the hands of the magistrates are tied. In magistrates court you are threatened that if you take your case to crown court the costs will be outrageous. Where is the justice in that?

    I have always honored our justice system and know one QC. However, where have you all been in recent decades? The human rights of the people are being transgressed every single day in every town and city in the UK.

    What did you do about the UN Privacy Laws that have been buried and transgressed by this government and police force? The Home Office warned the police during the Brown government and still the police did not stop its transgression of the people and the law.

    Have our justice system ever stood up to the government and the police? Or is that our justice system so many deals with the criminals that justice no longer exists due to corruption?

    In the history of our nation, as the justice system ever truly brought a government that is out of control to heel? Where were you when Brown was selling the nations gold to prop up the Euro?

    Where were you when the governments were involved in illegal wars against other nations?

    Will you be there for the children who have their backs against the wall? Will you ensure their amnesty and mercy for them? Will you defend them like the Old Bailey was meant to defend the plight of the poor? Will you bring the government and police to account for the murder of an innocent man? Will you imprison Gordon Brown for bankrupting our country?

    Will you ensure that the government take responsibility for their own co-creation? It matters not where the children turn, the governments and it corrupt systems stand against them.

    I do not condone violence or looting. However, what choice did the children have left? When our own justice system as allowed tyranny to reign in this country.

    Business and governments pushed them into education because they did not have enough jobs for them. Now there in education there is education cuts. This government give them carrots to chase, then the donkey of burden never gets the carrot. It is a cruel world that our children have been forced to live in.

    My own son as never been in trouble with the police ever. However, he as been out of work 50% of his adult working life, can only get low paid jobs on minimum wage. When it is time to put them on full time employment contracts the businesses find an excuse to lay them off. So that the children do not receive their rights.

    When unemployed they have to face the government henchmen. The same for the sick and dying.

    Where is the mercy in this nation? The response to the riots just shows us how unmerciful this nation is. Only wisdom can truly understand these children and where they are coming from.

    The murder was purposely carried out, all part of the police strategy and a larger plan. The police knew exactly what would happen if they murdered a black man in Tottenham. An emotive explosion because of the youth cannot take anymore. A consumer, materialistic society of the haves and have nots. Where two out of every three jobs go to immigrants.

    A society that trains doctors then as an 8,000 surplus, so then lays then off and tells them to look for jobs abroad.

    What role models do the children have if the police and the justice system is not there to defend them? What role models do the children have if the government leaders are war mongers, corrupt. The children see their political leaders taking the country for every penny they can in the expenses scandal, when they cannot even have what many people take for granted.

    They see a royal family celebrities flaunting its wealth like a red rag to a bull. They see multi-millionaire political leaders that have no comprehension of poverty and its co-creation. They experience a medical profession does not have the solutions for the root causes of the core issues.

    They see irresponsible political leaders and police telling them what to do and how to live their lives. They experience tyranny in this country like we have never seen before.

    13 year old innocent children arrested and then when you discuss it with the police they tell you don’t have time to round up those that did it.

    However, they have time to wake up a family at midnight, drag a 12 year old out of bed for an accusation of throwing an apple at someone.

    There is a war going in this country against the children and the poor.

    God help us all because this is going on all over the world and the people and the children are simply not up for being controlled and dominated anymore.

    So the justice system is the last hope for these children. if you do not come out kicking for their human rights fast who will?

    If you don’t stand against the government and police force, who will?

    You, the justice system that we trusted have to act now. We cannot allow this to continue any longer.

    You can begin with ensuring that privacy and human rights law is implemented and fast. All those that transgress it should be brought to account.

    It should be the politicians in jail for their corporate manslaughter and criminal negligence of the people.

  4. Speaking about human rights. We would like to share our thoughts with you, and kindly ask you to share your thoughts with us.

    This message goes out to all parents in England. Please ground your children!

    It is time to put a stop to the riots. We have to realize that these are our children who are doing this! The government can only deal with your children on the street, we/you can get them OFF the street altogether!

    Please upload the badge if you are a contributor.
    It is time to put a stop to the riots. We have to realize that these are our children who are doing this! The government can only deal with your children on the street, we/you can get them OFF the street altogether!

    Please upload the badge on our Facebook if you are a contributor.!/pages/Parents-of-England/216054718443570

  5. Vinod Moonesinghe says:

    I am amazed at the extent to which people seem to be shocked by the riots. The people involved have been marginalised from society, subject to regular Police harassment, and economically deprived. They have complained that they have had peaceful protests before and have had no response. If you treat people like criminals, at some point they will react like criminals. The media have created a cargo cult with designer labels and brand names as its icons. People are told that it is only cool to have the latest, the newest and the trendiest. If they have no money to buy them they will go after them. A little expenditure on the inner city people, together with restraints on the Police, may have prevented the riots. After all, the cost of the War in Libya alone to the British taxpayer is expected to be £ 1,000 million by September; a single Tornado sortie costs £ 30,000 in fuel alone. Couldn’t some of this wasted money, along with that wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan, have been spent on inner city communities?

  6. dave says:

    Totally agree with tony foster. The softly softly approach has only been brought in by do good organisations such as liberty and other human rights groups. These are the same groups who said after the last riots that the police were too heavy handed.
    Most of these mindless yobs now know that the police are not heavy handed and will virtually stand by and watch and if caught will only be fined or better stil will check into a five star jail at the tax payers expense. There is no real deterrent. The rights of the pampered yobs are basically supported by liberty and this is not good.

  7. tony foster says:

    Where are the rubber bullets where is the deterrent? Local groups should be taking to the streets. I am laid back individual but this softly softly handling of mindless violence and destruction of our country requires a heavy hand and i am ready to inflict some retribution on these thugs. Three men died trying to protect their property in the north and all right minded citizens should be standing shoulder to shoulder with these brave individuals. I am tired of watching the lame pandering to these kids, I want to do some thing and take back the streets and teach them a lesson. Is any body with me???

  8. sjr says:

    Here’s another perspective from on the ground in Manchester with photos and video:

  9. Jim says:

    Repeal the Childrens Charter , and let them be disciplined .

  10. Editor says:

    It would be welcome if Human Rights lawyers now offered us some considerations on an entitlement culture they appear to support if not sustain, and which seems to be eroding the ‘rights’ of others in society concerned with old fashioned civic values, morality, and the social mores associated with decent behaviour, standards, discipline and family and communal life?

  11. Rioting in the streets by unruly children who have lost all since of identity. How did this happen? And what about the kids parents?
    Britain has degenerated into a multicultural, over regulated, surveillance society without heart or spirit. The police once loved and admired by the British People as their world renowned police service have become an arm of an almost totalitarian state.
    The middle classes have been isolated and persecuted and suffer from the 2500 new laws created in the last 12 years. Penalised for driving 32 miles an hour in a 30 mile zone, spied on by the council and the police.
    Business people have been made responsible for the crimes, or alleged crimes of their clients, which has destroyed the entrepreneurs.
    It is an ID surveillance nation without respect for individual freedom and civil rights.
    Parents can no longer discipline their own children without fear of either ending up in court or having their children stolen from them by the State.
    The State, Parliament, the Police and the Courts are no-longer respected by a large swath of British people.
    The media is controlled and manipulated, gone are the investigative journalist and hard hitting documentary programes such as Rough Justice which protected people from the excesses of the State. . Now everything is in the control of the few.
    The police no-longer know how to tackle real criminals , they chase after women and children and old ladies and old men who may have committed an infringement of the innumerable and ludicrous crimes which are on the statute books.
    These are the causes of these riots a Nation which has lost its heart and soul to the mindless State

Welcome to the UKHRB

This blog is run by 1 Crown Office Row barristers' chambers. Subscribe for free updates here. The blog's editorial team is:
Commissioning Editor: Jonathan Metzer
Editorial Team: Rosalind English
Angus McCullough QC David Hart QC
Martin Downs
Jim Duffy

Free email updates

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog for free and receive weekly notifications of new posts by email.




This blog is maintained for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a source of legal advice and must not be relied upon as such. Blog posts reflect the views and opinions of their individual authors, not of chambers as a whole.

Our privacy policy can be found on our ‘subscribe’ page or by clicking here.


Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption ALBA Al Qaeda animal rights anonymity Article 1 Protocol 1 Article 2 article 3 Article 4 article 5 Article 6 Article 8 Article 9 article 10 Article 11 article 13 Article 14 Artificial Intelligence Asbestos assisted suicide asylum Australia autism benefits Bill of Rights biotechnology blogging Bloody Sunday brexit Bribery Catholicism Chagos Islanders Children children's rights China christianity citizenship civil liberties campaigners climate change clinical negligence Coercion common law confidentiality consent conservation constitution contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus costs Court of Protection crime Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty defamation deportation deprivation of liberty Detention disability disclosure Discrimination disease divorce DNA domestic violence duty of care ECHR ECtHR Education election Employment Environment Equality Act Ethiopia EU EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EU costs EU law European Court of Justice evidence extradition extraordinary rendition Family Fertility FGM Finance foreign criminals foreign office France freedom of assembly Freedom of Expression freedom of information freedom of speech Gay marriage Gaza genetics Germany Google Grenfell Health HIV home office Housing HRLA human rights Human Rights Act human rights news Huntington's Disease immigration India Indonesia injunction Inquests international law internet Inuit Iran Iraq Ireland Islam Israel Italy IVF Japan Judaism judicial review jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Bill Law Pod UK legal aid Leveson Inquiry LGBTQ Rights liability Libel Liberty Libya Lithuania local authorities marriage mental capacity Mental Health military Ministry of Justice modern slavery music Muslim nationality national security NHS Northern Ireland nuclear challenges Obituary ouster clauses parental rights parliamentary expenses scandal patents Pensions Personal Injury Piracy Plagiarism planning Poland Police Politics pollution press Prisoners Prisons privacy Professional Discipline Property proportionality Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest Public/Private public access public authorities public inquiries rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion RightsInfo right to die right to family life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania Round Up Royals Russia Saudi Arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice sexual offence Sikhism Smoking social media South Africa Spain special advocates Sports Standing statelessness stop and search Strasbourg Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance Syria Tax technology Terrorism tort Torture travel treaty TTIP Turkey UK Ukraine USA US Supreme Court vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wind farms WomenInLaw YearInReview Zimbabwe
%d bloggers like this: