Policing and Justice in the Context of Uprisings

The events of the weekend in London shows the level of anger present in local communities in the capital of the UK.  Riots unseen since the early 1980s raged for two days across a seven mile stretch of North London before spreading across the whole of the capital and onto the rest of England. This occurs in the context of uprisings across Europe, particularly in Greece and Spain as austerity measures kick in and ordinary people feel the pain of the bankers’ crisis.  With the euro plummeting, and no end in sight to the chaos, it is unlikely that this pain will cease any time soon.  The character of the events in London are very different however to that which has happened in Greece.  The politics of the situation, high on the foreground in Greece fuelling the anger are less overt in the London Riots – where the anger is more guttural and less well channelled, ignited and fuelled by a Metropolitan police force which is rapidly being exposed as corrupt, unaccountable and fundamentally untruthful.

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London’s Burning – Riots, Class and Masculinity

A brief glance over the news in the past 24 hours and you would be forgiven for thinking this country feels more for property than human beings. “The worst rioting in decades as crowds of youths smashed windows, emptied shops of their goods and set properties on fire.” (Sky News)

Images of burning cars, shops and other buildings are splashed all across newspapers and news websites. Hardly a mention anywhere of the human element , aside from the obvious demonisation of young hooded ‘thugs’ looting shops and clashing with police.

“Rioting has spread across London with cars and buildings set alight on a third night of unrest, with trouble flaring in other English cities.” (BBC)

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Sexual Violence and the Justice System

Introduction

In May 2011, Ken Clarke caused outrage by remarks made in a media interview. When questioned about the tariffs received for rape convictions, he asserted

“A serious rape, with violence and an unwilling woman, the tariff is much longer … Date rape can be as serious as the worst rapes, but date rapes … vary extraordinarily one from another and in the end the judge has to decide on the circumstances.”

Implying that date rape isn’t serious, doesn’t involve violence or an “unwilling woman” is shocking coming from the Justice Secretary.

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