I have worked every night and every day this week. Since last Saturday, when I was on the streets of Tottenham in north London in the early hours as rioting and looting broke out, through to the early hours of yesterday morning. I have clocked up around 125 hours, too many of them being pelted by stones, petrol bombs and, in one case, in the chaos of it all, by a 4ft ornamental palm tree.
All that has sustained me has been a few hours of snatched sleep between shifts, plenty of tea, the occasional packet of Haribo sweets to provide a much-needed energy burst – and an unshakeable belief, shared with my fellow officers, that I have a responsibility for the safety of my colleagues, and for the decent, law-abiding majority of the community here in London where I live.
I am in my mid-30s and have been a police officer for 15 years, most recently in plain clothes, doing surveillance. I am also in the Territorial Army and have seen service in Iraq. So I thought I’d witnessed most things in the course of my career. I was on duty at the G20 demonstrations in London in 2009, for example. But nothing prepared me for what I experienced on the front line this week.
I last saw looting in Iraq, in the aftermath of the toppling of Saddam Hussein – but now, unimaginably, it was happening on the streets of London and other cities in the UK. On Monday night I was sent to Ealing, in the west of the capital, where I used to live. When I saw the wanton destruction of restaurants where I had eaten, or the barber’s shop where I would have my hair cut, the full horrific scale of what was happening hit home.
There have been so many things this week I thought I’d never see in London. Perhaps the most shocking sight was of children as young as 10 and 11 – small boys about 5ft tall – attacking police officers. I grew up in the countryside and was taught to respect the police. When, as a teenager, I was involved in a minor misdemeanour, the local bobby told me to apologise to the person I’d wronged, took me home and told my parents what I’d done. I never stepped out of line again. Sadly, there was no possibility of copying his tactics with the lawless children throwing stones at us this week.
It was a small child who shouted perhaps the strangest bit of abuse at me. [...]
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In countries like Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iran and others, the people are rebelling against REAL oppression; and they aren't burning down and looting their own neighborhoods, or attacking and killing their fellow citizens.
I've read far too much excuse making for the Brit rioters. Why are they doing it? Because they can. Crime is easy, and almost risk free. And why is that so? I suspect it has a lot to do with The mental illness masquerading as Marxism