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England riots: Our coverage

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Mary Hockaday Mary Hockaday | 13:17 UK time, Wednesday, 10 August 2011

As many people have said, 2011 is proving an extraordinary news year, and August is proving no different. BBC News teams have been flat out the past few days covering the shocking and fast-moving riots in London and other cities and towns in England.

Riot police raise their batons


The story's unpredictable nature and wide geographical spread has been a challenge - getting rapidly to the various locations across London and around England and dealing with the safety issues for our teams on the ground. For instance, last night in Manchester a BBC camerman and two BBC vehicles were attacked, which affected our ability to get live pictures for a while.

The main task so far has been to cover the first Ws of good-old fashioned news reporting. The who, what, where and whens of the story. This is what our audiences have been turning to us for in droves with some of the highest ever audiences for our website, TV and radio coverage - and record audiences for instance for the Live page coverage.

Among the feedback for our coverage, one issue has been raised about use of language. Some commentators have suggested that we have been using the word "protests" to describe what's happening, rather than riots, or looting. A Telegraph leader even says we "insisted" on calling them protesters.

It's simply not true to suggest the BBC has portrayed these events as protests. Our role as with any story is to accurately reflect what is happening - from the original protest in Tottenham on Saturday night through to the subsequent riots and looting. We have clearly reported the riots, looting and mayhem of the past few days. The word protest or protester may have cropped up in live fluid coverage, as has been the case with other broadcasters, but none of our audiences to any platform can have been left in any doubt that we have been reporting riots and looting.

Of course there's a fifth W too - the why. You could also add a couple more: what next and what does it all mean...the debate has already begun. We've reported the different comments and arguments from politicians, police, community leaders, local people about possible causes - criminality, alienation, poor parenting, gang culture, cuts, the list goes on. And the discussion has started too about what to do to prevent such devastating events happening again. Tomorrow these issues will be debated by MPs recalled to parliament and we'll be covering that as it happens.

This is where our specialists come in - Nick Robinson, Mark Easton, Clive Coleman, Emma Simpson to name a few - as well as our London and UK-wide correspondents who will continue to report on the events and aftermath. Our audiences have been eager too to join in with their thoughts on causes and consequences - on 5 Live, Breakfast, and comments on stories.

So as we report on last night's riots and looting and the clean-up our job remains to report the facts and air the debate, which will go on a long time after burned buildings have been demolished and broken windows have been mended.

Mary Hockaday is head of the BBC newsroom.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I have two comments:
    1) I think the BBC should press the politicians harder on the Why question. The Home Secretary Theresa May repeating 20 times on BBC 5Live the spin "Sheer criminality". I do agree with her that these were criminal acts, but she as member of the government should answer the Why question. Please BBC: press harder.
    2) How come that the BBC, with a brand new 900 million pound facility in Salford, cannot produce live coverage from the riots in Manchester and Salford. I already have communicated with the Head of BBC News Channel explaining that it was August, but he also confirmed that extra staff was moved to London. In hindsight that was wrong.

  • Comment number 2.

    I have been following the genesis of the use of "UK Riots" (last 3 days) to "England Riots" (today) in many page headlines / titles. Can the editor explain why "UK Riots" was used for 3 days before being more accurately described?

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    I have a solution which i believe would help this country, 1 why not employ ex-service personnel in a part time role like the army has the TA after all your taxes have already trained us we have prior experience with crowd control and most have served some where within a nato piece keeping role thus a wage would be paid therefore taxes would be paid and furthermore the cuts to the police force would at least have a less dramatic effect when needed at times like we face right now across the country
    2 why don't you arm the police force with paint guns loaded with the same dyes the banks use to foil bank robberies this would help as we have been told by the police themselves at times they have had to stand back and watch the looting purely for the fact if they make arrest's this takes them away from the front line reducing their numbers so at least if they dye the yobs making the arrests later and id the criminals would be far easier and also once the criminal has been covered in dye if he or she is stupid enough to carry on they have a more likely chance of being picked up by other police and if they do have the brains to go home and change this gets them off the street for a while thus reducing their numbers helping the police gain ground just a couple of ideas have plenty more if Cameron would like an adviser please get in touch would love to help as would the mass majority of this country

  • Comment number 5.

    You make no mention of your reporting of the Police which has been entirely disgraceful. At every opportunity you have bated and goaded interviewees into criticising the Police.

    It is fine to ask questions of the Police but you should also be balanced and give praise but the significant majority of your coverage has taken the approach to criticise everything they have done. Note: only a few months ago you criticised them for being too heavy handed, now you criticise them for not doing enough. Make your mind up?

    If you do no believe this watch through all the interviews you have conducted and note how many time your reporters have asked and phrased questions so that they imply the Police are not doing enough and should be criticised.

    The incidents of the past few days have been unprecedented, it is of no surprise that it has been difficult to deal with. Being made to feel that they are under constant criticism will not help instil confidence in an already overstretched force.

  • Comment number 6.

    I am a bit lost. I have always considered BBC News one of the best in the world. However after watching a You Tube video of an older black man being interviewed by a BBC anchor, I am sick! The gentleman, Darcus Howe commenting on the current London riots, was repeatedly interrupted and finally insulted by the anchor. There is obviously an issue with race in the UK. I believe it is the job of the BBC to fairly report the story and not help turn it against a minority group. Shame on BBC News! I call for the immediate release of the video and a discharge of the anchor. [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 7.

    Personally speaking, after all of these looting numpties have been traced, convicted, named and shamed I would also like to see their (or their parents') social benefits suspended where applicable. They must be held accountable.

  • Comment number 8.

    'It's simply not true to suggest the BBC has portrayed these events as protests

    That's it then. Sorted.

    'Our audiences have been eager too to join in with their thoughts'

    Don't forget here.

    But you may notice that, beyond the promised engagement, there seem a fair few that seem to have simply closed, and quiet quickly, whilst the topic persists.

    Anyway, let me leave you with this, from a blog that seems to garner what 'specialist' Robinson can manage on a good week, when he's not on holiday or working only 9 to 5, at least his blog...

  • Comment number 9.

    To Lee #5, james ATL US #6

    Which do you prefer or regard as more correct:
    1) a sanitised, aspirational and idealistic output or
    2) a purely realistic current representation accurately reflecting people's ongoing views?

    (I don't know the answer!)

  • Comment number 10.

    Well said DeltaCharlie after all there is a huge cost to bear when all this is done the stupid thing is some of them have said the riots are happening due to the squeeze on our living costs the yobs are so stupid they have just made the matter thousands of times worse the clean up cost is already running in to tens of millions then there will be the cost they will have to suffer of having a criminal record and cant get a job when the rescission is over putting more pressure on the system so why not put some thing in place that prevent anyone with a criminal record claiming any type of benefit or social housing or even pension after all why should we pay for those who try to ruin and disrupt our way of life

  • Comment number 11.

    #6 James ATL US

    While elected US Presidents can be criticized on the BBC and Mid-east absolute monarchs likewise -- I am having problems further discussing Britain´s basic social structure.

    I can and have published this link --

    --but I am unable to further to discuss where the ´Buck stops´

    This may be only a specific Moderator problem -- or blind nationalism ?

  • Comment number 12.

    I'd have to argue that the BBC coverage on the first two nights was extremely limited which is dangerous as, due to living in Enfield, there were riots five minutes down my road without much information.

    The next day, on Monday, the BBC focused much of their attention on Ealing, a prosperous area. There were worse hit areas, don't show your bias to more affluent areas in times such as these.

    I'm greatly dissatisfied with the BBC's coverage and actually found Sky News to be infinitely better which was a complete suprise, as it was the first time I'd actually watched that news channel!

  • Comment number 13.

    I have been living and studying at UEL University, in London, for sixteen months. This experience after I had been living in Italy for almost 21 years was for me invaluable.
    Thus, I have enjoyed living in the University campus. However, some problems arisen.
    I am a middle-aged woman who wants to keep updated her own skills, thus I was very enthusiastic of what I was doing. I hoped to find other enthusiastic people, given that they were mostly younger than I was. However, it was disappointing to find young-old people whose lack of responsibility manifested in their behaviour appeared being indulgently accepted. E.g. teamwork rather being a challenging moment of discussion, used to be the moment to find someone else do his/her own part of work. The impression I had, was that many of that young people have been accustomed to live on their wits, because, they were aware that there would have a welfare state that would have provided to every their needs and wishes.
    Probably, it is time to change.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    Ms. Hockaday...

    In light of 'The main task so far has been to cover the first Ws of good-old fashioned news reporting. The who, what, where and whens of the story', how do you explain this?: (Video shows police beating suspect... er, maybe)

    ...because I am a bit concerned at news being put up on the national broadcast system on this 'unique' basis: 'The BBC cannot verify when this footage was taken, nor the context leading up to the events.'

    If this is the 'new era' of new media reporting, you can stick it.

  • Comment number 16.

    I think the BBC have so far done a very good job on a very difficult subject. From Saturday night in Tottenham it has become increasingly clear that this is basically youths (some quite old) acting as a mobs, not hugely different from the 'football gangs of old'. This difficulty is that the any publicity for many of these people is perceived as good. Unfortunately various people (some politicians) have used this as an opportunity to 'express their views/bandwagons' and this is mentioned in the article above as 'the why'. Once the initial reaction to these riots have died down, it will be essential for the BBC to consider WHY so many people got involved and why others did not (most didn't). If the BBC use the extensive scientific research (success feelosophy especially) and compare the emotional health/well being of the under 35s in the UK with Norway (note their response to their crisis), Sweden, Finland, Denmark etc. I suspect they will uncover that the emotional ill health in many young people in the UK can be explained in terms of priorities in society and education. In the UK, there is a tendency to 'blame the parents', yet many do not have the skills to be effective parents so it becomes pointless to do so, our schools are compared on their exam successes and given little emphasis or priority to develop good emotional health, so how can these children learn these skills (moral development does not occur just because we get older).

  • Comment number 17.

    James Cridland has made an interesting map of two of the riots.

    Whilst most of the "commentary" is all heat and no light, at least these maps say something.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    Outsource the prisons – a form of overseas investment.
    There’s no room in the prisons for convicted rioters. So how about outsourcing the prison service to countries such as Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea or Republic of the Congo? Even taking into account air transport costs and the setting up of video links as a substitute for visits, this would be far cheaper and quicker than building prisons in the UK. It would also constitute a form of overseas investment. Of course, the conditions might be a little harsher.

  • Comment number 20.

    My view is that David Cameroon must not make such cheap talks. There are real underlying problems in Britain and it serves no good just to brush real tough issues aside, the real causes to these disturbances and then just focus on consequences of those underlying issues. The looting we see are just manifestations of down seated problems in our society today. There are problems of deprivation, frustration, systematic racism targeted at minority groups and other racial groups. Youths needs to be empowered through education but the tuition fees has gone beyond what people can afford and combined with austerity measures it makes like unbearable to many poor communities who are even surviving on social help. We also need to ask tough questions, why is taxpayer`s money being channelled to terrorise, loot, and murder the innocent civilians of Libya and Afganstan. I see no reason to plunder these countries of their resources when we have plundered them for so long. It is time we as Europeans learn to live within our own means. Now Cameroon is advocating violence against these youths, what the difference with Gaddafi whom we condemned and bombarded. When we displace people in Libya, Iraq and Afganstan with our senseless wars, they will come and join us here in Britain because they yearn for peace. This mess we are in is precisely because of this. When are we going to learn the simple truth what goes round comes round. NATO has become a terrorist organisation. Our men and women in uniform must come back home for we cannot solve every nation`s problems on planet earth.

  • Comment number 21.


    The BBC-aired still-shot line-up of alleged rioters, arsonists and thieves show virtually all of the individuals to be black african/afro-carribean males.

    Is this a true reflection of the extent of a racial dimension in the riots around England?
    Is this BBC biased footage?
    Is this Police bias in the images released to the media?

    To what extent is the BBC colluding with the Government to massage public perceptions to meet the needs of the Government?

    Only today, Wednesday, have we seen an image of a policeman PHYSICALLY stopping an individual in the process of riotous activity; up to this point the BBC images have been TOTALLY of police teams standing off, running forwards and backwards, and being totally disengaged from protecting people and property.

    Why no footage of ACTIVE PHYSICAL police engagement with rioters in the previous days?
    Did it happen? Or was it just not aired by the BBC?

    This protracted riot across England has been subject, in my opinion, to massive and unacceptibly politicised news massaging.

  • Comment number 22.

    We are all a part of the problem if we don't face the fact that as a community we have put the material world above people. We have seen the super rich find more and more ways to squeeze more profit out at the cost of peoples lives. A cheap washing machine is not cheap if peoples suffer.

    People will feel angry and want revenge but this will in the end fail as a nation we don't have the money to lock up all of the people involved. At a cost of £50000 a year to lock someone up for a year it's not something we can afford, it might be justice it might get votes but the problem solved. Most prisoners re-offend and have little chance of turning there lives around. If we can pay for banks that supplied 7

  • Comment number 23.

    The solution to any future disturbances is to mobilise a selection of BBC reporters who appear to know all the answers. Hindsight is a very exact science.

  • Comment number 24.

    The first night of riots was unexpected by the police, the second was advertised, so why on the third night were the use of tougher policing methods not authorised? The media are partially to be blamed here as when police are seen to POLICE the streets with what "modern" people see as over the top methods they are seen to be as bad as those causing the trouble. so the police stand back so as not to be investigated for causing bodily harm to these worthless people in society.
    So now the police have stood back to be softly-softly and the media now criticise them for not doing anything. What percentage of the UK's population would vote for tougher physical policing actions? For every law abiding citizen this would protect them and would act as a deterrent for those intent on causing this mindless trouble!
    In other countries the police have the authority over people and are therefore respected, here the criminals know they have nothing to be scared of so do as they wish. When will people wake up and realise that this society needs to reduce the amount of "health and safety" like approaches to policing! Enough said.

  • Comment number 25.

    OOPs keyboard issue! Sorry sent comment earlier so sorry if I repeat myself. If we can afford to save banks that supply 7% of GDP, we can afford to save our community. We are never going to solve our problems unless we can solve the causes. Prevention is always cheaper and more effective than revenge. Killing a murderer is not as good as preventing one. We need 100% employment to keep our citizens feeling as though they belong and also that they have something to loose.

    I don't believe those who set up our social system set it up to keep people on benefits for life. It doesn't make sense to keep it this way and we can no longer afford this. We may have some very difficult choices to make in the future, lets hopes these are based on long term solutions and not costly knee jerk solutions.

    No has the right to do what has happened but we need to focus on stopping it getting to this again even if we have to live with a life with less material goods. We have seen bankers and MP's take more than they need so what sort of message does this send out through the media. Even top police have shown their greed too. .

  • Comment number 26.

    These riots are only a symptom of the progression of immorality in our society. This is what happens when you ignore the authority of God in families, schools, communities and governing bodies.

  • Comment number 27.

    "Hoodies", "gangs", "gun culture" & "druggies" - nomenclature: these names are how we name "them". This is the way corporate/state media has demonized the dispossessed, the unwanted. the throw-aways. The Met police even has a special unit called Operation Trident formed especially to deal with "black-on-black" crime. (Trident were also involved in the operation that led to death of Mark Duggan who, it transpired never fired a gun; the policeman was hit by a ricocheting police bullet).
    For 30 years they’ve kept the lid on this massive discontent. Dispossessed & alienated, the "underclass" live in what is effectively occupied territory, occupied by a government state that sees "them" as the enemy of all that is "decent". Thus the common experience of poor, working class kids (be they black or white) is of the police as an occupying force; the state as indifferent - even hostile to their presence (eg, "welfare cheats", "welfare scroungers", "on the dole".).
    It’s interesting to note that the one, big difference between today’s uprisings and those of the 1980s is that now, it’s no longer specifically a "race" thing though race may have been the initial catalyst with the shooting death of Mark Duggan. This is fundamentally a working class uprising, albeit mostly the youth wing only.
    There are also questions to be asked about the way the state have handled the uprisings. From the very first night it looked to me as if the police allowed buildings to burn...just an impression? The media noticed it too but put it down to the police being caught off guard. But I’m not convinced. I think that once the state got wind of the scale of the uprising they deliberately allowed things to get out-of-hand before launching a major occupation of those areas of our cities deemed troubled. A "dry run" if you like for even greater social upheavals to come? After all, the system needs to be tested.
    It is inconceivable that local police could not have dealt with roving groups of youth, who never appear to have exceeded more than 100 in size. An eyewitness reported from Clapham Junction as a department store was being looted that a group of police stood by and watched. Under the guise of ‘the war on terror’, all the necessary legislation is in place to "lock down" entire communities, even entire towns should it be deemed necessary to "protect the state", which excludes so many of the lowly wretched.

  • Comment number 28.

    I have just listened to a clip of Camilla Batmanghelidjh talking about the poverty in some homes that children have to put up with. Who makes these children live like that? The parent. They have kids they can't afford, many have no idea how to bring up decent kids. The kids are born for benefits and to get housing, Any person who has a baby knowing that they cannot afford to feed and clothe their offspring are guilty in my eyes of child abuse and to have more kids born into already desperate conditions is criminal. There is enough contraception available free these days that there is just no excuse. The rest of society have to put up these with children who are undisciplined and anti-social. The trouble is, as I see it, is that nobody tells the truth in this country. We pander to the feckless, useless and ignorant and it is about time we stopped.

  • Comment number 29.

    It has been reported in the media that rioting gangs in London are frequently using hockey sticks as a tool of violence.i will suggest that the sell and purchase of hockey sticks to be stopped voluntarily by the traders communities until peace returned to the restive localities.

  • Comment number 30.

    Your police commisoners act like the population of England is different from the rest of the world. They don't deploy water cannons, pepper spray or other types of riot gear. They say the police act in accordance with what society wants, did not appear that way with the rioters or the complaining public. I would have to say you are no safer in London than any other city in the world. You work so hard to not offend that the police can no longer provide adequate service. Sometimes you have to call it what it is. They are criminals and deserve to get their butts kicked when they cause harm.

    When you have an anything goes society that gave up its social norms for the sake of diversity this is what is going to happen.

  • Comment number 31.

    Those whose intentions have been to create as much division, nay, fragmentation (even "atomisation" as the French call it), among the people of this land as possible must be astonished to the extent that they have succeeded, beyond their wildest dreams, apparently.

    This tool to undermine the solidarity of employed people (in fact, just "people") is clearly revealed now as a multi-edged implement.

    The fact that it is mainly the young, whose instincts are now unrestrained by any sense of belonging to a consensus, controlled by norms, is hardly surprising.

  • Comment number 32.

    Georgey I myself am atheist and have morals. A belief is a personal issue and in my opinion is that it should be kept out of schools as this will only cause division and as they are children they are not of a age to decide. We need to respect each other and respect an individuals choice of life style. We all have choices but are shaped by our life experiences. God is a choice, a belief not an answer. You don't need to told how to be a good person, we already know what hurt and upsets us so we know what effects others. I don't want this to be taken as dig at believers its your choice but is far from an answer to social issues.

  • Comment number 33.

    With regard to the injured fellow with the backpack, who was mugged...the video also shows that several people TALKED to him, and perhaps he was TELLING them that he had something in the backpack that needed to be removed! There was a definite swarm of what seemed more like "helpers" and the "removal" was extremely focused (though it DID look like someone walked away with a wallet...I know, at least in America, men keep wallets in pockets, not backpacks). So I would consider that it was something the injured person did want on his body when/if he was picked up by emergency staff.

  • Comment number 34.

    I am reluctant to comment on troubles in Britain when the U.S. has its own dirty laundry. However, the riots occurring in London and elsewhere seem to have a theme. That is young people, especially, are both unhappy with the social fabric of their neighborhoods. There are too few opportunities to make a living. That leads to any number of problems from substance abuse to heinous crimes. I heard from one of the participants (and Darcus Howe) that previous, peaceful protests went under-reported and drew no response from the government. Young people have, therefore, increased the volume of their message through illegal activity.
    I am not condoning 3 or 4 consecutive nights of rioting, but the people involved seem to have a legitimate point. Some of the people are mere thugs, and I recognize that. I was a little surprised to hear that the law enforcement agencies were reluctant to use water cannons based on political correctness. It seems to me that rioters present a clear and present danger to innocent bystanders, government personnel and themselves. I like the suggestion from a previous person suggesting paint guns to mark and identify looters and rioters. However, it would be part of a comprehensive plan to bring calm.
    1. The first night the political leaders need to recognize the frustration of the rioters and offer an opportunity to sit down and discuss ways to bring about real change for the individuals locked in a social quagmire. Announce that rioting is not acceptable because of the innocent victims and that it must stop. If it does not, the martial law would be declared the following night with orders to shoot looters on site.
    2. The second night riot police would be armed with paint guns, water cannons and plastic bullets. The political leaders will again announce on air what they are doing, and that the offer for a discussion still stands. Emphasize that, in spite of the continued violence and destruction of property, that the law has refrained from lethal (plastic bullets may cause death , but rarely) efforts.
    3. The third night, I would bring live ammunition and paint guns, and I would order the police to aim for non-vital areas (legs, arms, the butt).
    4. If there is any starch left in the collars of the rioters, shoot to maim/kill depending on the circumstance.
    5. Make sure that the political leaders follow through on discussions. Make sure that some solid results come out of the discussions.

    Finally, I am really encouraged by the efforts of some of the youth making a positive contribution in a sad situation. The photos of them pitching in to clean their neighborhood after the night's activities sends the strongest message of all. In spite of what's going on, they are deserving of more attention from the press than the rioters. Keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 35.

    You, and the other news services repeatedly refer to incidents in Clapham. I was really worried for my 89-year old mother, who lives in Clapham, in the borough of Lambeth.
    Then I discovered that the riots were in Battersea, in the borough of Wandsworth, in an area named after a railway station, Clapham Junction. The locals always refer to this area as Clapham Junction, in order to avoid confusion with its neighbour, Clapham. If you can't get this right, can we trust anything else you print or broadcast?

  • Comment number 36.

    I do wish the media, BBC included, would stop referring to these disturbances as riots.

    Riots are covered by section 1 of the public order act and, if anyone were charged with rioting this would, bring repercussions on any police force charging someone with riot including responsibility for compensation.

    With the threat of having to pay out hanging over them police forces will ensure that absolutely nobody will be charged with rioting so there can have been no riots.

    What we are seeing is, and will remain, multiple unconnected simultaneous offences no matter how much like a riot it may look.

  • Comment number 37.

    I once had an office 'around the cocaine corner' from the intersection of Florence & Normandie, 'ground zero' for the 1994 Los Angeles riots, an event that birthed 930+ major structure fires... and also set 'the political $tage' for the '$ellection of Bill Clinton a few months later. The rioting in Los Angeles... as we now see in London and Greece and Egypt and Bahrain and Syria and Tunisia and Yemen and Santiago (Chili), etc... can be generally attributed to the extreme and obscene WEALTH AND INCOME GAP between the haves and have-$nots! It is a $truggle between the $hort-sighted and rapaciously grrreedy ruling class... and increasingly disenfranchised and marginalized masses of people trapped in an overpopulated world of depleting resources.

  • Comment number 38.

    There are two things about this overall problem which need to be stated clearly:
    First, these events are criminal acts, and there is no excuse possible. It doesn't matter that people feel excluded, disadvantaged, or not listened to. They are criminal acts, and the law should take its course. If the police cannot maintain control, then there is the danger that communities will take the law into their own hands. In that event, people will undoubtedly be killed. The best way to avoid this is to support the police, remembering that they are, like me, human beings who can get angry too.
    Second, there are problems with the kind of exclusion that many people involved here claim. This is no excuse, but must still be tackled. I have spoken to some people in the "underclass" and here them speak the right words, but often (though not always) if solutions are suggested requiring them to take action, there are excuses.
    The problem over all, is that "normal law abiding citizens" in which group I count myself, have no idea how to connect with those who have no work, no education, and no apparent intent to obtain either. We all need help in this.

  • Comment number 39.

    I really have a cheap and safe way to stop rioters in their tracks -

    Cannon-nets are nets pulled rapidly by explosively-driven projectiles to cover a pre-determined area of ground and presumptively capture any birds (or other target animals) present before they have time to escape. An alternative is the use of rocket nets, the only significant difference being the method by which the projected nets are pulled over the catching area. In the case of cannon-netting the projectiles that are attached to the net are fired simultaneously from smooth-bore cannons by electrically detonated cartridges. A full-sized cannon-net may utilise four or more cannons to pull the net over the target birds. Smaller nets with fewer cannons may also be used.

    A rocket net is a kind of animal trap used to trap a large number of live animals, usually birds. It consists of an accordion folded rectangular net with one edge attached to the ground. The corners of the opposite edge at the top of the folded heap are attached to heavy tubes with one closed end. These tubes are placed over stakes set at an angle. The stakes have a hollow in the end where an electrically activated shell is placed. When the shells are activated the heavy tubes shoot up at an angle and the net is spread across an area that was previously baited to attract the desired animals.

  • Comment number 40.

    #38 mstev2

    "The problem over all, is that "normal law abiding citizens" in which group I count myself, have no idea how to connect with those who have no work, no education, and no apparent intent to obtain either. We all need help in this."

    Maybe they can help ?

  • Comment number 41.

    How long does 'further consideration' take, for a 5-line comment. Still no posting, (or removal thereof) 5 HOURS later!

  • Comment number 42.

    I have just watched the BBC 10 O clock news and am livid. The BBC's coverage of the riots is a disgrace. Your journalist spent virtually his whole report filming and interviewing the morons and scumbags perpetrating this violence (with barely disguised glee) and then summed it all up by speculating on the reasons for the riots and stating that it may be PARTLY due to criminality. Are you out of your minds? This is all ENTIRELY due to criminality and it is disgusting that you even suggest otherwise. You also spend most of your time (and the Today programme on Radio 4 is another culprit) slagging off the police for not doing enough whilst in almost the same sentence condemning them for their actions against Duggan, (a known gangster and murderer incidentally.) Make up your minds! I think it is about time you started acting responsibly and give more coverage to the outraged and sickened MAJORITY in this country instead of allowing the likes of the completely ignorant vile woman on tonight's footage airtime to say "you can't blame the kids - there's nothing to do round here". Whoever it is in the BBC that is allowing this flood of garbage should be thoroughly ashamed. It's about time the BBC started representing the views of it's licence payers - instead of those who are hardly likely to own one, seeing as though they would rather smash up shops and loot what they need rather than buying it out of hard earned cash like the rest of us. I am ashamed to be British.

  • Comment number 43.

    Is it illegal to wear a mask in Britain? Is it illegal to wear a mask in certain circumstances in Britain? I do not know the law on this and would like to know.


  • Comment number 44.

    All this media focus on people who care nothing about society, are driven by greed and are so selfish that they are willing to break down communities and even society just to make a quick buck.

    But enough about bankers bonuses and company directors who award themselves salary increases while cutting workers pay or the MPs who want to cut pensions and raise the pension age in the public sector while maintaining their own rights.

    The looters on the streets are just as bad.

  • Comment number 45.

    As a father who has just spent 1.5 years seeking shared residence and additional contact up to the Court of Appeal, I would say what we are seeing on the streets of Britain is in a great part down to a "Single Parent Britain" where Fathers have no rights and families lose the authority role models needed. Until and unless the legal system with its draconain thinking is brought into the modern century, I'm sorry to say disfunctional family life will reign. Time the Government gave Fathers Rights better consideration as Parental Responsibility means nothing if mothers choose to alienate fathers. Food for thought!!

  • Comment number 46.

    Mary, I'm in South Africa on holiday at the moment from London and I really can't believe what's going on over there. The local government here just made an announcement that all travel to the UK should be avoided until things settle - I can only hope that the local media are blowing things out of proportion. Judging from the sounds of your post though, I don't think they are.

    You're right, 2011 has been a newsworthy year and this last week certainly tops it - with the US credit downgrade, the famine in Somalia and the UK riots. I stumbled across a local politics blog which presented a lighter take on all the issues which was a welcome relief, particularly given I'm from north London. Distraught readers may want to check out this rather odd UK riots article - it was a welcome distraction, for me at least!


  • Comment number 47.

    Test: Was it my comment about the police needing to crack some skulls to put a stop to the rioters, or.....

  • Comment number 48.

    b. My comment about how brutal the police were during the miner's strike in the 80's, and how they are treating these rioters with kid gloves by comparison?

  • Comment number 49.

    Obviously neither of the above...however when the two comments above were combined in the same post, it was sent for 'further consideration"?

  • Comment number 50.

    #47, #48 Awic

    --- probably it was your suggestion that the police and the rioters should kiss and make up ?

  • Comment number 51.

    I very much like BBC and its quality programmes. However regarding the riots going on around the country you should feel ashamed because you are part to blame on this situation. Police have no power thanks to the British sensationalist media. And stop criticising the government for not helping young people. People make their own future and this country has much better conditions than many others. Convince yourselves that these riff-raff on the streets don't want to work because there is plenty of work out there and then we have to go abroad to recruit people! Anyway most of your journalists what do they know about difficulties in life and social issues! They are just a bunch of ignorant people earning hundreds of thousands of pounds.

  • Comment number 52.

    Sidelining for now the UK's talk of banning the wearing of the niqab and the other ways in which those women and girls (or their overbearing medieval menfolk) who are ashamed of their ugly or homely or beautiful countenances choose to hide them, should the UK now countenance banning the wearing of the hoodie and the balaclava and the other ways in which those common-criminal boys (but what are their parents doing?) who are ashamed of their ugly countenances choose to hide them?

    And, dear UK police, please remember the usefulness of the water cannon in the task of sweeping rubbish off the streets.

  • Comment number 53.

    you people stop complaining about the government about this and that! we make our own future! My parents always struggled with money and I had to do part time jobs since an early age to have my pocket money and then to pay my Uni fees and now I'm a manager before 30. Most of you KNOW NOTHING about difficulties in life though! Don't even try to say that these riff-raff on the streets need support what they need is a good slap from their parents or send them to the army to get some discipline and respect. It seems both ways have worked with me ...

  • Comment number 54.

    Let me get this right.......a man with an illegal lethal handgun gets stopped in his tracks by our law enforcement officers and we are still debating if it was the right thing for them to do?

    Only in PC Britain is this an issue.

    Another question, now there is a substantial list of (potential) criminals under arrest, would it be too much to ask if some journalist (have you got any?) could publish the ethnic mix. Then we can have an informed debate on the causes of this mayhem.

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.

    It seems strange to me that the (visual) media is not asking the question:
    "If these riots were not televised, would they really have spread from one city to another?"

    I beg to suggest not. TV cannot blame Facebook for that. The BBC must recognize that this can be self-creating news? I'm not saying it shouldn't be reported, but it should not be "gleeful" reporting, as comment #42 rightly indicates.

    Yet I go the BBC news website, and read a text story accompanied with a "live coverage" of the riots. How many other BBC news stories merit such live coverage on the website? I know you can't afford it for Formula 1 or Premier League football, but you wouldn't do it from a war zone either.

    On a personal note, to excitable younger BBC reporters (and rioters): We've seen it all before. 1981. But the police probably behave better now than they did then.

  • Comment number 57.

    I am in agreement that the behaviour displayed across the country, over the last few days, by the young people causing disturbances, (bearing in mind the government has not designated the term riot to what has been happening), is disgusting. The theft etc and personal violence to non police was very disturbing.

    I am 43, and not at the point where I have lost my rebellious streak from my youth. While I think the youngsters could pick a better way to express there anger, I can see where they are coming from, and it angers me that the politicians and in fact journalists within the public arena are dodging the real issues within the country.

    When the country went into a financial meltdown, the government bailed out the rich shareholders, who had made money when times were good, increased student fees for getting an education, cut spending across many public spheres, had the highest youth unemployment in years, those working struggling to get on the property ladder. At the same time we were shipping youngsters back from Afghanistan with missing limbs, due to fighting a war, in which we see no positive results on the media about acreage of opium destroyed, or Taliban killed. Add to this the fact that no position in government as usual is taken by someone in their 20s, regardless of how intelligent they are, and this adds fuel to the fire. All parties are to blame, and there is no "working class" party anymore. What happened with the banks was like a bookies paying out even if the punter lost, and passing the cost to its staff, (the staff being the tax payer), purely to keep the system ticking.

    This means the situation is the same now as when I was a youngster under Maggie back in 1985. The youth see no hope, feel sold down the river, paying for mistakes of the last 50 years, by back to back governments who spout what they believe the press and public wants to hear, but have no true ideology of their own.The difference is the youth is getting tougher each generation, and less tolerant of the blatant cods wallop spewed by people more focused on their careers than the duty of their role within public office. In a way, if it can be done so that innocent people are not harmed, it's a good thing the government is having to take a new look at things, and figure why this happening. The problem is they will focus on a petty thread of criminality, rather than looking at the wider social, racial, and age related picture.

  • Comment number 58.

    i absolutely do not understand why the army is not being brought in on this issue. It is totally out of control and the police standing there watching these "thugs" is ridiculous. Be aggressive and proactive. Take control Mr. Cameron.

  • Comment number 59.

    I laugh when I see people say the young make their own future, in a society that protects the weak, elderly and infirm. Francis Drake, a perfect example of the youth making their future, would be turning in his grave. An individual who made his future on courage, strength, youth, and rebelliousness. Everything the establishment these days despises.

  • Comment number 60.

    Says sissy1964 (#58, at "03:01 11th Aug 2011":

    "i absolutely do not understand why the army is not being brought in on this issue."

    The reason seems to be that no city in England is a quarter of the way round the world.

  • Comment number 61.

    I am a British citizen residing in Arizona,USA. Although I have lived in the USA since 1956, I am still (and always will be) a citizen of the great country I left when my parents emigrated to the US at that time. I still hold a British passport (although it is now really an EU passport) with pride. I will never denounce the country or it's Monarch that I will revere to the last and yet, I am disheartened by the events of the last 4 days -- to see cities like London & my HOME of Nottingham besieged by a rabble that show no respect for those who put forth effort to succeed or those who expect rights without responsibility. I felt great sorrow this morning over a gentleman who had his dream destroyed after he spent years working at his small shop 14 Hours a day/7 days a week to the demands of hooligans who proudly claimed (to your cameras) they were looting to get what they expected to receive for nothing. Where is the sense in this?? It's almost Bolshevik -- I expect support for doing nothing, you work hard, i demand a share of your gains.

    Yes, I have treasures (they may be nothing to someone else, but to me, they are treasures), but I worked and saved for them -- they were not the result of greed, but dedication and work. I did not obtain them through credit, but by saving until I could pay for them. They were obtain through effort, not seeming easy THEFT.

    Even in the US, I am disheartened when I see the demands for RIGHTS without RESPONSIBILITY. My first college business lecture was entitled TANSTAFLE. That translated as "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch".

    I can appreciate the frustration of England's youth, with unemployment as it is, but dropping out without skills is not the answer. Basically, there are 2 outlooks: Find a need and create a product to satisfy that need OR Create a product or service and find a need for it. There's the challenge: follow that basic plan or take the "easy" route of mob rule and see how you feel when the stronger (your friend?) takes what HE wants from YOU.

    If the youth of my country feel oppressed, take a lesson from the people most neglected by my residence (again, not my HOME). The American Indian have been repeatedly subjugated by worthless treaties, driven from seemingly wrothless land by its conquerors. First moved to Oklahoma & the MidWest, they were told when oil was discovered that they couldn't handle it's potential. They were moved to even poorer land and yet, they prevailed, developing Casinos (Proof? The Seminole Indians of Florida purchased FULL ownership of HARD ROCK Hotels, Casinos & Restaurants through their efforts and HARD WORK) Despite seemingly unsurmountable odds, they SUCCEEDED, as did the Pakistani & Uganda refugees of the 1980s in the UK.

    To expect SOMETHING FOR NOTHING is both GREED and INSANITY. Hopefully, England's youth will learn before they become the recipients of such insanity in their future

  • Comment number 62.

    Mark Duggan was a notorious crack dealer. I reject the ridiculous suggestion that police stoppedhim "for no reason," and call on you at the BBC to start reporting more fully about the nature of the man's role in his community. This is not honest reporting unless you state this well-known fact about him. Apparently, for his family & mourners, being a crack dealer does not make a person an outlaw and consequently at high risk of meeting an untimely and violent end! This wringing of the hands over "What happened to poor Mark?" beggars belief and is nothing but shameless posturing. It is not the media's job to pander to the ridiculous excess of insincere, manipulative members of the public. If you deal drugs, you are in the business of subverting society, corrupting minors, destroying households and ruining lives, and you deserve whatever is coming to you!

  • Comment number 63.

    TO:Mary Ashot

    Thanks for your comment -- you repeat allegations that were brought up in a conversation with an associate from an American news network (NBC) less than 2 hours ago. Why is it that a connection between the suspect, Mark Duggan, and Crack has to surface through casual conversation and your comment. Is Mr. Duggan the catalyst for these events or an excuse for hooliganism

  • Comment number 64.

    A loosely worded e-petition that's now on a webpage of the UK government puts the proposal:

    "Convicted London rioters should loose all benefits."

    I trust that the prospective petitionees won't lose the petitioner's point. :-)

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    Can you tell me why the BBC Breakfast News on Tuesday morning only focused on the riots in London? I agree it was very upsetting but there were riots in other cities which were only skipped over as usual Bill Turnbull and team don't realise there is a large piece of land outside of the M25.. When they move to Manchester is that the only city who's news we'll be privey to?

  • Comment number 67.

    21. At 19:45 10th Aug 2011, GeoffWard wrote:
    This protracted riot across England has been subject, in my opinion, to massive and unacceptibly politicised news massaging.

    Well, at least critical matters of geography seem to be well prioritised...

    Though (66. At 07:33 11th Aug 2011, acewingers), and (35. At 21:33 10th Aug 2011, Nealeb) especially may beg to differ on a Londoncentric, Clapham-ish basis.

    That seems to be a problem when you deal less in news and more in 'narratives'.

    Or ratings seem to take precedence over responsible reporting.

    As I sat pondering the value, and impact of what the 24/7 news maw serves up on our screens when this email arrived from another excited broadcaster...

    'Snowmail: A correction - Apologies for the earlier Snowmail in which we wrongly said that an 11-year-old boy was one of three people who were killed last night'

    Mistakes get made, but was this such a case, or letting twitter turn to ratings gold before professional standards applied? This seems less than designed to ease tensions.


    Well, it depends how seriously we are expected to take: ' Our role as with any story is to accurately reflect what is happening ' . I take issue with the 'accuracy' of many aspects as claimed by the Head of the BBC newsroom.

    It seems clear that, despite protestations, there have been edicts going out on 'portrayal' that suggest massaging at every turn.

    So for me, that's a yes.

  • Comment number 68.

    We can and need to analyse and address the causes of the riots of course but it is pretty apparent we have a generation or more of individuals now who are fearless of authority, and do not understand respect, combined with opportunism we have a recipe to run riot - literally. Attributing causes and finding solutions is much more difficult.

  • Comment number 69.

    Overall I think the BBC News online coverage has been excellent and praise should be given to the crews who have put thereselves out on the streets, often in risky situations to bring us this coverage. However, the invisibility of the darcus Howe interview and a seeming lack of any mention of the "citizens" in Eltham and their response to being asked to go home by the police last night leaves me wondering what else has been censored or "edited" from the coverage. I am big enough and wise enough to make my own decisions when viewing these things and if they have been removed or censored ask that they are now put back where we can view them.

  • Comment number 70.

    Why is it that there are different figures on every newspaper, there is no truth in the media. There is no confirmation that this is the works of young people. There is no truth in what happened, except the same clips played over and over again, only showing youths. Grown men and grown women are commiting these crimes too. To all the looters, just remember materialistic gain will not make you a bigger person, without your new trainers and 42inch TV's you are nothing.

  • Comment number 71.

    I would like to see the BBC try some analysis of the following:

    1. The reasons why there have been no riots in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Cardiff and what's wrong in England that isn't wrong in Scotland and Wales.

    2. The difference in police tactics for: (a) a riot involving a few hundred people, which appear to be to stand back, wait for the rioters to get tired and arrest them at home the next day; (b) large peaceful demonstrations, where they are directly confrontational and readily use kettling and immediate mass arrests, as if it were a riot.

    3. Given that politicians have spent the last 30 years deliberately constructing a society in which people are atomised and compete against each other, in which the amount of money and things you have determines your status and in which the ordinary citizen is only wanted in order to vote every 5 years and then go shopping, why are they unhappy when this sort of thing happens? They should be pleased that their plan is working.

  • Comment number 72.

    Its time the modern parents teach their children some discipline. Its unfortunate to see so many young kids as young as 10 running down the streets vandalising theft using bad language. They are too young in their minds and they lack maturity. We as parents and responsible citizens of the country ought to remember we need to teach our children discipline. As one of the great Holy Book mentions "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it". Little punsihment in schools at homes in growing age brings out a huge difference.

  • Comment number 73.

    The crminal justice has become toothless and the culprits are well aware that they will get away with slap on the wrist or community service or caution. Many will be deemed to be underage and many will be a first timer so "will be told dont do it again" and given suspended sentence. This people will go back to their group and laugh through. Liberty and Human Rights group have made a mockery of the law in this country.

  • Comment number 74.

    24 yobs were arrested last night breaking into the retail park down the road to steal Nintendos, MP3 players etc. The Police helicopter was hovering near my house for 30 minutes at bedtime. Not good when you need to be up at 6:15am for work. Then we work all day to pay taxes to keep these yobbos in a governemnt supplied house with £100s of benefits every week. They never go to out to work as they are simply given everything they need and more. They all have cars which they don't tax or insure (illegal) but I can't afford a car or the insurance as I have to pay my mortgage & bills.

    BUT, no one listens to me and all the millions of hardworking people like me..................THEY are getting all the support & attention.

  • Comment number 75.

    I personally think that the overall British attitude towards life is wrong. I have lived some part of my life in UK and have worked very close to them as a doctor. I have seen that apart from the wrong immigration policies etc, there is a serious problem with the original British youth as well, binge drinking and uneducated status is a major killer of the society....all these things have totally destroyed the youth of Briton...There was a time in history when british were referred to as "Ladies and Gentlemen"....please walk down many "Ladies and Gentlemen" can you spot from the original British youth.... sorry about the harsh remarks but this is the truth.....

  • Comment number 76.

    Far too much airtime is being given to politicians on this issue, and almost none, as far as I can see, to those in whose hands lies the solution. (However, journos would rather be seen and heard talking to the famous).

    I mean psychologists, educators, sociologists, anthropologists and even zoologists.

    What these kids are being denied is the cognition of themselves, to understand from where the primitive instincts, to which they unresistingly surrender stem, and to acknowledge the destructive power that these have had throughout human history.

    These problems are far less prevalent in modern countries, with constitutions, where kids are schooled from infancy in the values thereof, and have a sense of belonging to something greater than the sum of its human parts.

    If these dismal but predictable events hasten our pace along the road to these implicitly needed reforms, then all will not have been a waste.

  • Comment number 77.

    To ajfpalmer #61

    "dedication and work"
    "obtain through effort"
    "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

    Inherited wealth is a lifetime of free lunches.

  • Comment number 78.

    No. 63, ajfpalmer:

    First, let me assure you I personally fail to see the connection between the death of Mark Duggan as he was being taken into custody in a complex police operation and the ensuing destruction of public infrastructure and private property all across England by rampaging mobs of criminals of all ages.

    However, since the BBC programming producers keep insisting on bringing on commentators who introduce the "poor Mark Duggan, he had four children" theme into discussions of anarchy, I feel it is appropriate to call the same producers to account for failing to name MD's profession.

    He was not a plumber; he was not a teacher; he was not a journalist; he was not a firefighter; he was not an artist; he was not a minister; he was not a chef. Were he in any of those lines of work, or any of a hundred others, he would not have met his end in the way that he did on the day that he did.

    It is in fact a deception being practiced upon the public by those members of the press who have failed to identify Mark Duggan's occupation at the time of his death to suggest, by omitting this salient fact, that somehow an upstanding citizen of Tottenham was murdered by racist police in broad daylight, while riding in a minicab. Because, frankly, that has been the precise impression that the reports I have read, on this website of the BBC, and in The Guardian (for example), and even in the Times -- not to mention heard on broadcasts -- create through their insinuations. Even the IPCC report, by skipping over altogether the reasons why the police were arresting Mark Duggan, and glossing over the fact that in the UK certainly it is not the norm for average residents of the city to walk about armed (unless they are on their way to rob someone, at minimum), has added fuel to the fire by floating these tantalising phrases: "There is no evidence that the non-police issue handgun at the scene had been fired..." What was a handgun doing at the scene? I have lived 54 years on this earth, mostly in the United States where private citizens amass veritable arsenals in their homes: I have never held a handgun, nor indeed touched one; neither have I ever held, or seen, any category of narcotics. I suspect that it would be impossible for someone to find a "non-police issue handgun" in my vicinity if the police were ever to stop a minicab of which I was a passenger! Much less a loaded one!

    The premise that has been floated about from the start of the mayhem (and interestingly the BBC also omitted the detail that a teenage girl hurled an actual champagne bottle at a police officer, causing injury: a matter that can be readily ascertained on YouTube, although apparently never checked by BBC reporters and researchers) has been that a "peaceful protest" (throwing champagne bottles and even bringing said blunt objects to a raucous gathering belies the "peaceful" intent of such "protest") somehow -- due no doubt to the callous indifference of "callous police who disrespect the community" -- "naturally" escalated into a riot in which massive amounts of arson not to mention other types of criminal savagery took place. (Clearly, some other people had also brought bottles with them, and apparently had had the foresight to fill those bottles with petrol, instead of champagne. It is not possible, after all, to torch a double-decker bus simply by tossing in your cigarette lighter.)

  • Comment number 79.

    The hesitation, or outright unwillingness, of professional journalists -- in this case, the BBC's, in another case, The Guardian's -- to exercise even a modicum of objective analysis given the outright threat to public order that followed the explosion of aggression by the first criminal mob -- the mob in Tottenham -- is nothing short of scandalous. After all, the very people who are being victimised here are the ones who pay for your compensation! And we are all witnesses to what actually happened, thanks to the many cameras present at the scene that first brutal day, and at every subsequent scene of aggravated assault on London's (and indeed the UK's) overwhelmingly peaceful, decent population by a tiny percentage of dangerous criminals and their shameless groupies.

    Please now correct your omission and be much more explicit and objective about all the facts that preceded the first instance of organised mob violence, since you insist on referring to it as if it were relevant.

    As for reports on NBC or elsewhere, those were not my sources: all my sources were exclusively UK media professionals, as well as the YouTube footage which anyone can look up. A final thought: in the years I spent teaching in California, I would often hear youngsters when asked what they wished to be when they grew up reply: "Drug dealer." There is a segment of modern society which raises admiration for the wealthy drug dealer to the level of outright hero worship. These are the same kinds of people who do not see anything wrong with hurling champagne bottles at police, carjacking vehicles, torching double-decker buses and running over pedestrians at will. Unless we begin to speak frankly and openly about this travesty -- unless we drum home to the young that the people who ruin so many lives by seducing weak souls into experimentation with narcotics are worthy of contempt, not adulation, and deserve prison rather than VIP treatment -- we are never going to be completely free from the threat of more outrages at the hands of those who grew up in homes where vice rules.

    Start calling a spade a spade, before that spade starts digging your own grave, or a loved one's.

    Drugs kill. The drugs he dealt killed Mark Duggan, in the most direct way imaginable. And if someone in his family had shown him a different way to prosper, he would not be a corpse today, but instead happily, safely anonymous.

  • Comment number 80.

    What a shame in a week when the BBC came together to cover such a big story this whole article is so London centric.

    "Our audiences have been eager too to join in with their thoughts on causes and consequences - on 5 Live, Breakfast, and comments on stories."

    Our audience also exists outside of London too! Many of whom have been effected. All of whom have plenty to say about their country.

    It's at times like this BBC Local Radio and regional TV news comes into its own to paint a fantastic picture of events across the whole country and all stations have certainly proved there worth this week. I'm sure London will have relied on their coverage and updates from across the week. Once again, has "One BBC" been forgotten!

  • Comment number 81.

    62 & 63, Mary Ashot & ajfpalmer;

    Remember, dealing crack is a crime. The BBC is not allowed to report that people are criminals unless they've actually been convicted; simply calling somebody a crack dealer on the basis of "well known facts" - i.e., heresay - would be a violation of the rules.

    If he had been arrested and/or charged, pending conviction, they could probably refer to him as an "alleged crack dealer" - but as far as I know, the police have issued no real information as to why he was even the target of the operation. Probably won't, whilst an investigation is underway.

    To answer Mr Palmer's closing question in #63; I would say he was the catalyst, rather than the cause. The way it panned out, as far as I can see from here; after the shooting an initially peaceful protest took place in Tottenham on Saturday. Eventually tensions rose and trouble flared - sad, but it happens.

    As the police were busy dealing with the situation, a lot of local yobs seem to have decided to get in on the act; smashing stuff up and knocking off local shops and off-licences. That may very well have been the end of it.

    But I think a lot of comments about social media playing a big part in this have been valid; it seems that many of the looters basically used Facebook, Twitter, Blackberry Messenger, etc. to tell their friends what they'd done and, specifically, how easy it was to get away with. Consequently the following night, as word has spread, gangs of kids start going out with the express intention of causing trouble, in order to occupy the police so that they can loot more stuff. Then the same thing happens again; photos on Facebook, "Look everybody, here's me looting a convenience store! Now I've got a cupboard full of booze and smokes, and I completely got away with it".

    So by Monday, we've got a serious problem on our hands here in London; and word has started to spread to other cities as well. The vast increase in police numbers in London quelled the trouble here the following day; but now the effect is spreading out to the rest of the country.

    So no... I don't actually think that the riots were really anything to do with Duggan - I doubt most of the idiots out there even knew who he was - past him being the trigger, the excuse, for the first night's trouble.

    Ever seen the 70's film, The Warriors? The basic backdrop to the story is that the street gangs of New York put their heads together and work out that if they just%

  • Comment number 82.

    Yes there’s plenty wrong with British society.
    Successive governments have let this country down.
    Population to big, women having 3, 4 or more kids by different fathers, allowing gangs to roam the streets.
    Police wasting time arresting people who should still be inside from previous offences.
    Our courts and lawyers have a nice little earner going between them.
    They need locking up for longer in the first place that would save us all some money.
    I'm now hearing the same people who wanted the officers blood who was heavy handed on the drunk Tomlinson, calling for the police to get tougher.
    Just like the Newspapers the BBC should take some blame.
    How can they be reporting on the violence while at the same time at the bottom of the screen telling us an Arsenal footballer is willing to take a 4 million pay cut so he can move clubs.
    Yes plenty needs sorting but still no excuse for all these thugs.

  • Comment number 83.

    We expect these young people to pay of our debt and continue to send our retirement checks. What are the rioting about? I got alot of part time jobs for pin money for college but they should be working so the tax base can be used for my stuff and not for they're little sisters and brothers to be fed, clothed and schooled.

  • Comment number 84.

    So BBC presenters are to refer to English riots ".. in recognition of the sensitivities involved for people in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland".

    Aren't current events not, of themselves sufficiently divisive, without the BBC once again playing fast and loose with its use of "UK", "Britain" and "England", as it frequently does in covering sporting events, and in the same way it plays with "protesters" and "activists" when reporting on looting, theft, violence and arson ? If Celtic sensitivities are so demanding of respect, and presumably English sensitivities of no concern, then best we restructure the public broadcasting authority to ensure that we have an English Broadcasting Service (no World Service, thank you), pave the way for an English Parliament and to hell with a united kingdom.

  • Comment number 85.

    The single most significant thing missing from the coverage has been the speed with which both the BBC and Sky tried to make this a racism issue. The singing together from the Cameron song sheet once he finally returned was embarrassing and not evidence of a free uncensored press. The CONDEM coalition are responsible for the fuse that lit these protests, yet there has been no apology for failing to lead the country and keep honest citizens safe. Cameron is so out of touch with the people it's alarming.

  • Comment number 86.

    Perhaps these groups of rampaging youths have taken a cue from our media who have filled our tv screens recently with newsreel of the rioting in Egypt , Libya and Syria.

    Politicians and media commentaters portraying this as being a positive way to drive change....

  • Comment number 87.

    I have always followed the BBC coverage of emerging news events from all around the globe. However I have found the coverage this week so biased against the police officers involved in these awful riots I have actually started watching the ITV and Sky news instead (Sky news the last news program I ever expected to watch)!

    Yes be questioning, yes seek to identify what more could have been done but do so in a fair and unbiased manner. Unlike the other channels I have not heard mention once the bravery and professionalism of the police or the fact that over 110 officers have now been injured, some remaining in hospital following surgery. This is completely at odds with the other news agencies and channels.

    What on earth has happened to the standards of reporting at the bbc.

  • Comment number 88.

    The police should have used the tactic of having undercover cops acting as looters and you can catch them easy. Not all but many. British government is all corrupt and the whole world is crumbiling before our eyes

  • Comment number 89.

    The illuminati and freemasons are all a part of these riots. Ever wondered how odd it was that the government was on holiday while all this was happening? and why on the news do they keep on re-instating the "government cut their holiday short" or "the government had to return from holiday" its their job, so get over it. Real truth is that there is a power higher than us which is evil. This power is getting stronger through the use of social media such as facebook or twitter. If these social networks were not there in the first place none of this would have happened. The social media is just a cover up of the government to track what everyone is doing and target the people they need to. All you hear on the BBC, on SkyNews, on ITV News its all lies. The government are here to protect the country but all they are doing is making it worse. Jah

  • Comment number 90.

    At 15:12 10th Aug 2011, lurker2020 wrote:

    I have been following the genesis of the use of "UK Riots" (last 3 days) to "England Riots" (today) in many page headlines / titles. Can the editor explain why "UK Riots" was used for 3 days before being more accurately described?

    This is mainly because the English and world media as well as ordinary people around the world consider England to be the UK, because this is what they have been taught.

    One question I would like to ask is this e-petition about rioters losing their benefits, what about those rioters that are NOT on benefits, why should those on benefits be paid to pay a heavier penalty for rioting than those that work?

    I hear people talking about this being about the new so-called 'under-class', but all I see is mindless violence and destruction that has absolutely nothing to do with being disadvantaged.

    Also all the people that take part in this 'riot' should be charged with rioting, under section one of the public disorder act 1986;

    (1)Where 12 or more persons who are present together use or threaten unlawful violence for a common purpose and the conduct of them (taken together) is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety, each of the persons using unlawful violence for the common purpose is guilty of riot.
    (2)It is immaterial whether or not the 12 or more use or threaten unlawful violence simultaneously.
    (3)The common purpose may be inferred from conduct.
    (4)No person of reasonable firmness need actually be, or be likely to be, present at the scene.
    (5)Riot may be committed in private as well as in public places.
    (6)A person guilty of riot is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or a fine or both.

    what is the point of the Act if it is not used as it should be like now.

  • Comment number 91.

    The coverage by the BBC was terrible, i found myself for once tuning into Sky news and sticking with it for hours, some would say that the BBC and its left wing agenda over the last 30 years has contributed to the no responsibility attitude in society, all i ever hear is excuses, no impartiality

  • Comment number 92.

    Following on from POST 78,
    Maybe Mark Duggan's family should be asking themselves why he had a loaded gun, and why they didn't put him on the straight and narrow.
    Just like to many parents today (if they have parents that is) moan when things go wrong but happy to turn a blind eye otherwise.

  • Comment number 93.

    Dear BBC censors, Yesterday you removed my post. This was not because I mugged someone, smashed a shop window or tried to hack a policeman to death, rather because I expressed an opinion on the ethnicity of the catalyst and main perpetrators of this disgusting behaviour. Your selective filtering has the effect of burying the truth, of preventing a robust analysis and solution, and as such, you and similarly biased journalists are partly culpable for creating this shambolic society. You should be ashamed of this continual denial of the whole truth that decent people know to be the case from their everday observations and experiences. I repeat my main piont in couched terms - there was, and frequently is, an undisputable pattern to the main protaganists in much of the lawlessness and particularly violent, mob behaviour. Please speak the words that you ban me from uttering!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 94.

    It’s disgusting when the government classify a Child as someone who is under the age of 18 and then allow them to do as they please.

    Surely children are cared for by parents or guardians and should not be allowed on the streets after 19.00hrs where not knowing where they are and what they are doing. As previously mentioned a curfew should be in place where any child on the street is under the supervision of an adult and that they should be escorted to friends or places of activities, for studies or pleasure

    This therefore would not require such a large police force as they would be less burglaries etc. etc. .

    It’s got stuff-all to do with technology or the fault of the previous government but it is obviously a psychological problem.

    If parents are held responsible, therefore in assisting the police, then more funds, with in the first few years of fining the parents, would boost the economy and reduce all criminal activities

    So why is it that children are allowed to do as they please.?

  • Comment number 95.

    Heard on Radio 4 that a shop containing handbags worth £5000 or £6000 was broken
    into during the riots there. Well this is obscene - not the shop being broken into -
    but the making, selling and buying of handbags at this sort of price. And surely, given the poor standards of living experienced by many and what has happened abroad, the shopowners were asking for trouble. Such display is offensive to any
    one with a thinking mind.

  • Comment number 96.

    @ HackToff...

    You are very ignorant in your view as the looting was caused by everyone. Step up and realise the truth!!!

  • Comment number 97.

    So, some local councils have come up with the brilliant idea of evicting anybody convicted as a result of the events of the last few days.

    Can they please clarify this. Say an 11 year old is convicted, who gets evicted ? Him, his parents, his brothers and sisters. Say a 25 year old man is convicted, are his wife and child evicted ?

    Once these people are evicted then what happens to them. They certainly will not be able to find private accomodation, since no landlord is likely to touch them. So these people end up on the streets. And what will happen then ?

    Brilliant huh !!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 98.

    96.At 16:04 11th Aug 2011, JahGuideI wrote:
    @ HackToff...

    You are very ignorant in your view as the looting was caused by everyone. Step up and realise the truth!!!

    Three simple facts for you to consider JahGuide1;

    1. I am working in South Africa presently so certainly caused no rioting - you?
    2. The imagery and charge sheets are all the evidence I need to support my view - you?
    3. My life experience and the patterns it provides confirm that there are definite ethnic tendencies. Call them sterotypes if you can't face up to the truth.

    Meanwhile, the silent majority continues to fume that violent disorder is less serious than uttering words which some do-gooder may construe as offensive.

  • Comment number 99.

    I thought if the PM was out of the country the Deputy PM was in charge,
    so why on earth did not MR CLEGG, authorize the use of stronger policing, the use of CS gas, rubber bullets, and water cannon.?

  • Comment number 100.

    Also whilst I am on here, the Police , as the Army was in N.Ireland are probably thinking twice before carrying out robust policing unless they get sued.


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