Case study - Mark Duggan

Mark Duggan was shot dead by police officers in London in August 2011. Thousands of people in towns and cities across England took to the streets in protest.

This resulted in a wave of violence. People took part in crimes such as looting and arson and there was a mass deployment of police to try to control the situation.

The authorities and the media referred to these events as riots, while others described them as protests. Some people referred to the events as BlackBerry riots because a number of people used mobile devices and social media to organise the rioting.

For reflection and discussion

How do you think the looters and arsonists should have been punished?

Out of these aims of punishment - reform / retribution / protection / deterrence / reparation - which do you think would be most important?

Explain how Christian teachings and principles might affect the decision about the best treatment for those found guilty of crimes on this occasion?