Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The future is orange for rioters

A slew of punishments and deterrents have been suggested by politicians looking to ensure last week's riots are not repeated. If Cameron, Clegg and Co have their way, future rioters could end up ...

Losing benefits: Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has led the charge here, telling the BBC Radio 4 Today show that if we already accept that people who don't bother to look for work should have their benefits removed, the same should apply to those convicted of rioting.

Wearing orange suits: Deputy PM Nick Clegg said today that those rioters convicted but not imprisoned should have to return to the areas they vandalised and carry out their community service in "orange clothing".

Being banned from social media: David Cameron told Parliament last week that "when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. So we are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality."

Being forced to face their victims: Another suggestion by Clegg, whose wide-ranging speech today focused on how to make criminals "change their ways", was to force convicted rioters to "look their victims in the eye". He explained: "They should have to see for themselves the conseqences of their actions and they should be put to work cleaning up the damage and destruction they have caused so they don't do it again."

Being removed from school: London mayor Boris Johnson has urged justice secretary Ken Clarke to let the courts take convicted young rioters between the ages of 11 and 15 out of school and into pupil referral units (PRUs). The Mayor said this "would isolate them from their peer group during the school day, preventing bragging rights on school premises, and sends a salutary warning to other pupils that such behaviour will result in temporary ejection from the school community".

Doing national service: David Cameron has refloated his idea for 16-year-olds to take part in non-military National Citizen Service. "Teamwork, discipline, duty, decency: these might sound old-fashioned words but they are part of the solution to this very modern problem of alienated, angry young people."

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