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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Police response to the riots

I think all Londoners owe a huge debt of gratitude to the ordinary coppers on the street today, for their bravery in standing in the firing line during the riots. Having said that, we must look at the issues of leadership and whether that has played any part in the trouble. At the moment, the Met only has an acting chief constable. The riots occurred whilst most of our senior politicians were on holiday. We found out that the Prime Minister, the Home secretary and the Mayor of London were all away. Whilst everyone is allowed a holiday, is it any wonder that with no senior officer confirmed in post, and all of the top politicians away, the situation drifted for several days. Surely plans should be in place to ensure an effective system of command.

Another thing that intrigues me. During the 7/7 terrorist outrages, mobile phone networks were taken down in Central London. As the current violence is being coordinated via mobile phone networks and twitter, surely there is a case for temporary suspensions of service. One presumes the police are monitoring Twitter, surely it is not beyond their capability to see a site has been targettted and get the local mobile networks taken down?

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