Now that the testosterone levels of the country have fallen slightly, the fires been put out, burnt cars towed away and countless broken windows swept up, the true price of these riots is plain to see.
In total 5 people lost their lives, including a man found shot in a car in Croydon and 3 men who were hit by a car in Birmingham. The latest death was that of pensioner Richard Mannington Bowes, who received critical head injuries when he was attacked in the Ealing riots on Monday night. Like the 3 other men in Birmingham who were trying to protect their neighbourhoods when killed, Mr Bowes was attacked simply for trying to stamp out a fire. Yes, it’s enough to make your blood run cold and boil at exactly the same time.
The last week has all been about identifying, hauling in and prosecuting those horrible specimens responsible and the whole spectacle has certainly made for some interesting viewing, or at least a glimpse of some of the countries worst parents. Many have stood outside the court, effing and blinding at the press and declaring Thug Junior and Minni Oik to be a ‘misunderstood’ little angel in Adidas.
The mother of the 11-year-old who stole a £50 waste bin from a trashed Debenhams store – the youngest looter to be prosecuted – swore and yelled abuse as she left court. Not a shock this one, considering his dad was only recently released from prison after serving time for theft. Mouldy apple didn’t fall very far from that rotten tree did it.
But there is now a glimmer of hope for the country following a long and very depressing week: some parents of underage looters are happy to shop their own kids to the police.
One such mother, on spotting pictures of her 15-year-old son trying to prise open shutters of a shop in Salford, was so disgusted with his behaviour and no doubt horrified that her own sprog was capable of such violence, that she promptly frog-marched him straight down to the police station and handed him over herself. Another father said that if his son had done the crime, then he deserved to have the book thrown at him and would have to deal with the consequences of his actions.
Now that people are being rounded up and marched through the court system at quick speed, what’s alarming to hear (aside from the fact that so many were children) was that many of these looters held positions of responsibilities within their own communities: a care worker with a 2-year-old child of her own, a postman, a lifeguard, an aspiring social worker and a teaching assistant. Heck there was even a ballerina twirling her way through the streets and a millionaire’s daughter running around filling her Louis Vuitton swag bag with stolen electrical goods, cigarettes and alcohol worth £5,500.
Photos of looters have already been posted online and in some city centres so the public can help police identify them. Perhaps however, just to drive the message home a bit more, the police mug shot of every person charged should be posted (along with their name and a list of the items they took) up on big notice boards around the towns and areas in which they robbed.
Given that these yobs have all desperately tried to shield their identity from the cameras (and their parents) while scuttling in and out of court, I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate being quite so publicly named and shamed.
So just to set the ball rolling, here are a few for the Hall of Shame – and what a bloody dodgy lot they all are! Perhaps if they were going to steal from shops they should have stopped off at Boots first to pocket some soap, a scrubbing-brush and a comb.