A quick update on the Riots reviews being carried out in the media [The Guardian together with the LSE] and the state [the IPCC].
Today it had been revealed that not only was there no evidence – DNA, fingerprints or location – which linked the gun allegedly in Mark Duggan’s possession to him; but the cab in which he was traveling was moved from the crime scene by the police and only later ‘returned’ for the IPCC’s investigation.
A report in the Evening Standard [12.12.11] states;
Today Michael Mansfield QC, representing the Duggan family, told North London coroner’s court the gun was found “14 feet away behind a railing” as he accused the IPCC of issuing “misinformation” and obstructing the family’s own investigations by failing to disclose information. In a heated series of exchanges, Mr Sparrow said it had been a “mistake” to have initially suggested Mr Duggan had been killed in a “shoot-out”.
After continually refusing to answer questions that could prejudice the criminal inquiry, Mr Sparrow nodded his head as Mr Mansfield bluntly summed up: “No blood, no gun, no DNA relating to Mark Duggan?”
Mr Sparrow said claims were also being investigated that witnesses saw a police officer throwing the gun over a fence at the scene.
The court heard that the IPCC had failed to provide the family with an interim pathologist’s report on the trajectory of the bullet that killed him, and refused to let the family’s own pathologist meet the commission’s pathologists.
Mr Mansfield accused the IPCC of failing to secure the crime scene and of moving the minicab Mr Duggan was travelling in when he was shot in Ferry Lane. These claims have since been strongly denied by the IPCC.
Mr Sparrow said the investigation was not due to be completed until April next year.
Along with evidence taken across the country from participants in the riots by the Guardian and the LSE which concludes that there is a widespread disaffection with the police – particularly London’s force, the Met [Metropolitan Police] – it is clear that the riots were not a simple case of people popping out to do a bit of looting.
It is also clear that unless the police start being held to account in the UK, and governed by the rule of law – as they expect everyone else to be – the riots of 2011 will return.
And as our political class are realising, public dissatisfaction with both them and their paymasters in the City; as well as the resentment of an increasingly impoverished society supporting a tiny group of hedge-fund managers and public school careerists, is the sort of recipe that ends up with a guillotine set up in Trafalgar Square.
And between them, and the people are the ‘thin blue line’ who are even now being equipped with the sort of weaponry used against civil crowds in Afghanistan and Iraq.
From a report in The Daily Telegraph;
A shoulder-mounted laser that emits a blinding wall of light capable of repelling rioters is to be trialled by police under preparations to prevent a repeat of this summer’s looting and arson.
The technology, developed by a former Royal Marine commando, temporarily impairs the vision of anyone who looks towards the source.
It has impressed a division of the Home Office which is testing a new range of devices because of the growing number of violent situations facing the police.
The developer, British-based Photonic Security Systems, hopes to offer the device to shipping companies to deter pirates. Similar devices have been used by ISAF troops in Afghanistan to protect convoys from insurgents.
The laser, resembling a rifle and known as an SMU 100, can dazzle and incapacitate targets up to 500m away with a wall of light up to three metres squared. It costs £25,000* and has an infrared scope to spot looters in poor visibility.
The Home Office has been considering new forms of non-lethal equipment since the August riots, with the limited range of tasers and CS gas leaving a “capability gap”.
A Home Office spokesman said scientists at its Centre for Applied Science and Technology believe the use of lasers “has merit” and that it will be piloted by at least one police force. However, they will have to be satisfied the technology does not cause long-term health damage before it can be approved by the Home Secretary.
Other technology being studied includes ‘wireless electronic interceptors’ that can be fired a greater distance than Tasers, and long-range chemical irritant projectiles, the newspaper said.
The Metropolitan Police is exploring the possibility of buying three water cannons at a cost of £4m. Currently the only police force in the UK to operate water cannon is the Police Force of Northern Ireland (PSNI), which has six. Scotland Yard is also increasing the number of officers trained to fire plastic bullets, as a direct response to the riots.
[*£25,000 would be the salary of a full-time youth worker or a librarian. That's where this Government's priorities really lie . . .]
So that’s alright then; the answer to a despised police force is to buy them more weaponry – with the peoples’ dwindling taxes – to ensure that the people can’t ever get close to those who are creating the most unequal society in the Western world.