Mindless Opportunism – Gloucester Riots

Published On August 10, 2011 » 1478 Views» Gloucester
A Vandalized light

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Last night was a night that showed Gloucester at its worst.  Mindless vandalism, arson and general thuggery which according to media reports started in Barton and moved onto Eastgate Street.  While not of the scale on what happened in London, it is still depressing that these people thought it would be a good idea to go out into the streets and “kick off” just because it is something they saw on the TV.

You could understand it (if not agree with it) if there had been some really big event that had triggered it for local reasons, and many would ascribe it to political unrest at the cuts, or a kick back about the Police shooting in Tottenham, but in reality that’s all rubbish.  Listening to some of the youths being interviewed, they were doing it because they could, and they didn’t want to miss out on picking up some free “bling”.  One person actually said that even if he got caught, then he doesn;t have a criminal record, therefore would get off with at worst an ASBO, at best he gets a load of new stuff.

In Gloucester we have been somewhat lucky, the cuts have not affected frontline policing, and the senior officers had obviously done some effective planning which saw the situation pretty well contained.  However, we should ask if it could have been extinguished had we not had to sent some of our officers elsewhere to support other forces?  I know that the Gloucester Officers are working long days and they need our support as a community to help them be as effective as possible.

What we see today and the comments I have seen on social media, do show Gloucester at its best, people outraged at what has happened and taking it personally, and the likes of the local media trying to get some volunteer clean up sessions and the like. 

I hope that this was just a one-off, and people will stand up against this mindless vandalism.  If you see anything kicking off tonight, make the police aware, perhaps (if you feel safe enough to do so) take photos that could be used to identify and prosecute.  Make sure your friends and loved ones stay safe and discourage your younger family members from taking to the streets.  If you know anyone who took part last night, don’t just be silent, name and shame them.  Most of all, we must remember that this is our City and we must take responsibility and send a clear message that we will stand against that which seeks to bring it down.

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4 Responses to Mindless Opportunism – Gloucester Riots

  1. Eddie says:

    It is past time we stopped pussy fotting around with these yobs. For years they have been excused anything because they are “deprived”.

    They should be deprived of their liberty.

  2. Joe K says:

    If they do scrap the new youth club at the Trust Centre because of the policing bill, I hope the allegation by a shopowner that police forced these louts into Barton Street is fully investigated. People keep saying ‘I heard about rioting and I just thought ‘Barton Street’?’, but if the violence there only happened because disturbances in the centre wouldn’t give the police sufficient excuse to withdraw funding for the club (little as it would be compared to the eventual cost of policing the would-be rioters), those people would end up looking smug and judgemental.

  3. Barry says:

    Hello Joe ,Long time no hear 🙂

    Yes, your right, these need thought through or other funding sought. I know that Youth Clubs do not serve every kid, but they do work with a lot, and I think its money well spent!

  4. Joe K says:

    As I recall, Delroy Ellis said at the launch that they money they recieved from the constabulary (out of the ‘illgotten gains’ stash) would last about eight months. Getting more is actually easier than it might seem, as outfits like GAVCA always seem ready to throw a few hundred into a project that displays a bit of initiative. That’s the clincher, though. The Trust Centre stopped showing *any* initiative. It didn’t even advertise the youth club on its noticeboard or website, although getting people using the centre is going to be crucial in making a case for its survival.

    The launch was a success, by the way (well, it tempted Ian Mean down from Cheltenham, although after the things he said about the ward, he probably thought he should make an appearance, and what event could be safer than one partlrganised by the police, with over half a dozen officers in the room?). Unfortunately, with so many people (except Usman Bhaimia, oddly enough or perhaps not so much), it was difficult to know what an ordinary session would be like. Won’t know that until Wednesday.

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