A new report has revealed police fear there will be a repeat of last summer’s riots, but cuts mean they will not have the resources to deal with it.
Reading the Riots, compiled from interviews with 130 officers from eight forces across the UK, also revealed police were astonished none of their colleagues were killed in the four days of violence which followed the shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham by officers on Friday, August 4.
Many of the officers interviewed believe worsening social and economic conditions will cause more unrest in the future, but budget cuts forcing the loss of a predicted 16,000 frontline posts by 2015 will leave police unable to cope were there to be a repeat.
The research, conducted by the London School of Economics and The Guardian, was condensed into a short piece for BBC Two’s Newsnight on Monday evening.
Speaking after the 20 minute film had been shown, Tottenham MP David Lammy said: “Everybody knows the issues behind these riots have not been dealt with, so we will see further unrest and not the numbers to deal with it.”
The study also reveals the Met failed to activate a national alarm system to call for more resources until the third day of riots, and once officers from other forces did arrive they were hampered by poor communication with central command.
Senior Metropolitan Police officers also accepted they struggled to deploy enough staff to contain the rioters, while forces across the country failed to fully act on intelligence gleaned from social media networks, which were used by rioters to outmanoeuvre police.
(Original article can be viewed here: http://www.tottenhamjournal.co.uk/news/crime-court/police_fear_repeat_of_tottenham_riots_1_1429687)