the police need the riots

I guess the name speaks for its self.

Re: the police need the riots

Postby Teiana on Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:20 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14553330

they've been handing out tough sentences eg, 18months jail for having a stolen tv in your car..
and there's been criticism that some of the sentencing has been too tough, but the argument is given that it sends a "clear message that disorder would not be tolerated". Judges have been quoted as saying that it would be unrealistic to ignore the bigger picture of the rioting and that it is ok to give a stronger sentence for a crime committed during the riots than the same crime the previous week in another circumstance.

is it right? see i rather think that if someone breaks a window, they break a window. I don't think we should change the punishment, based on the outside circumstances. Or, if we're going to, it should be every time we sentence, every situation should be treated as a unique circumstance. I don't think using the background of the riots to hand down tough sentences (which i believe is being done to reassure public opinion rather than to give any sense of justice) is fair.

and - if you WERE to take the riots into account, i actually think the sentencing should be more lenient not less. We Are all affected by the behaviour of other people around us, we can't help that. People may be caught up in rioting or looting who normally wouldn't do that. The psychology is all wrong to say rioters and looters should be punished more than single bad guys/gals in a 'normal' situation. Judges should understand the effects of being dragged along by the crowd and be more lenient, not more strict.

'Sitting at Manchester Crown Court, sentencing Judge Andrew Gilbart QC said: "I have no doubt at all that the principal purpose is that the courts should show that outbursts of criminal behaviour like this will be and must be met with sentences longer than they would be if the offences had been committed in isolation.'.... SEE this is just wrong!!!!!!totally upside down!!
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Re: the police need the riots

Postby Andrea on Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:43 pm

What's fascinating about this whole thing is its raw exposure of some pretty divergent perspectives. It all makes for great systemic analysis.

If you think that the "cause" of the rioting is "mindless criminal gangs" then, by cracking down hard on those few individuals that were caught, you have "solved" the problem -- criminals are in jail. Justice is seen to be done. There's nothing more to it (apart from, maybe increasing spending on the police so that more "criminals" can be caught).

If, instead, you believe that the "cause" of the rioting is "increasing inequality supported by a police-state that criminalises marginalised communities and rewards the rich (by cutting their taxes) while prejudicing the poor (by removing social services and educational subsidies)" then the solution has nothing to do with long prison sentences......

The harsh prison sentences reminds me of the "shifting the burden" system archetype:

“An underlying problem generates symptoms that demand attention. But the underlying problem is difficult for people to address, either because it is obscure or costly to confront. So people “shift the burden” of their problem to other solutions –well-intended, easy fixes which seem extremely efficient. Unfortunately, the easier “solutions” only ameliorate the symptoms; they leave the underlying problem unaltered. The underlying problem grows worse, unnoticed because the symptoms apparently clear up, and the system loses whatever abilities it had to solve the underlying problem.” (Senge1990 , The Fifth Discipline, p.104)


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esse sequitur operari
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Re: the police need the riots

Postby Neill on Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:45 pm

and if the cause was people just taking the chance to join in and get a free whatever?
If people were stealing food, I may be able to be sympathetic.
But I understand that they were stealing LCD TVs, phones and so on.

I tend to agree that the sentence should reflect the act and motivation rather than the immediate environment but ...
when things get "out of control", I think you need to use a bigger stick than at other times.

I am absolutely sure that if the looting had of taken place in Bavaria it would have been riot sticks, tear gas and water cannons.
The big stick seems to work here.

Neill
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Re: the police need the riots

Postby Teiana on Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:01 pm

H.R.H. 8-)
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Re: the police need the riots

Postby Andrea on Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:33 pm

Neill wrote:The big stick seems to work here.


reminds me of a hilarious article that I read in The Independent a couple of days ago by Mark Steel titled "Flogging Is Too Good for Them". Here's an extract from the first bit (I'd highly recommend reading the whole thing):

People who love to scream about stern discipline and National Service are having a fantastic time in post-riot Britain. My favourite was a man on a Radio 5 phone-in, who ended his rant by yelling, "I TELL you how little discipline there is. My son gets homework and he's allowed to do it ON HIS COMPUTER. We need to GET BACK to PENCIL and PAPER!" And you felt that if you suggested 'What about pen and paper?' he'd shriek "NO! NOT PEN, YOU BLOODY LIBERAL. PENCIL! They have to SHARPEN pencils, it teaches them DISCIPLINE!"

I was hoping someone would ring in and say, "That bloke with his pencil is TOO SOFT. We need to get back to PAPYRUS, like they had in ancient Sumeria. Or PAINTING their homework on walls of CAVES. You didn't get STONE AGE MAN breaking into Foot Locker DID YOU?"

This was followed by someone explaining that his generation was brought up in the Seventies and were poor but didn't riot, which suggests he didn't keep all that close an eye on the news. And all week we've heard how, "We'd get a good hiding and it did us good," and, "If we were cheeky, the headmaster would march us to Reggie Kray who'd smear zebra fat over us and make us run through Bethnal Green chased by a pride of lions and it taught us RESPECT."

There's the call to evict families if one of their kids has been arrested, because once they're all homeless they'll be much less likely to steal things, won't they. On one phone-in a caller yelled, "These parents don't pay any attention to their own kids." So the presenter asked what age the caller's son was and he said, "Either seven or eight, I think."

And when they're in full flow about the need to whip and birch and drown, if someone says: "Well if I can just point out", that's as far as they get before being interrupted with, "How can you condone this looting and burning you sick, liberal bleeding-heart do-gooder with your, 'Well if I can just point out', how DARE you?"

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/co ... 38607.html



:D
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Re: the police need the riots

Postby Teiana on Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:21 pm

:lol:
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Re: the police need the riots

Postby Andrea on Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:55 am

Okay, joking aside, what I've found extremely useful in appreciating extreme political perspectives during the last couple of weeks is a TED talk by Jonathan Haidt. I certainly have clear prejudices, exemplified by this slide he shows towards the beginning of the talk:

liberal prejudice.JPG
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However, he then goes on to provide what I think is a very balanced view of the differences. This is a brief extract:

It really is a fact that liberals are much higher than conservatives on a major personality trait called openness to experience. People who are high in openness to experience just crave novelty, variety, diversity, new ideas, travel. People low on it like things that are familiar, that are safe and dependable.

If you know about this trait, you can understand a lot of puzzles about human behavior. You can understand why artists are so different from accountants. You can actually predict what kinds of books they like to read, what kinds of places they like to travel to, and what kinds of food they like to eat. Once you understand this trait, you can understand why anybody would eat at Applebee's, but not anybody that you know. This trait also tells us a lot about politics. The main researcher of this trait, Robert McCrae says that, "Open individuals have an affinity for liberal, progressive, left-wing political views" -- they like a society which is open and changing -- "whereas closed individuals prefer conservative, traditional, right-wing views." .....

.....But as we learned from Samantha Power in her story about Sergio Vieira de Mello, you can't just go charging in saying, "You're wrong, and I'm right." Because, as we just heard, everybody thinks they are right. A lot of the problems we have to solve are problems that require us to change other people. And if you want to change other people, a much better way to do it is to first understand who we are -- understand our moral psychology, understand that we all think we're right -- and then step out -- even if it's just for a moment, step out -- check in with Seng-ts'an. Step out of the moral matrix, just try to see it as a struggle playing out in which everybody does think they're right, and everybody, at least, has some reasons -- even if you disagree with them -- everybody has some reasons for what they're doing. Step out. And if you do that, that's the essential move to cultivate moral humility, to get yourself out of this self-righteousness, which is the normal human condition. [ http://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt ... _mind.html ]
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Re: the police need the riots

Postby Andrea on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:13 am

Just got carried away with the Haidt talk. :oops: The main reason why I posted it was because of this slide:

cooperation and punishment.JPG
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Re: the police need the riots

Postby jim_lewis1 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:51 am

well that rather seems to support the view that these criminals should be punished. it wasn't a protest rally, it was bunches of people thinking they could just get away with theft.

I am one of the people who has asked the question whether national service should not be reinstated, but I think when people hear national service, they're assuming something along the lines of Full Metal Jacket. As i've said elsewhere, national service in Norway is a normal part of becoming a useful and respectful member of society. AFAIK there are options not to be drafted to conflict zones, and many people get a lot out of being involved in peace keeping missions.

maybe it is too draconian, and there certainly are problems of equality and opportunity that will not necessarily go away if national service was introduced, but realising that you have to earn respect rather than demanding it would help a lot of people I feel.
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