Wednesday, 10 August 2011

London Riots - My idea on how to deal with looters.

Anti-riot: Operation 
Cup of Tea
Everything seems to have quieted down now, although we've been hearing a lot of sirens in the background today. I live in a residential area not near any shops so have had no looting locally, although I've heard rumours of local high streets being hit.
I've seen the idea bandied about to hit looters and rioters with water cannons loaded with smart water or indelible dye, which I think is a lovely idea. That way, all those present can be easily identified later. There is no such thing as an 'innocent' bystander. The police very clearly asked people to stay in and stay away so they could get to work. Anybody still spectating would be actively hindering police and fire departments from doing their job.

But what to do with the looters once they're caught? Put them in jail? What's the
point of that? If rumours are true, the type of person who loots has little or nothing to lose. Jail is actually nicer than where they usually live.

Let's do this instead: all the rioters should be put to work. Give them tags and if they don't show up, send the police to get them out of bed and 'escort' them to their job. Their job would be either to rebuild the buildings they burned and smashed, or build cars to replace the ones they torched. And once the homes and shops are rebuilt and redecorated to the highest specs, make them work in the shops as shelf-stackers or shop assistants for free until the business is profitable again. Every car they complete at the factory should go for free to someone whose vehicle was destroyed. No looter gets to shirk a day of work until everything is replaced.

Results: as community service intends, the looters will learn the lesson that what took them minutes to destroy may well take months or years of hard work to rebuild. An added bonus is that each and every looter will have learned a trade. If they are forced to rebuild homes, shops and cars, they must first learn how to do it properly. They do not get to stop learning or working until it is done right, so they have a good incentive to do their best. Once they have paid their debt and worked until all is repaired and restored, their 'sentence' will end and they will be offered the chance to keep their jobs as builders, decorators, car mechanics, shop assistants etc... and be paid for it. Not only will they have learned about the consequences of their actions but they will also be out of poverty. If they turn down this opportunity they really have nobody to blame but themselves for being deprived.


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