ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: http://www.humanite.fr/monde/la-del...
by Justine Cohendet
Translated Sunday 14 August 2011, by Bill Scobleand reviewed by
Since Thursday, Birmingham police have found a new way to encourage people to surrender rioters from over the last few days. Their photos are displayed on a large screen positioned on a truck roaming the city.
Several days ago, the newspapers and the police called for information on rioters by publishing snapshots of the suspects. From then on these photos, captured with the help of video surveillance cameras, have appeared throughout the streets of the affected cities. Birmingham has gone one step further by displaying these images on a giant screen driven around the city on a truck. The Chief Inspector of the local police has been celebrating the success of this new system. Furthermore, he is very proud of using the latest technology to expose the suspects. “We have already had an overwhelming response from the public”, he said. Apparently, more than 500 calls and e-mails have been received.
In addition, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, is not excluding calling in the army and is studying the possibility of stopping the use of social networks and messaging services for the people who used them to commit crimes. Some would like to go to the next level. A petition is circulating on the Internet requesting that the rioters lose their right to receive benefits. It already has 100 000 signatures, the minimum required for Parliament, if it so desired, to tackle the subject.
On Wednesday, David Cameron brushed aside “false worries concerning Human Rights” sparked off by the publication of the looters’ photos. The head of the government does not see the riots as political, nor as “protests”, “but as theft”. Faced with these statements, the opposition is cautiously trying to start a debate about the causes of the riots. “Simple answers must be avoided”, underlined the Labour leader Ed Miliband. “Is it cultural, is it linked to poverty and a lack of prospects? It’s probably both.” It’s a shame that the cultural factor is mentioned to discuss the causes which are surely much less “simplistic” to use his own words.