Jeremy Bradshaw: Riots Eroded Trust in British Police

Monday, 15 Aug 2011 05:05 PM

By Martin Gould and Fred Fleitz

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The public has lost confidence in the ability of British police to do their job effectively in the wake of the four nights of riots that tore the country apart, says Jeremy Bradshaw, the chairman of the right-leaning Britain Club.

And he puts the blame on the country’s politicians who have placed more and more “politically correct” rules on the way police can operate, Bradshaw tells Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.

And the result is a massive erosion in confidence in the unarmed policing methods that Britain has maintained for 140 years, he said.

“The police simply are not respected and they are not feared,” said Bradshaw. “Until they are,  British people are not convinced that they are going to be able to do their job properly.

“This is a mixture of both the way the police operate and concern about the way police are hampered by the politicians.”

Story continues below the video.

Shocking pictures from the riots, which started after the death in police custody of a young black man named Mark Duggan, have gone around the world, upsetting the view of Britain as a genteel island off the European coast.

Now Prime Minister David Cameron is looking to the United States for changes in policing. He is taking on William Bratton, who pioneered “zero tolerance” towards crime in both New York and Los Angeles, as his chief adviser on police issues.

“This is a country which has no tradition of the police bearing arms,” said Bradshaw. “We have very few police who have the right to carry guns and they are very seldom seen on the streets of London.”

Instead, he said, police behave “according to consent and with the trust of the people.” But the scenes of arson, looting and violence could have changed all that forever.

“We saw the destruction of trust and confidence in the police. So now there is a huge political debate taking place. What should be done about this criminality and what role did the police have in failing to deal with it?”

He said the suggestion that the riots were race-driven has now been squashed. “It had nothing to do with this. This was just opportunistic thieving on a mass scale.”

Bradshaw said the British bobby on the beat is forbidden from interviewing “disproportionate” numbers of members of ethnic minorities or the “new generation immigrants” from formerly Communist eastern European nations who have flooded into Britain in the last decade.

“The police have become sort of a laughing stock among the ganglands on the streets of London and the other big cities.”

He said the key issue now is to get to grips with the gang culture that has taken hold in many of the country’s large cities.

“We need to track down the gang leaders. We need to remove them from the places where they operate. We need to make an example of them by locking them up and we need to re-establish some basic values system in parts of town where there are no values systems.

“It’s going to take several years of very hard work, right across the different communities…to deal with these very, very complicated issues.”

Bradshaw said that Cameron had come out of the crisis with his reputation enhanced. It started badly for him as he was on vacation in Italy, but he cut his trip short and quickly took command.

“When he did come back, he did get a grip on the situation and within 48 hours the riots had petered out and he was seen to have taken the side of the silent majority across Great Britain and the silent majority was seething with rage.

“Cameron took a very hard line and he promised to continue to take hard measures against these criminals and to capture every single one of them and have them locked up. The result is that in the opinion polls, his ratings have gone up and anybody who has not taken that view in public office has suffered widespread criticism.

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