The rule of law

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FROM the Government’s perspective, there will be relief that the summer riots were accelerated by flaws in the Metropolitan Police’s initial decision-making rather than a social reaction to the spending cuts and their impact on the poor.

However, there are still wider lessons for Ministers to learn, even though Sheffield-born Bernard Hogan-Howe has been subsequently appointed as a no nonsense Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

The independent report concludes that the public were eventually reassured by the strong police presence on the streets in London, other riot-hit cities and, just as importantly, those communities where the rule of law prevailed.

However, this surge in police numbers will be difficult to replicate if the number of front line officers continues to be compromised by funding or the Home Office edicts that prompted Met commanders to question whether the validity of breaking up the riots when the initial carnage broke out on Tottenham’s streets.

As such, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, needs to appreciate the importance of preventative policing in her future pronouncements.