“IHRC is alarmed that discussion and debate has targeted and criminalised youth in general and black youth in particular, as well as dismissing key issues of poverty and social and economic marginalisation, police violence, profiling and racism,” the London-based organisation said.
IHRC chair, Massoud Shadjareh told that there is clearly a discussion to be had over “the loss of values that has seen violence and looting overshadow demonstrations and the real issues of grievance.”
“However, there is a deep hypocrisy in this when just recently British politicians were embroiled in expenses scandals that focussed on the acquiring of luxuries from flat screen TVs to holidays at public expense,” Shadjareh said.
“This, and the continued violence of British foreign policy for oil and gain, are the examples that have been set by the leaders of this country, and any discussion of morality and values must focus on and deal with the entirety of the problem, not just scapegoat those already marginalised,” he said.
Prime Minister David Cameron said that the riots, which started on Saturday night in London and spread across the capital into other major cities, were “criminality pure and simple and it has to be confronted and defeated.”
“These are sickening scenes – scenes of people looting, vandalising, thieving, robbing, scenes of people attacking police officers and even attacking fire crews as they’re trying to put out fires,” Cameron said.
He made no mention of police working with community leaders as called for by the chair of the Home Affairs Committee Keith Vaz, but warned that those responsible will feel “the full force of the law and if you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the punishment.”