Monday, August 15, 2011
In the aftermath of the riots, hooliganism and looting that rocked England last week, officials are left wondering how this all happened. Thugs raided departmental stores and embarked on a new surge of violence that all began after Mark Duggan from Tottenham, North London, was fatally shot by the London Metropolitan Police. Soon the protests against the police shooting turned violent and spread to other parts of England, ultimately becoming a free-for-all opportunity for thugs and gangs to capitalize on the lawlessness.
Prime Minister David Cameron has understandably expressed shock and bewilderment at the low level of morality that has permeated through some elements of British society. Most community leaders have expressed a multitude of factors as the reasons that may have contributed to the violence, from bad parenting to ineffective police liaison management by Scotland Yard. The causes are complex.
However, one factor that clearly does have a strong correlation to crime is the economy. Take New York City for example and the high rate of violence that existed in the 90s - as the economy improved together with the implementation of more effective policing methods, crime plummeted. It is true that the cause of the British hooliganism are complex and multifaceted, but few can deny that the weak economy, the severe austerity measures and anemic levels of growth, were the catalyst that set the pigeons loose.
The truth is that unfortunately, as the impact of austerity gains traction in Britain, there will be other skeletons in the closet that start to shake.