Rioters Must Face Their Victims and Say Sorry, Demands Mayor

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 15, 2011 | Go to article overview

Rioters Must Face Their Victims and Say Sorry, Demands Mayor


Byline: Peter Dominiczak City Hall Correspondent

EVERY convicted rioter should be forced to make a personal apology to victims of the violence, Boris Johnson said today.

The Mayor is calling for looters and other offenders to say sorry in person and be made to form a community army to help clean up London.

He has written to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke to say that the Government must make sure that rioters "are made to face up to the enormity of their appalling conduct".

Urging Mr Clarke to force every convicted rioter to do unpaid community service as part of their sentence, the Mayor said youngsters involved in the violence should be sent to Borstalstyle schools . He writes: "I am sure you must be deeply concerned, as I am, about the need to ensure that all those convicted of charges relating to the recent riots are made to face up to the enormity of their appalling conduct and the impact that it has had on their community.

"As a starting point, I would hope you do all within your powers to ensure that ALL those convicted as a result of the disturbances in the capital are required -- as part of their sentence -- to meet representatives of their victims to hear first hand the impact that their criminal actions have had on businesses and residents and to apologise for their disgusting behaviour.

"I do not believe there would be any shortage of Londoners willing to spell out in detail just how these events have damaged their lives."

Mr Johnson, who faced criticism for appearing to be slow to return to London from a family holiday in Canada at the start of the trouble, hailed the actions of Londoners who have helped to clean up after the riots.

But he said those involved in the disorder must also be made to do community service in areas that suffered. Sources close to the Mayor said: "Boris has been horrified by the actions of the rioters and his personal encounters with victims over the weekend have reinforced his belief that anyone convicted needs to make a personal apology. …

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