Stop the unfair evictions of the families of those connected to the London riots
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We, the undersigned, call on the Government to stop the evictions of families and relatives of those involved in the London riots.
No one should be punished for a crime they did not commit; no family should be penalised and made to suffer because of the actions of one individual. This does not happen in any other circumstance and we call on the Government to ensure justice is carried out consistently and fairly, in line with the democratic values the legal and political systems of the UK are based upon.
These measures would not only be unjust and unlawful, but counter-productive and irresponsible.
The most striking example of the retributive justice which seems to have followed the riots is that of Wandsworth council serving an eviction notice to the mother of an 18-year-old boy accused of violent disorder and attempted theft. The teenager has not even been convicted yet but has appeared in court in connection with disturbances on Monday at Clapham Junction.
We also call on the Government to review the sentences handed to those found to be involved in the riots. Of particular concern is the case of a five-month prison sentence handed down to a young mother who did not take part in the riots but who accepted a pair of shorts a friend of hers had stolen.
We believe such a sentence is not proportionate to the crime committed, and represents a disproportionately high retaliatory measure.
We are also very concerned about the “naming and shaming” of young individuals thought to be connected to the riots. The youth who took part in the riots committed serious criminal acts which should be judged and punished accordingly in the courts, but they should not be stigmatised and written off any future opportunity of redemption by being paraded indiscriminately in the media.
We, the undersigned, categorically condemn the violence and criminal activity which have taken place during the riots, but we call on the Government to refrain from “knee-jerk” retributive measures; and to uphold the democratic values the United Kingdom is known and admired for.