Over 1,000 people jailed in riots
One year on from the riots, prison sentences totalling over 1,800 years have been handed out to rioters. Trouble began in Tottenham last year after the police shot Mark Duggan, and quickly spread across the country.
So far, 1,292 offenders have been jailed, with an average custodial sentence of 16.8 months. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is still dealing with approximately 10 riot-related cases a week, and 308 defendants are still facing proceedings.
It is hoped that the majority of work will be complete by the end of 2012, but the CPS has admitted some rioters will never be caught. Over 3,000 people were prosecuted following the riots and 692 are still in prison today.
In an interview with BBC London, CPS chief prosecutor Alison Saunders said: “One thing we also learned in the disorder is that if we can get people in court fast and get them sentenced it acts as a deterrent – it made people think twice.
“I do think the criminal justice response was particularly important. People could see there were consequences.
“They could see the criminal justice system responding and that sent a really strong message from society that this was unacceptable.”
And the Metropolitan police said that there was more they could have done.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley added: “Could we have done better? We’ve been very honest, we could’ve done. The officers at the time were working their hearts out for their communities. Did we do everything we would have hoped to have done? No we didn't.”
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