Voice of Lincoln: Rioting nation

Youths in Hackney take a trolley as they roam volatile streets during the London riots. Photo:: Jacek Barcikowski

Since riots were triggered in London, further demonstrations of violence have erupted in cities across the country. As authorities decide how best to address the volatile situation, we asked how Lincolnites feel about the riots and those involved.

Harriet Davies (31) Lincoln, PhD student

“It doesn’t make any sense to me; I don’t understand how a protest can turn into a bunch of riots. It just seems like people have jumped on a bandwagon to misbehave really. I sort of understand [where it’s come from] but then there’s part of me that thinks, has it really come to this? It’s just a shame that there isn’t another way that people can have an outlet. And that’s a big problem if people can’t protest peacefully. It’s a tricky one.”

Geoffrey Kettleborough (76) Cherry Willingham, retired

“It’s absolutely awful. In fact I’m ashamed to be English. I think most of [the rioters] are opportunists. Over the last few decades I think there has been a lack of discipline. I think national service did a lot to instil discipline in younger people. I think the courts are starting to crack down on offenders now, and I think that will have results.”

Jane George (63) Lincoln, retired

“It’s just terrible what’s happening. It just seems that these people aren’t connected to society. They are somehow disconnected from everything that is valuable and caring about one another and wanting to make life better for the whole country.

“Having said that, I don’t think that they’ve had a lot of encouragement. I feel that is so hard for young people to get a job unless they can tick all of the boxes; unless they’ve got supportive parents and a reasonable degree of intelligence and that they understand that it’s important to go to school. They have to try so hard to get up the ladder these days. But I don’t understand people who already have a job looting.”

Heather Marshall (18) Lincoln, student

“I think it’s ridiculous. [The rioters] are going too far now. They’re making no point at all and they’re taking it out on the shops. It’s pretty much a free for all and anybody thinking that they can do whatever they want, but they really can’t. I don’t know what they’re actually rioting about really.”

Alex Maidment (18) Lincoln, student

“I think it’s an absolute disgrace. I don’t think they’re fighting for anything. It’s stupid now, and we need to do something about it. I can understand partially their point of view and the beginning of it, but it’s gone way too far. Their argument just isn’t strong enough for what they’re doing. Having seen where it’s spread so far, I don’t think it will spread over here.”

Rachel Chipperfield (25) Sleaford, Territorial Army

“If it’s about what some are saying it’s about, because of Mark Duggan, then it’s a bit silly, because why cause so much chaos for all other innocent parties just for the death of one person? They’re just using it as an excuse. I totally agree with [cutting benefits for the convicted] because if you’ve done something that doesn’t make you deserving of anything, why should you have it handed to you on a plate if you’re just going to go out and ruin your country?”