City: British society is broken and tough measures are needed to stop more riots

DAVID Cameron is right to conclude that British society is “broken” in light of the recent riots, according to members of the City A.M./ PoliticsHome Voice of the City Panel – and the government and police must take a much tougher stance to prevent a repeat of the unrest.

An overwhelming majority of panellists (70 per cent), agreed with the idea that British society was “broken”, compared to 28 per cent who disagreed, suggesting the City agrees with the Prime Minister’s argument that a “slow-motion moral decline” is to blame for the riots.

There was significant backing for tough measures to prevent further riots in the future. Almost all the panellists (95 per cent) said they agreed with plans to radically reform the welfare system to get more people into work.

Eighty-five per cent said they wanted to see the introduction of “zero-tolerance policing”, which would see the police press charges for even the most minor offences.

Over three quarters of panellists (77 per cent) agreed with proposals to remove benefits from convicted rioters, and 63 per cent thought they should be evicted if they live in a council house. Sixty-four per cent thought that tax breaks for married couples would also help prevent future riots.

Meanwhile, a majority of panellists (52 per cent) said it was unfair to blame a “culture of greed”, including bankers, for the riots, as some commentators have tried to, compared to 40 per cent who thought it was fair.