17:33 03 July 2012
British police have voiced their concern that a repeat of last year's summer riots that swept the nation will return this year, as evidenced in a new report.
Researchers interviewed 130 officers from all ranks of the service as part of The Reading the Riots research conducted by the London School of Economics and the Guardian newspaper.
Many of which believed that they thought a lot of rioters "got away with it" and would deem the event "fun" when unpunished. They also cited increasingly poor social and economic conditions as reasons for why the riots could be revived.
One superintendent from Greater Manchester voiced popular fears among the force that the riots would return within the year.
He said: "I think if you have bad economic times, hot weather, some sort of an event that sets it off... my answer is: ‘Yes, it could’.
"Because I don’t think anything has changed between now and last August, and the only thing that’s different is people have thought: riots are fun."
The report also revealed that the police were "stretched" as the riots spread the nation after beginning in London and that they struggled to deploy enough staff. Those interviewed expressed a concern over how budget cuts will affect future responses.
Regarding how rioters would often team up to target emergency services, Liverpool officers described the rioters' attitude as: "They hate us, with a vengeance... there is a gang element, it’s like a wolf pack."
"Police expect a repeat of the riots that spread across England last summer, and are concerned about whether they will have the resources to cope with future unrest on that scale," the study concluded.
The government hopes to make cuts around 20% to police budgets and activate pay freezes and higher pension contributions. Contrasting that, the national security has been sharply increased as the Olympics draw closer.
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