THREE YEARS OF RI­OTS

Former Met boss warns un­rest has only just started

Midweek Sport - - FRONT PAGE - By SI­MON DEAN

Aberdeen BRI­TAIN should brace it­self for THREE YEARS of ri­ots like the ones seen on our streets this sum­mer.

Former Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice com­mis­sioner Lord Stevens said that vi­o­lence and blood­shed would be one of the “main is­sues” for cops in the near fu­ture.

Lord Stevens said it was his “gut feel­ing and be­yond” that vi­o­lence on the streets would put of­fi­cers in “very dif­fi­cult” sit­u­a­tions.

His com­ments came at the launch of an “independent com­mis­sion” on the fu­ture of polic­ing.

The com­mis­sion, whose mem­bers in­clude Howard Safir, for­merly of the New York Po­lice Depart­ment, will look at what’s ex­pected of the po­lice, their role in so­ci­ety and how to best equip them to cut crime and in­crease pub­lic con­fi­dence.

It will also con­sider how they are held to ac­count, the bureau­cracy af­fect­ing their work and the need to strike the right bal­ance be­tween lo­cal and national pri­or­i­ties.

Lord Stevens warned about the dan­ger of pub­lic dis­or­der re­turn­ing over the com­ing years.

He said: “My own be­lief is – and it’s a very per­sonal one – that over the next 18 months, two to three years, one of the main is­sues will be pub­lic or­der, or rather pub­lic dis­or­der.

“I don’t think any­one would dis­agree with that in terms of the chal­lenges fac­ing polic­ing. We’ll be look­ing at that in some de­tail.”

As the com­mis­sion’s chair­man he added: “My gut feel­ing and be­yond is that it’s go­ing to be a very dif­fi­cult 18 months to two years, but I hope to God I’m wrong.”

Lord Stevens re­called how he re­stored or­der af­ter ri­ots when he was boss of Northum­bria Po­lice.

He said it had been “ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial” to give the youth “some hope for the fu­ture”.

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