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Responding to the interim report by the Independent Riots, Communities and Victims Panel published today, Sir Merrick Cockell, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said

"Councils were rightly praised by the Secretary of State for their swift and efficient work getting services and neighbourhoods cleaned up after the riots, and supporting businesses and families who fell victim to mindless attacks. Extra money provided by Government was well spent getting businesses and families back on their feet as quickly as possible.

"As the report acknowledges, the root causes of the civil disturbances we saw earlier this year vary from area to area. As a result, the best ways to address the underlying problems and prevent anything similar happening again will also differ. There is no one-size fits all solution.

"What we now need to see is public sector agencies working more closely together. Councils have led the way on this and Whitehall needs to catch up.

"In the next stage of its work the panel has committed to look at issues related to parenting, families and opportunities for young people. We know that violence in the street often starts with trouble in the home. Local authorities are ideally positioned to bring together services, support and – where appropriate – interventions to help families afflicted by addiction, domestic violence or long-term unemployment. It is vital that any new approach harnesses the wealth of expertise local government workers have to offer.

"Understandably there will now be concerns about what happens once rioters are released from prison and back into society. The Local Government Association is working with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the National Offender Management Service to ensure that information about prison releases is shared. This will allow councils, police and the probation service to work closely together to get the perpetrators back on the straight and narrow, and reduce the risk of them re-offending."


Written by Scott Buckler
Monday, 28 November 2011 15:03

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