Angie Bray MP Calls For More ' Robust' Policing

Ealing Central and Acton MP writes about recent local events

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''This morning we heard of the tragic death of Richard Mannington Bowes, a brave fellow Ealing resident who stood up to the yobs that attacked our town on Monday night. Mr Bowes died after defending what was right, and our thoughts should be with his family and friends.

I am encouraged that the police have been so quick to move in and make the arrest of a man suspected of being involved in his murder. A twenty-two-year old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder, rioting and carrying out three burglaries. Anyone found to be involved must be made to face up to the full consequences of their actions, and be punished accordingly.

I made this point in a question to the Prime Minister yesterday, as MPs gathered in Parliament to discuss the shocking events of the past week. In my question, I asked the Prime Minister to assure the people of Ealing that those found guilty of being caught up in the riots on our streets will feel the full force of the law, including prison sentences. His response made clear that anyone taking part in violent disorder should expect to go to prison.

A general debate followed the Prime Minister’s statement and I made a speech about the attack on our town centre. I stressed the need for a more robust response from our police and made the point that our country needs to have a debate about the kind of policing it wants. Too often we hear criticism that on occasion they are too heavy-handed, and next they are accused of being too soft. It is up to the public, their elected representatives and the police to have a debate and decide exactly what policing we want. Policing in this country is performed by consent. The police need our consent if they are to go in and provide a more robust response, which is the sort of response that I am happy to see and for which they would certainly have my consent.

The other big question everyone was asking is how parents can allow their young kids to be out on the streets after dark, knowing that there is trouble around and seeming not to care whether they get caught up in it. It is all very well demanding more of Government and more of the police, but we should also demand more responsibility from certain parents who just do not seem to care. So often it is their communities that take the hit, with businesses and shops shutting and jobs being lost.

Nowhere that has come under attack over the past few days has deserved it; Ealing certainly has not. It is a wonderful place to live and work, and it is already back in business, although a number of shops and small businesses will need all the help that they can get to get back on their feet. I very much welcome what we heard yesterday about how we will help them to do just that, but we in Ealing want to know that, if trouble springs again, the police will be in a position to respond effectively and decisively with public support, and that those troublemakers who have brought such misery to our community will be brought to justice and given the punishment that they deserve.

In the meantime, we mourn the death of Mr Mannington Bowes. He was clearly a good neighbour and an upstanding citizen. On the night when he was attacked, he was simply doing his duty as a loyal member of the local community. Obviously, our thoughts must be with his family and friends at this sad time, but the whole community has lost a good friend. Society can ill afford to lose decent people like Mr Mannington Bowes. We are all the poorer without him.''

Angie Bray

The Council has set up the Richard Mannington Bowes Relief Fund to help businesses and the community get back on its feet in the wake of the riots, and the Union flag was flown at half mast from Ealing Town Hall on Friday in his memory. 



Anyone who can assist should call the incident room on 020 8721 4205; if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.



12 August 2011