Where did the respect go?

Last night I watched the concluding part of the BBC Documentary ‘The Riots in their own words‘. Last week I watched the first episode which focused on the rioters themselves, although with actors speaking for them. And quite frankly I watched it with my mouth open, jaw practically on the floor. The lack of respect by most of them and their attitudes shocked me. The hatred they had for the police and what they stood for. The young lad who believed he was getting revenge on companies who hadn’t employed him when he went looking for a job, although with his attitude I can see why they didn’t employ him.

But what shocked me the most about that episode was the fact that middle aged women were so openly showing a hatred for the police. What the actual f**k? Women who should know better! Women who appeared to have been brought up in middle class families that respect the police and what they represent and stand for. Their attitudes were just shocking and to openly admit that they did it and not be ashamed of it I found pretty baffling. At least one of the young girls featured appeared to be somewhat sorry for her actions, although that may be only because she was punished.

Last night focused on the police. Now don’t get me wrong. I get where some of those people were coming from, I get why they rioted, the poverty in London at the moment is at extreme levels and unemployment/housing is a huge issue. But that shouldnt have meant they attacked innocent businesses, individuals homes, and police. Thats NOT how to make a stand against your problems. Some of those police were genuinely terrified, infact I suspect the majority out there on those nights were pretty terrified and do you know what, I don’t blame them! What they did, stepping out there night after night, battling with low numbers against people who were looking for the blood of an officer was pretty bloody brave in my book and they all deserve a massive pat on the back.

What I don’t understand is where the respect has gone from our society? I was brought up in an environment where you listened to the police, you did as you were told, you maybe even feared them a little if you did something wrong, you respected what they stood for and their authority, we were taught that you listened to courts/judges/jury and what the justice system stood for, that if court orders were in place that meant you did or didn’t do something, you respected those decisions made by judges. So where along the lines has that respect got lost? Is it because the poverty is taking over and the police are the front line? I really don’t understand what changed. The mothers of some of those teenagers interviewed should probably feel ashamed of themselves for the children they have brought up but I fear they don’t for they are probably the reason the teenagers have that attitude in the first place…

I know I’m bringing my boys up to respect the justice system and the policing system, they are still young and my eldest only has a very basic understanding of what the police do but I’m sure over the coming years that knowledge will expand. I’d be interested to hear how my readers are bringing their children up to respect the police/authority figures?

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