DUNCAN BARKES Why not let the thugs have a taste of their own medicine?

The recent riots have left the nation reeling. But it’s not just the shockingly lawless and aggressive behaviour I find staggering.

The argument that certain members of society riot because of their circumstances is utterly insulting to law-abiding people.

There are NO excuses for hurling bricks at the police or nicking plasma TVs and the latest trainers.

Playing the victim card has become the automatic response. Self-appointed spokespeople have been littering our TV screens making excuses for the rampaging scum.

Laws exist to protect people and their properties. If you break these laws then you must face the consequences.

I’m astounded that anyone would even attempt to justify such revolting conduct.

The tardy response and delayed condemnation by our politicians is also shocking.

They should be truly ashamed. The moment it kicked off in Tottenham, the prime minister should have been on the first flight home. Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, was no better.

Of course they have a right to take a holiday, but when London was burning our political elite were nowhere to be seen.

It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in their ability to protect us from brutal and anarchic yobs.

The shooting of a man by police triggered the riots in Tottenham.

His skin colour is irrelevant.

If a police officer feels his own safety or that of the public is in danger because a man is armed, then in my book it is perfectly acceptable for the officer in question to open fire.

What’s a copper supposed to do, wait to be shot at?

But the police have their hands tied. This is because the last decade has seen them transformed from a ‘force’ to a ‘service’. I want the police to uphold the law, not reach out to those who feel disenfranchised or disengaged. That is the job of politicians.

Personally, I believe the army should have been deployed. I am not suggesting armed soldiers, but it is clear that part of the problem the police faced was a sheer lack of manpower.

Had they seen a team of squaddies blocking their way then the marauding morons would have legged it. So what if a few fists and boots fly?

If it means that hardworking, law-abiding people can feel safe in their homes, and that business owners do not have their livelihoods literally trampled into the ground, then so be it. Would it really be so bad if a few thugs got a taste of their own medicine?

Despite all the anger and outrage there are, mercifully, some amazing examples of humility and dignity. From the Sikhs who joined forces to protect a nearby mosque, to the hundreds who took to the streets to help clear up their communities.

The man who brought tears to my eyes was bereaved father Tariq Jahan, whose son was killed in the riots in Birmingham as he stood guarding shops from looters.

Calling for calm, this gentleman defused a potentially lethal situation. Mr Jahan is an example to us all.

But it doesn’t matter what my opinions are, or if you agree with them or not.

No, what matters is pegging this horrific and violent behaviour and making sure that it never happens again.

What worries me most, however, is the lack of practical solutions.