Safermedia’s response to the riots and looting on our streets  

The Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee (HAC) held an emergency meeting on Thursday 11 August, to consider the terms of reference for their Inquiry into the Causes and Policing of the Riots.  We sent them a submission  to feed into that meeting and trust that our substantial past involvement with the HAC will give weight to our argument, that violent media content is partly to blame for the riots.  We have also noted the role of the news media.

Just one example we give is the hugely popular videogame (produced in the UK) ‘Grand Theft Auto’ which glamorises criminal and anti-social behaviour.    Many onlookers have noted the sheer criminality, greed and even enjoyment of the rioters and looters and discounted purely sociological reasons for their behaviour.  Sadly this is not surprising in a generation raised on media which portrays anti-social behaviour as fun, cool, and entertaining.  For a sobering description of Grand Theft Auto, go to:

http://www.listal.com/viewimage/282475h

We also wrote to the Home Secretary, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, to Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP and to Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor for Policing, London.

Safermedia’s Submission to HAC re Inquiry into riots

The letter we sent to the  Home Secretary,  Rt Hon Theresa May MP:   click here to read         

ACTION

With MPs also gathering in Parliament to discuss the serious social disorder that we witnessed around the country, it was important to draw their attention to the influence of the media as one of the causes.  We asked supporters to:

 1.  Email your own MP supporting our arguments (see below and attached).   To make it as easy as possible, you can write just a short message and then attach the points we make.  You can also call the House of Commons on 020 7219 3000, and ask for your MP’s office.  If no one is there, leave a message.

 2.  Forward this email to your own contacts and churches.

 3.  If you use them, post this topic on Facebook and Twitter.

 4.  Pray for our Nation and for our young people at this time.

Our urgent requests were therefore that the government should:

1. Examine the harmful role of anti-social and violent media content and ‘entertainment’ in the recent riots.  It is largely videogames, films, TV and pop music that form youth culture, and currently many of them normalise and glamorise lawless and violent behaviour, while undermining authority.

2. Consider how the media can be regulated far more effectively, so that parents and police are not undermined.

3.  Look at the role of the news media who, by giving massive television coverage to the riots have probably, albeit inadvertently, provided criminals with strategic information and also made copycat behaviour far more likely among younger viewers.