Nick Clegg is calling on rioters to “look their victims in the eye” and clean up the damage they caused last week.
The deputy prime minister outlined plans on Tuesday morning for “punishment that sticks”, making rioters meet shopkeepers and home owners that their behaviour affected.
"I want offenders to be punished – and to change their ways," he said.
“Victims of crime are only truly protected if punishment leads to criminals not committing crime again. Criminals must be punished and then made to change their ways.
“That’s why those people who behaved so despicably last week should have to look their victims in the eye.
“They should have to see for themselves the consequences of their actions and they should be put to work cleaning up the damage and destruction they have caused so they don’t do it again.
“We want people to be punished for their wrongdoing. We also want them to stop doing wrong. We want their future behaviour to change. We need punishment that sticks.”
The deputy prime minister urged “swift” and “strong” justice, saying: “Crime and lawlessness deprive ordinary, decent people of their freedom.
“Violence and disorder are an attack on liberty, on the freedom of individuals to live and work in peace in their own communities.
“I am passionately convinced that swift, strong justice needs to be done when people break the laws and moral rules of society.”
His comments come amid reports that magistrates have been told by courts to hand out strong punishments to rioters. The Daily Telegraph reported a memo sent to by “senior justice clerks” in London told them to take the exceptional behavior of looters, rioters and arsonists into account by sending them to Crown Courts for longer sentences.
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