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In the race to be the toughest on law and order, in the aftermath of the riots and looting across the country earlier in the week, the Prime Minister and Communities Secretary have both said that convicted rioters should lose out on benefits and possibly even their social housing.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said in the House of Commons yesterday: "To the law-abiding people who play by the rules, and who are the overwhelming majority in our country, I say: the fightback has begun, we will protect you, if you've had your livelihood and property damaged, we will compensate you. We are on your side.

And to the lawless minority, the criminals who have taken what they can get, I say this: We will track you down, we will find you, we will charge you, we will punish you. You will pay for what you have done."

Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles echoed the PM: "There was a period in the early part of this week where people thought that looting was perceived as a consequence free crime. People need to understand that this is a very serious breakdown of society and that we can’t pussyfoot around. Rioters will not only face the consequences of the court but they will also face the consequences of the loss of their property."

Currently, local authorities have the power to evict social tenants who have commited crimes or cause anti-social if that offence takes place in the area of that local authority. Housing Minister Grant Shapps has already added provision to his consultation on "neighbours from hell", that will allow councils to take all and any offence that a council tenant commits, regardless of location.

Numerous councils have already said they wish to evict rioters from social housing, including Nottingham, Manchester, Salford, Westminster, Wandsworth, Greenwich and Hammersmith and Fulham.

And it's not just the politicians. An online petition to the government has garnered over 100,000 signatures demanding that rioters be stripped of all their benefit. Due to the number of signatures the epetition has received, a debate will be held in the House of Commons.

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By Dan
12 Aug 2011

Categories: Housing Benefit, Property Rentals

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