LONDON, Aug. 11 (UPI) — Many of the 1,200 people arrested in Britain’s melee held jobs and some came from well-off families, court records of round-the-clock arraignments indicated.
A graphic designer, postal employee, dental assistant, teaching aide and forklift driver were among the occupations people being arraigned listed, the records indicated.
One woman, Laura Johnson, said she was the 19-year-old daughter of a successful company director who lived in a detached converted farmhouse in the suburban town of Orpington, southeast of London, with extensive grounds and a tennis court, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Still, many were racial and ethnic minorities who reported having no jobs and few prospects, indicating to some commentators the root causes of the five days of chaos lay in social deprivation and despair, The New York Times reported.
Prime Minister David Cameron said the actions of those who looted and committed arson showed a lack of “proper morals” and a failure of parenting.
He condemned the rioters as “groups of thugs.”
He also said contingency plans were now in place to deploy water cannons if needed as part of a police “fight-back” to contain the rioting and looting that has swept England since Saturday.
At an emergency House of Commons session Thursday, Cameron was expected to add to his denunciation of the violence, which he said Wednesday showed that “pockets of society” were not just broken “but frankly sick.”
He was also expected to lead a debate over whether the government’s harsh austerity measures contributed to the violence and the response.