No, not quite

I\’ve posted this before yet asinine MSM reporters continue to make statements on air such as \’leaving businesses with a big bill\’. So any journalists reading please pay close attention. Look at your insurance policy; go the exclusions and find the word that occurs between \’radioactivity\’ and \’terrorism\’. Yep. Riot. All that damage – if caused by 12 or more persons in a group acting in common purpose – is riot damage and excluded from all insurance policies. So who pays? The taxpayer does. Under the Riot and Damages Act of 1886, claims (in London) are met in the first instance by the Met police – and are then reclaimed from council tax payers by an increase in the police precept. Except Council taxes have been pegged – so now something will have to close to pay for it, like a leisure centre or a community youth project – with the site probably sold to a commercial developer. And these monkeys think they\’re smart.

There\’s a truth there but it\’s not all of the truth.

For the riot exemption to come into play in an insurance contract the police have to charge someone with riot.

And as the police (and then the taxpayers) have to pay for the damages caused by a riot the police are very, very, wary of charging anyone with riot.

I\’m told that, although have not checked or even know where to check, that during the poll tax riots no one was actually charged with riot.

Incentives do matter you know…..

11 comments on “No, not quite

  1. What does that mean then, that neither the insurance or coppers will pay, and it will come out of the owners pocket?

  2. A riot has to be “declared” by a magistrate.

    But I can not really think of many magistzrates willing to stand in the middle of Woolich and read a ten page document to the quietly listening crowd, before they go on the merry (now OFFICIALY (The magistrate said so)) rioting.

    It is where the phrase “Reading the riot act” comes from.

    They won’t do it, because, as you pointed out, the conjoined insurance companys would stop putting millions into party funds….. ah, sorry (A little cynasism slipping out there)….would not be very happy campers at all.

  3. “A riot has to be “declared” by a magistrate.”

    Not any more. The Riot Act was repealed in 1973.

  4. Furor Teutonicus, the Riot Act was abolished in the 1960s or 70s, having not been used for years (I think the last time it was tried, some brighter-than-usual spark amongst the rioters stopped it by grabbing the piece of paper).

    There is now no need for magistrates to read anything.

    I think there is still a sort-of-equivalent of ‘Reading the Riot Act’, where a police officer can order a crowd to disperse, but that doesn’t make the assembly a formal riot.

  5. Ah, Ian beat me to it.

    But Tim, are you sure about needing to charge someone for it to be a riot? Agreed that it’s much easier to prove that there was a riot if someone has been convicted of rioting, but I’d be surprised if that’s the only way.

  6. Here’s the declaration from the old Riot Act, that had to be read out by a Justice of the Peace, sheriff or mayor, “with loud voice”:

    “Our sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God save the King.”

    The rioters then had an hour (which seems generous) to get away.

    If they didn’t, then anyone assisting the authorities to arrest or remove the rioters was indemnified for any injury or death that they might cause in so doing.

    That indemnity was the really powerful bit of the Riot Act. Nothing about ‘reasonable’ force; once the hour was up, if any rioters were still there you could have a go at them with all you had.

    Hence the enthusiasm of staunch Tories to sign up as special constables or militia for things like ‘Peterloo’ and the Chartist Riots – a good excuse to bash a few socialists under full legal indemnity.

  7. Best advice is to check your own insurance policy as each insure has a different approach and excludes different things etc.

    The general points noted by commercial insurers in respect of loss caused by Riot is:-

    1. Get a Police Crime Ref for Riot Damage and notify your claim to your Insurer within 7 days.
    2. Theft of Stock may be excluded by your insurer.
    3. Damage to business vehicles parked on the public highway may be excluded.
    4. Damage/Fire to Unoccupied Buildings is often excluded.
    5. A higher excess may apply.

    So the advice is that you may be insured in part or in full..if your not insured in full or part then you may still be able to claim against the Met Police or Government directly.

  8. One of our Insurer Partners advised: –

    “The local police authority has a legal responsibility to reimburse anyone sustaining damage to property as the result of a riot under the Riot Damages Act 1886. Any claim under the Act must ‘’be made in writing and received by the local police authority within 14 days of the alleged incident”.

    Insurers typically include within their Claims Notification Clause to the policy a requirement for any claim for riot and/or civil commotion to be notified to Insurers immediately with full supporting documentation. This needs to be received within seven days of the incident occurring specifically to prevent a recovery action being turned down by the police authority on basis that the action is time barred. Insurers are entitled to recover their outlays under the principle of subrogation.

    Anyone claiming needs to be aware that they must notify their Insurers immediately of any damage but equally important is that they must be able to quantify and substantiate their losses with potentially both a schedule of loss and statement of truth within a week of the incident occurring.

    The Act excludes liability for loss or damage to cars left on public highways, goods left in shops for repair and/or consequential losses. Also all claims will be assessed in accordance with common law, which may not correlate directly to the basis of settlement provided for by the insurance contract.”

    If you are uninsured, I suggest that you get a Police Crime Reference, write your own claim report and seek legal help as a matter of urgency in order to meet the timelines and document requirements.

  9. Tim – useful additional info, which I’ll incorporate in any future references to this. As to ‘riot’ charges, the answer seems to be that they are frequently used, though somewhat disguised under ss1, Public Order Act 1986. The offence remains riot, though – and following the Bradford riots “over 100 defendants have been sentenced, the great majority for riot” though a few with lesser offence of violent disorder; I suspect the police describe all charges under the Act as ‘public order offences’ thus disguising the riot figures.

    Bailii has the appeal hearings from Bradford online at http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2003/194.html&query=najeeb&method=boolean if anyone’s interested – Najeeb set the standard ‘tariff’ for riot offences that will be applied when this weeks ‘ lads come to court.

  10. Urban myth number 27 – Charging a person with Riot (Section 1 of the Public Order Act 1986 – maximum sentence 10 years) DOES NOT make the police liable under the Riot Damages Act. Most police officers think it does!! If a riot occurs, it’s a riot. What people are arrested for or charged with makes no difference at all to police liability for damages claims. Police are only liable for damages to buildings and contents. If your car was parked on the street and it was torched, they have no liability to pay! If it was in your garage, they do. I wish CPS would charge people would stop simply charging people with the lesser offence of Violent Disorder (Section 2 of the Public Order Act) as that only has a maximum sentence of 5 years. It only hinders the judges from dishing out really severe punishments, which I believe they would like to do for a lot of the rioters. If this isn’t an appropriate time to charge with Section 1 Riot, when is?

    Tim adds: ” Most police officers think it does!!”…..That’s the important part, right there.

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