Just a brief thought for the day : it now looks quite possible that parliament will debate the draconian idea of withdrawing benefits from those convicted of looting, after the e-petition demanding that no taxpayers' money should be spent on the rioters passed the 'magic number' of 100,000 signatures (ie. less than 0.2% of the UK population). But it strikes me that an awful lot of those 100,000 people would probably also demand that those found guilty should spend a significant period of time in prison - which would, of course, entail 'putting them up' at taxpayers' expense.
Perhaps we should instead begin by working out what our objective in punishing criminals actually is, and then we can devise a more coherent way forward. Do we want retribution at any cost, or do we want to claw back every last penny of public money from the "unworthy"? We really can't do both.
And dare I mention the dirty word 'rehabilitation' at this point...?