A lively debate has erupted over a petition to remove the right to claim benefits from those who have participated in the terrifying lawlessness of the past few days.

Sparked by the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham by police on Thursday, what began as a protest over the viewed mishandling of the case, quickly descended into what seems like a free for all across the UK, with youths causing chaos and stretching police resources to the absolute limit. The petition ‘Convicted London rioters should loose all benefits’, ignited online by Stephan Mains, has been gaining support rapidly and currently stands at 69,000 supporters. The government has vowed to review the appeal if it is to reach 100,000 signatures, but will such drastic measures across the board do more harm than good? Not only does it suggest that the youths committing the looting and vandalism are from deprived backgrounds solely, but it will do nothing to quell the mounting class tensions and the fallout out may prove to bring about far worse consequences than has been seen already.

Extremist political groups are already using the riots as a platform to assert their own agendas, so possibly pushing our young people into further unemployment, lack of education and financial hardship, will do nothing but evoke more anger thus spurring these groups on.

There are various angles from which to assess the misery that has struck hundreds over the weekend, what do you think is the best course of action to improve the devasting situation that London, Birmingham and other cities have found themselves in?

Please post your comments below.

Words by Catherine Ababio