Former NYPD Police Commission Bill Bratton, who was hired under Mayor Giuliani and is widely credited with stemming the city's reputation for crime through the broken-window theory and Compstat, has been appointed as an unpaid "consultant" to Scotland Yard. Bratton was personally chosen by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who told Parliament that the UK "should be looking beyond our shores to learn the lesson from others," with regard to the widespread rioting that has gripped London in recent days. "He thanked me for accepting the engagement," Bratton told the Daily News, "I thanked him for the opportunity."
Cameron originally wanted to hire Bratton to lead Scotland Yard, which also handles security for the entire country, but that was dismissed by the British Home Secretary, who stated that a British Citizen should lead the agency. "If it had been open, I certainly would have looked with great interest at possibly applying," Bratton told ABC News.
But some members of London's police force aren't happy about Bratton's new position. "To micromanage, or get so-called experts in, instead of listening to their own police chiefs and their own experienced officers in the Met [Metropolitan Police] is a slap in the face for British policing," a retired London officer tells the LA Times. "No disrespect to the Americans, or to Mr. Bratton…but they're a completely different culture, different ways of policing," he says. Indeed, a union leader for London's police tells the Post, "America polices by force. We don't want to do that in this country."
1,700 people have been arrested since the riots broke out on August 6, and Bratton, who prominently dealt with gang violence during his seven-year tenure at the LAPD, said, "There's a clear concern that gangs were very significantly involved in the rioting."
However, many have pointed to an extremely stagnant job market for Britain's youth as well as a widespread disillusionment with the government, and the squeezing of the middle and lower classes as more pertinent causes for the riots than merely "gang violence." One columnist and political activist has even said, "I don’t call it rioting. I call it an insurrection of the masses of the people."