Following on from some high profile cases of police brutality and disputes about reasonable force, the decision has been taken to use Hawkeye for all major riots in the UK. This move comes to try and give an instant verdict on the ‘field of play’ and save money on expensive trials to find police officers not guilty.
‘The technology can be used to see if an officer’s blow was 'below the belt'’, Stan Johnson, head of the newly formed Rioters Association (R.A) told us. ‘In fact Hawkeye will tell us if the whole of the truncheon was below the whole of the belt. Should that be the case, the offending officer will have to serve a 10 minute sin bin.’
The system is similar to the one used in Wimbledon, and will be run in the same way. Each side will get three challenges an hour. ‘If rioters feel that police have used excessive force, they can call for a Hawkeye decision’ Mr Johnson continued. ‘Play immediately stops and both sides need to move to a neutral pavement whilst the Hawkeye review is shown on big screens. Although there is a chance the police officer will serve a sin bin, any incorrect challenge by the rioter will result in a free squirt of CS spray for the police.’
Ben Hughs, chairman of the PRA, the Professional Rioters Association, told us his organisation welcomes the move, but warns it may lead to an unfair advantage for the ‘bigger teams’. ‘Those rioting in the lower leagues can’t afford the equipment to make this work. The National Union of Students for example riot in the Conference, and with their student debts they can’t even afford a good ‘Molotov Cocktail’ let alone Hawkeye. Add to that the fact the appeals office closes at 5pm, they’ll have to get up early to lodge a complaint.’
With the voices of concern from the lower leagues growing louder, defence of the system has come from rioting’s top division. Jonathan Tarry, a top player in the English Defence League told us ‘we need technology like this to take Britain’s second national sport to a new level. We have already let more teams play and have adopted team colours for spectators to tell the sides apart. Our last few riots have been mainly been Blacks verses Whites.’