Stat of the day: £100m

The potential cost to the taxpayer of cleaning up after the riots.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

After four nights of rioting across London and other British cities, someone's got to pay for the damage and it looks like the burden will fall on the taxpayer.

Although it's too early to glean the full extent of the damage, it's thought the bill could run to more than £100m, according to estimates from the Association of British Insurers. That's because of a law dating back 125 years, which says certain damage to domestic and business property should be picked up by police authorities. Ouch. The Riots Act 1886 says local police authorities must compensate victims 'where possible' - which, of course, comes from public funds. We can't imagine it's a law that will be around for much longer...

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