Theresa May defends handling of Joey Barton situation

author avatar by 12 years ago

Home Secretary Theresa May has defended the government’s approach to the police handling of Joey Barton after another weekend of mindless violence against Arsenal.

Senior police staff have criticised ministers for inconsistency over the guidance issued on how fiercely to deal with the midfield rioter, currently playing for Newcastle United.

A defiant May said, “We have to learn lessons from the way the latest outbreak has been allowed to persist.”

“It’s clear that the public want tough action, and in the future we’ll have to ensure that the police know what is expected of them in the Barton context.”

“On a positive note, the start of the Premier League has shifted the unrest from the streets onto the pitch, thereby containing it somewhat.”

Barton violence simmering

After gaining control in London and Birmingham after a week of riots, it seemed that the police were too stretched to deal with football matches across the country, as hundreds of bored young men like Barton unleashed their frustration at having had nothing to do all summer.

“Sometimes we feel like we’re between a Northern Rock and a hard place,” explained Charlie Garrett of Northumbria police.

“If we take him in we’re accused of excessive force, and if we don’t he ends up strangling someone in front of thousands of fans.”

“We understand that we have to clamp down. If possible we’ll block his Twitter account, which seems to be the main cause of the trouble.”