You must have seen the films where police batten down the hatches knowing that a turf war is breaking out on the streets.
So it is very unfortunate that the authorities who shot Mark Duggan and then kept his family hanging about outside their station, as rumours and anger grew, did not take more immediate action to ensure that they beefed up both soft and hard power in the Tottenham area; simultaneously speaking extremely softly and carrying a much bigger stick.
If you wish for peace, prepare for war.
They must have known who they were dealing with, as we are now told, Mark Duggan was the nephew by marriage of Desmond Noonan, and a man who spent his formative years visiting with the Noonan Family in Manchester, as they in turn used to stay with him and his family when in the Capital.
For three years Donal MacIntyre followed "the trials and tribulations of Dominic Noonan", head of the Family, making a documentary film called "A Very British Gangster". Described by the New Statesman as "a crime lord of misrule who parodically bought old police cars and ambulances to make up the fleet of his new "security" company", Mr Noonan has frankly declared that “I've got a bigger army than the police. We have more guns than the police.”
It is said that "the family act as an unofficial community police force or social service – with many neighbours and associates preferring to come to the Noonans in times of trouble or family crisis rather than go to the relevant authorities often insisting that doing so is more beneficial."
How has it escaped wider public notice over the last week that the family motto is; "Look after those that look after you, fuck off those that fuck off you", something which sounds all too prescient after four days when the police lost control of large areas of of our English cities to gangs of the young, and not so young?
So one question people really ought to be asking is, who is in charge in England now, the bickering politicians and police, or the gangs who now replace the broken family structures in our cities?
Unfortunately for the authorities - and the rest of us - the cat is now out of the bag. After this exercise the gangs now know that, given an element of surprise, they can pull out large enough numbers over wide enough areas to flexibly achieve whatever ends they choose.