It's the word of the week, and for once the journalists, and some members of the public, have nailed it. It means wild, or even better, reverted to the wild, and that's exactly what's happening. For the people in question, there wasn't far to go. I'll come back to that. First, four frontline suggestions:
1. Be like the Turks. I'm not particularly proposing vigilantism, but those Turkish shopkeepers who just stood up in front of their property and said 'bring it on', and got a result, had the right approach.
2. Parental responsibility. Any child, that is someone under eighteen living at home, who intends to go out without a very good reason has to be grounded. If they refuse, then the parents must tell them that the locks will be changed and they will not be allowed back in the house, ever. If the child calls the bluff, follow through.
3. Car boot sales or equivalent. We all know that there's a vibrant hidden economy built upon stolen or dodgy goods. (It's not as bad here as it is in Greece or Spain or Italy, but it's rife.) So downgrade all that. All that looted stuff is going somewhere. There's a limit to how many HDTVs or Imodium capsules you can steal for your own use. The police should be prowling those places over the next few weeks.
4. Arrests. Two people were openly interviewed on BBC TV this evening, effectively defending the violence and looting. They must be arrested and charged with incitement.
But of course none of that cuts to the quick. The trouble is that looting is the cultural norm. A letter to today's Guardian expressed it better than I can, but just consider: bankers, MPs, media slags, police, kids ... they're all looters. The more that moral decline persists and blooms, the less chance there is of us getting back to decency and compassion and fairness.
We're all going feral. 'Agenbite of inwit'. That's what we're losing. Remorse of conscience.