An e-petition calling for those involved in the riots and looting to have their benefits cut received so many signatures the government website crashed.

The petition voices anger that taxpayers should have to support those who vandalised and looted their own community.

Yesterday, more than 78,000 people had signed the petition ( by the time the website crashed. If 100,000 people sign, parliament could be forced to vote on whether rioters and looters should have their benefits cut.

Teacher, 31, was London rioter
London residents form anti-looting patrols
Hackney woman who confronted looters – identified

The e-petition, created by Stephen Main, states:

“Any persons convicted of criminal acts during the current London riots should have all financial benefits removed.

"No taxpayer should have to contribute to those who have destroyed property, stolen from their community and shown a disregard for the country that provides for them.”

However, the site is experiencing such high demand it is still inaccessible.

Government e-petition website
No kidding?

“Something went wrong,” reads the (unintentionally ironic) message on the government website.

“Sorry if you're experiencing problems accessing e-petitions. There is currently a much higher level of demand than we expected.”

The governments’ e-petition website, which went live last week, has experienced problems from the start.

On its first day the site received more than 1,000 unique visits a minute, or 1.5m visits a day.

E-petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures will be handed to the backbench business committee to be debated in parliament.

Have you signed an e-petition? What do you think about rioters and looters having their benefits cut?