The Riots - Police and Disaffected Youth

Investigations into what happened in Ealing and England in August

Related Links

'The best 3 Days of My Life' - Reading The Riots- The Guardian Investigation (as shown on Newsnight)

London Riots Hit Ealing

Shocking Night of Violence and Destruction, and

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Disturbances spread across England over the summer because of a lack of confidence in the police response to the initial riots according to an official report.

The Riots, Communities and Victims Panel has published its interim study and found that police response to riots in Tottenham had "encouraged people to test reactions in other areas".

The Metropolitan Police said it was doing all it could to learn lessons.

In a statement, the force said it was possible the trouble would not have spread had there been "more officers available, more quickly".

The panel said there was no single cause of the riots, but said it was shocked at the "collective pessimism" among the young people it spoke to.

The Guardian newspaper in conjunction with the London School of Economics backed up these findings in its  own investigation into the August riots.

They spoke to many involved and revealed a generation of disaffected youth who enjoyed what they were doing. One rioter likened the disturbances to the computer game 'Call of Duty' and described it as 'the best 3 days of my life'.

Watch their fascinating report here.

The Riots Communities and Victims report concluded: "We heard a range of motivations from the need for new trainers to a desire to attack society."

It added: "Lives were lost. Parents had to carry children out of burning homes, leaving a lifetime of possessions behind to be destroyed.

"Shopkeepers lost everything they had built up over many years. The consequences of the riots are still being felt.

"In many areas, there is an overriding sense of despair that people could destroy their own communities."

Panel chairman, former Ealing Council Chief Executive Darra Singh, said: "It is 30 years since the publication of the Scarman report [into rioting in Brixton, south London, in 1981].

"The panel is clear that the riots in August were very different disturbances to those in 1981. However, it is a sad fact that in some respects, the underlying challenges are strikingly similar.

"While deprivation is not an excuse for criminal behaviour, we must seek to tackle the underlying causes of the riots, or they will happen again.

"Our findings have led us to set out recommendations for immediate action by individuals, government, public services and business. The threat of future riots and the response to them is not somebody else's problem."


The Panel are keen that everyone who provided views for the report get to read it and provide feedback - there is an online response form in it.

The deadline for submitting evidence is February 1st


8th December 2011