Massive kudos to The Guardian for their in-depth efforts at studying the riots that took place in London and beyond this Summer, which you can spot on their UK Riots section. Tacked on to that is their Reading the Riots page, which is highly informative and the reason for our post this morning as they have recently unveiled parts of the study they did in collaboration with the London School of Economics, on the riots.
The report by LSE and The Guardian, is based upon interviews of 270 people, who rioted in London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham, Manchester and Salford, first person accounts from rioters and 2.5 million riot-related tweets (phwoar!). The study will be released in parts over the next five days. (The interim report is available in full here).
Researching Reform was happy to note that our belief around the gangster theory being a myth was true as the report explains gangs were not at the heart of the riots, social media was not used in any real effort to formulate widespread attacks and that the rioters themselves were from very diverse and eclectic backgrounds.
The motivations for rioting appeared to be many: political dissatisfaction, intensely felt social exclusion and very tellingly, how people, especially teenagers and young adults, felt mistreated by authority figures. Perhaps a warning signal that government should not seek to take a step back into the dark ages and rule with an iron fist, but should perhaps evolve the cultures inside our justice systems to offer meaningful solutions to what are sure to be growing problems.
If this topic interests you, why not come along to our debate in the House of Commons on Monday 12th December which will be looking at the riots and what professionals inside the family justice system and beyond can do to help support young people and make sure they receive the respect and compassion they deserve.
Everyone is welcome, but please do let us know if you would like to come as seats are limited.
You can read more articles on the riots on our sister site, here.