London Riots 2011

London Riots

The August riots in London, Birmingham and other cities in England took the country by surprise. Our experts questioned what fuelled the fire – whether inequality, racism, spending cuts or hooliganism; examined the police’s response and the effect harsh sentencing might have on community reconciliation; and reflected on the underlying vulnerability of the British state.

The summer’s riots and the Occupy movement are both protests against, and a rejection of, an economy that is no longer working for most ordinary citizens.

2011 has seen the streets of London dramatically occupied, first with the riots and looting that struck in August, and more recently with the tents of the Occupy LSX encampment. Rodney Barker argues that both forms of ‘street theatre’ are a response to the perceived ills of the modern economy.

Local partnerships are effective in preventing the spread of gangs and gang violence. The government can’t afford not to invest in them.

Ramifications of this summer’s riots are still being felt. For some local authorities though, action was already being taken, even before the riots,  to address the gang culture that some have blamed for causing the disturbances. Here, Cllr Chris Robbins, Council Leader of the London Borough of Waltham Forest, discusses an approach being taken by the Borough that he believes […]

The history of riots in London shows that persistent inequality and injustice is always likely to breed periodic violent uprisings.

The August 2011 riots in London prompted many commentators to look back on previous riots in the city and the country to see what common threads, if any, run through outbreaks of public disorder. Jerry White examines the Gordon Riots, the Hyde Park riots of 1855 and the Brixton riots of 1981 and finds that perceived inequalities and injustice in […]

‘Performance protests’ get the most attention but they are neither radical nor innovative. They may even focus attention away from more important campaigns.

Student occupations of inner London department stores, barricades at Dale Farm, camps outside the Stock Exchange, and even the summer’s riots show that civil disobedience in the UK is on the rise. But are we witnessing a new kind ‘performance protest’? Charlie Beckett argues that these protests are now more focused on media reaction, such that they are more like […]

The riots and phone hacking saga remind us how fragile public confidence in government and corporations has become. Greater leadership, transparency and accountability are the first steps towards regaining this trust.

The recent riots in the UK and high-level crimes such as phone hacking, and the MPs expenses scandal, reveal a lack of public confidence in the police, government and big business. Special police advisor William J. Bratton CBE draws on his experience in law enforcement and corporate leadership and finds that tough standards on accountability and transparency are needed to […]

UK gang policy needs to avoid heavy handed suppression tactics. It should focus on preventing violence, tackling societal inequalities and offering exit opportunities to gang members through job creation.

In the aftermath of the riots in England last month, some politicians were quick to point fingers at gang ‘leaders’ as organisers of the riots. With gangs once again in the sights of policy-makers, Juanjo Medina argues rather than escalating increasingly suppressive tactics against gangs,  more work needs to be done to understand why young people join gangs, and what […]

Social media didn’t start the fire: Proposals for the temporary shutdown of social media during riots are unlikely to prevent further unrest

The impact of the riots that took place across England last month are still reverberating. We have seen long sentences handed down for those involved and rhetoric from the government on the social media that was seen to have helped rioters organise themselves. Paul Reilly evaluates these accusations and concludes that a focus on the disruptive potential of social media […]

There is a pressing need for credible research into the causes and the consequences of the recent riots. A new joint study between the LSE and the Guardian aims to address this.

A month on from August’s unprecedented riots in England, we can begin to ask the host of questions needed to uncover why they occurred and what they mean. Tim Newburn and the LSE’s Department of Social Policy, together with the Guardian newspaper, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Open Society Foundation are beginning a three-month in-depth study into the causes […]