The final report of the Riots, Communities and Victims Panel into last summer’s London and UK-wide riots has identified 500,000 “forgotten families” who “aren’t getting the support they need”.
The report, due to be unveiled tomorrow, cites four underlying causes, namely poor parenting, an inability to prevent re-offending, too great an emphasis on materialism, and a lack of faith in the police.
Looking ahead, the report says:
Government and local public services should develop a strategy incorporating the principles of the Troubled Families Programme to help 500,000 “forgotten families” turn their lives around.
It also recommends schools which fail to raise literacy rates to the required minimum standard for each age group should face a financial penalty, saying up to 15,000 people were thought to have taken part in the riots, the majority aged under 24 – and with poor academic records.
At the weekend, panel chair Darra Singh told the Observer:
“The August riots shocked the world. Up to 15,000 individuals actively participated, with countless more bystanders watching from the sidelines. Five thousand related crimes have been recorded, five people died and the cost of the riots is estimated to be £0.5bn.
“The impact on many people in the worst-affected communities is still being felt, as small businesses try to recover.
“The majority of rioters were 24 or under. Most had poor academic records. Nine out of 10 were known to the police and a third had already been in prison. The independent Riots Communities and Victims Panel, which was set up to report on the causes of the riots, has found that 70% of suspected rioters came from the 30% most deprived areas in the country.
“Communities also told us that some rioter behaviour could ultimately be ascribed to poor parenting, and that shared values in young people should be promoted.”
A 1,200-person IPSOS Mori survey by the panel revealed:
• 67% of people in the deprived areas believe materialism among young people is a problem;
• 77% feel there is too much branding and advertising aimed at young people;
• 85% feel advertising puts pressure on young people to possess the latest products;
• 70% feel steps need to be taken to reduce the amount of advertising aimed at young people.
• Anger with police sparked the riots 4 Dec 2011
• Coalition split on riots sentencing 10 Oct 2011
• A crowd psychology analysis of the riots 9 Aug 2011
As Singh concluded:
“Action must be taken to avoid leaders having to ask why people rioted again in the not too distant future.”
We will have more analysis of the report into last summer’s riots later this week on Left Foot Forward.