London riots 10 years on: ‘Conditions are worse, but there is a complete absence of disorder’

Publication Date06 August 2021
According to Tottenham MP David Lammy, who saw areas of his constituency descend into chaos in 2011, and the Labour Party, the danger of a repeat is serious.

Mr Lammy has warned by failing to tackle “society’s dissatisfaction” Prime Minister Boris Johnson risks “letting a spark set fire to the fuel all over again.”

His political colleagues went one step further saying the chances of riots happening were “higher than ever".

But London School of Economics LSE Professor of Criminology & Social Policy, Tim Newburn isn’t buying it.

Professor Newburn said: “If someone says, ‘might it happen again’ The question is, why are people asking

READ MORE: Children 'didn't want to put Tottenham postcodes on college applications' over fears it was a 'badge of dishonour'

“The reason they're asking has nothing to do with the conditions and everything to do with the fact that it's the anniversary.

“I get the reason for the hook. But, I just think it's a bit of a dead end, the answer [to could it happen again] would have been the same last year, the year before and the year before that.”

The LSE professor, who took part in one of the most comprehensive post-riots pieces of research Reading the Riots -which investigated the causes of the disorder, said despite conditions worsening in some places crime and disorder remained low.

‘Remarkable orderliness’

Scenes of disorder have been a repeated feature of many public gatherings, which have taken place during the coronavirus lockdown.

From the anti-lockdown protests to the Euro 2020 final and Sarah Everard vigil, when large crowds have gathered there has often been some form of incident.

But Professor Newburn said, when you examine what took place this year, the scale and severity pales in comparison to anything seen in 2011.

It certainly, in his view, shouldn’t be seen as a precursor to more extreme events.

“What we've seen over the last year is remarkable orderliness and almost complete absence of disorder, you have to go out of your way to find it," he added.

“Who got badly hurt at [the Euro 2020 final at] Wembley Who got badly hurt in the anti-lockdown protests

“I'm sure a few police officers got injured and I don’t want to diminish the impact of any of those things. But in the context of a conversation about riots, and the largest riots in the post war period, we've seen nothing in the last 10 years, which comes close.”

Changes for the worse...

Much has changed since the 2011 riots, not least the high streets which were...

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