What caused the riots? And what can be done to improve our communities?
The riots in England on 6–10 August caused great damage, materially and within communities. In the aftermath, there was a rush for instant explanations.
It is complex and difficult to explain the riots: from the speed at which they spread, the role of social media, the distance people travelled to the various disturbances, to the social and ethnic backgrounds of those involved.
JRF believes that, as policy-makers develop responses to the riots, the need for solid evidence on causes is crucial. Currently none exists.
We are helping to produce this evidence by working with The Guardian and the London School of Economics on the first empirical study into the rioting and looting. 'Reading the riots' will examine causes and effects, and analyse qualitatitive and quantitative evidence.
The study will survey hundreds of people who were involved, and include:
JRF has significant experience of research in deprived neighbourhoods since the early 1990s. It has examined social and economic conditions, community engagement, regeneration and partnership in poor and excluded neighbourhoods across the UK. Our paper reviewed this extensive research to give a picture of life in poorer neighbourhoods: