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‘Race inequality caused riots’, says report

LONDON’S BURNING: Buildings are set ablaze in last year’s riots

NEW RESEARCH indicates that racial inequality was the main factor as to why the summer riots of 2011 took place.

Published today (March 19) by race equality think tank the Runnymede Trust, the report also provides evidence that a strained relationship with the police was a contributing cause.

Conducted by youths aged between 11 to 15-years-old, the research was supported with a series of roundtable events in the heart of local communities, as citizens affected by the disturbances were quizzed.

Many participants pointed to high unemployment rates of ethnic minorities as a factor, with 56 per cent of young black men in unemployment.

The research also found that a strained relationship between the police and black communities was a significant reason for the outbreak of the riots.


The death of Mark Duggan and the treatment of the Duggan family by the police was also said to have brought back memories of past racial injustices in the criminal justice system.

Runnymede Trust’s Dr Rob Berkeley was disappointed with the findings.

Berkeley said: “We cannot ignore the role that racial injustice played in the civil disturbances last year.

"It is deeply depressing that 30 years on from the Scarman inquiry into the Brixton riots, communities continue to raise race inequalities and tensions with the police as the tinderbox that ignites civil unrest.”

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