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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2012

Neil Wain and Peter Joyce

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the disorders that occurred in Manchester in 1981 and 2011 with the aim of comparing the similarities and differences that have…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the disorders that occurred in Manchester in 1981 and 2011 with the aim of comparing the similarities and differences that have been put forward to explain why these events occurred. The paper further seeks to evaluate the tactics that might be used in future years to police disaffected communities.

Design/methodology/approach

The research for this paper is library‐based, making considerable use of primary sources that relate to events in 1981 and 2011. The objectives of this research are addressed by examining a number of key themes: the 1981 Moss Side riot: explanations for the 1981 Moss Side riot: the 2011 riots in Greater Manchester: explanations of the causes of the 2011 riots in Manchester: the future policing of disaffected communities in Manchester.

Findings

The research established that although there were many similarities in the events that occurred in 1981 and 2011, there were also important differences that reflect social, economic and cultural changes that have affected society since 1981. It also rejects the opinion that a more aggressive style of policing is the only way to police disaffected communities to prevent a repetition of events that took place in 2011.

Practical implications

The research suggests that the way forward for the policing of disaffected communities lies in an approach that seeks to engage hearts and minds rather than one that aims to quell dissent through coercive methods.

Originality/value

The paper presents an original comparison of events that took place in one area of Britain in 1981 and 2011. The interpretation of material relating to the causes of rioting and future policing policies is informed by both academic and practitioner perspectives.

Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Gareth James Young

To explore the way in which responses to urban disorder have become part of the anti-social behaviour (ASB herein) toolkit following the 2011 disorders in England. In…

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the way in which responses to urban disorder have become part of the anti-social behaviour (ASB herein) toolkit following the 2011 disorders in England. In particular, the purpose of this paper is to unpack the government’s response to the riots through the use of eviction. It is argued that the boundaries of what constitutes ASB, and the geographical scope of the new powers, are being expanded resulting in a more pronounced unevenness of behaviour-control mechanisms being deployed across the housing tenures.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a qualitative research design, 30 in-depth interviews were undertaken with housing, ASB, and local police officers alongside a number of other practitioners working in related fields. These practitioners were based in communities across east London, the West Midlands and Greater Manchester. This was augmented with a desk-based analysis of key responses and reports from significant official bodies, third sector and housing organisations.

Findings

Findings from the research show that responses to the 2011 riots through housing and ASB-related mechanisms were disproportionate, resulting in a rarely occurring phenomenon being unnecessarily overinflated. This paper demonstrates, through the lens of the 2011 riots specifically, how the definition of ASB continues to be expanded, rather than concentrated, causing noticeable conflicts within governmental approaches to ASB post-2011.

Research limitations/implications

This research was undertaken as part of a PhD study and therefore constrained by financial and time implications. Another limitation is that the “riot-clause” being considered here has not yet been adopted in practice. Despite an element of supposition, understanding how the relevant authorities may use this power in the future is important nonetheless.

Originality/value

Much effort was expended by scholars to analyse the causes of the 2011 riots in an attempt to understand why people rioted and what this says about today’s society more broadly. Yet very little attention has been focused on particular legislative responses, such as the additional riot clause enacted through the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This paper focuses on this particular response to explore more recent ways in which people face being criminalised through an expansion of behaviour defined as ASB.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 January 2012

Liz Kelly and Aisha K. Gill

The “Rotis not Riots” group is an online discussion forum formed during the August 2011 riots in England to facilitate feminist dialogue aimed at making sense of these…

481

Abstract

Purpose

The “Rotis not Riots” group is an online discussion forum formed during the August 2011 riots in England to facilitate feminist dialogue aimed at making sense of these unprecedented events.

Design/methodology/approach

The founders use roti (a type of unleavened bread) as a symbol to focus attention on the importance of sharing different perspectives. This reflective paper draws on the group's exchanges, exploring: the complexity of the ways in which gender intersects with the riots and their aftermath; the role of consumerism and race; the ways in which the media has framed the riots in news stories; and the ways in which criminal justice system responses have been received by both the media and the general public.

Findings

The paper concludes by examining some of the group's ideas about how Britain might move forwards through responses that are constructive rather than punitive, aimed at ensuring that all citizens feel they have a stake in both their local community and British society as a whole.

Originality/value

The focus of this paper is on fostering positive collective action and dialogue that involves people of all ages and backgrounds.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 April 2013

Christopher J. Schneider and Daniel Trottier

A hockey riot occurred on June 15, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Riots involve crowds. The presence of social media changes the spatial and temporal…

Abstract

A hockey riot occurred on June 15, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Riots involve crowds. The presence of social media changes the spatial and temporal elements of the crowd, a process that contributes to online collective interpretations of social events, including riots. A key element of this process concerns the definition of the situation. Using Qualitative Media Analysis, we illustrate how the researcher of everyday life can retrieve and examine an accumulation of “definitions of situations” from social media, a process that provides insight into collective interpretations, including how online users made sense of the Vancouver riot. We begin with a short overview of the riot, briefly profile collective behavior in relation to the definition of the situation, and contextualize the importance of media in this process. We then examine what select posts made on social media can tell us about collective meaning making in relation to the Vancouver riot. We conclude by suggesting some directions for future research.

Details

40th Anniversary of Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-783-2

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 11 August 2014

Jennifer A. A. Lavoie, Judy Eaton, Carrie B. Sanders and Matthew Smith

We conducted a narrative analysis of a collective narrative comprising inscriptions left on the locally famed “Apology Wall,” written by thousands of community members in…

Abstract

We conducted a narrative analysis of a collective narrative comprising inscriptions left on the locally famed “Apology Wall,” written by thousands of community members in the immediate aftermath of the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot. In considering the Apology Wall as an “evocative object,” this study emphasized the significance of material objects as meaning-making devices. Interpretation of themes was conducted through a constructivist lens, specifically guided by literature concerning meaning-making following negative life events. Results bolstered the significance of the Wall as a sense-making device that provided a forum for the community to collectively share positive emotional expression, construct solidarity and collective identity, and express desires for restoration. By studying this collective narrative, the study not only illuminated how those affected constructed meaning after the Vancouver sports riot, but it also contributes to the literature on how communities, in general, make early sense of and respond to destructive events.

Details

Symbolic Interaction and New Social Media
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-933-1

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 January 2012

Stephanie Alice Baker

This article aims to explore the impact of new social media on the 2011 English riots.

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Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to explore the impact of new social media on the 2011 English riots.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper suggests that discourse on the riots in the news and popular press is obscured by speculation and political rhetoric about the role of social media in catalysing the unrest that overlooks the role of individual agency and misrepresents the emotional dimensions of such forms of collective action.

Findings

In considering the riots to be symptomatic of criminality and austerity, commentators have tended to revive nineteenth‐ and twentieth‐century crowd theories to make sense of the unrest, which are unable to account for the effect of new social media on this nascent twenty‐first century phenomenon.

Research limitations/implications

Here, the notion of the “mediated crowd” is introduced to argue that combining emotions research with empirical analysis can provide an innovative account of the relationship between new social media and the type of collective action that took place during the riots. Such a concept challenges orthodox nineteenth‐ and twentieth‐century crowd theories that consider crowds to be a corollary of “emotive contagion” in spatial proximity, with “the mediated crowd” mobilised in the twenty‐first century through social networking in both geographic and virtual arenas.

Originality/value

The paper proposes that this original approach provides insight into the particular conditions in which the 2011 English riots emerged, while advancing crowd theory in general.

Article
Publication date: 13 October 2014

Sean Creaney

The general consensus amongst policy makers regarding the causal explanations for the involvement of young people in the August Riots of 2011 seems to have centred on…

Abstract

Purpose

The general consensus amongst policy makers regarding the causal explanations for the involvement of young people in the August Riots of 2011 seems to have centred on “mindless criminality” and “thuggery”. These explanations have tended to be quite one dimensional where complexity has been avoided in favour of simplicity. Issues of structural inequality, poverty and social injustice appeared to be negated by political figures in favour of an emphasis on neo-liberal, individualistic explanations and solutions. Understanding that there have been very different interpretations of the riots, where some have come to very different opinions from the same data, the purpose of this paper is to revisit the causes and meanings of the rioting that took place over a five-day period in August 2011. Second by drawing on social democratic perspectives the paper stipulates several factors that if not dealt with may give rise to future rioting.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of a conceptual analysis. I draw on the work of a number of key academics and commentators to enrich the analysis.

Findings

Within the paper it is argued that the policies that emanate from neo-liberal political ideologies have impacted disproportionately on working class children and young people. More specifically the paper finds that problems experienced are deemed to be the responsibility of the individual, side-lining the influence of ecological and socio-economic factors.

Originality/value

In the light of the criticisms of neo-liberalistic approaches, social democratic perspectives are drawn upon in order to consider new ways of approaching the issues facing children and young people within contemporary society. Such perspectives are concerned with addressing structural inequality, poverty and social injustice.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 January 2012

Becky Clarke

Between the 6th and 10th of August 2011, a number of cities in England experienced serious civil disorders now commonly referred to as the English riots. The riots are…

494

Abstract

Purpose

Between the 6th and 10th of August 2011, a number of cities in England experienced serious civil disorders now commonly referred to as the English riots. The riots are being regarded by many as the most serious disturbances in the UK since the Brixton riots of the early 1980s, resulting in over 3,000 arrests and by mid‐September, over 300 convictions. Whilst the post‐mortem into the “causes” for the English riots continues, the Criminal Justice System (CJS) is rapidly dispensing severe punishments upon those who have been identified. Yet, despite the “informed” commentary and assertions espoused within the national and local media, there is still little information about those who were processed though the CJS as a consequence of their “involvement” in the riots. Arguably, the social, political, and media reactions have impeded a clear and considered exploration of the rioters (characteristics and previous experiences) and what factors may have contributed to their involvement.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing upon a specially configured dataset, incorporating social, economic, and criminogenic information of those convicted and sentenced by the courts in the initial weeks following the riots in Manchester, this paper is concerned with providing a case study of the individuals involved. In doing so, it inevitably explores the potential limits of any data constructed through the lens of the CJS.

Findings

The emerging profile demonstrates that the individuals convicted as “rioters” are often assessed as having multiple and entrenched issues around housing, employment, finances, and mental health. Agencies such as the Probation Service must now carefully reflect upon such profile information in developing their response to this type of offending behaviour, understanding the risks such individuals may pose but also the potential for the “rioters” to establish an offence‐free life on completion of their order or prison sentence.

Originality/value

Whilst acknowledging its limitations, the findings from this analysis make an early contribution to an important debate regarding the response of CJS agencies supervising the “rioters”.

Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

Stephen Simpkin and Ellie Sapsed

This paper aims to quantify characteristics of areas that experienced rioting across the UK in August 2011. Through exploring the areas where riots occurred, and those…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to quantify characteristics of areas that experienced rioting across the UK in August 2011. Through exploring the areas where riots occurred, and those that did not have any problems, variables and factors that may have contributed to a geographical area experiencing rioting can begin to be identified. Through doing so, it is hoped that local authorities can be better prepared to deal with potential similar situations in the future.

Design/methodology/approach

National indicator data were collated for all local authority areas across England. After a literature review, and preliminary analysis, a set of indicators that the authors thought could be potential factors were identified. Using these indicators as input variables logistic regression was completed, with the target variable defined as whether or not the local authority had experienced any rioting (target variable was binary categorical – Yes/No).

Findings

A logistic regression equation was produced that gave a risk score to each local authority area. Using an ROC Curve an optimum cut off point was created. Anything over this cut off point was deemed to be vulnerable to rioting. The overall accuracy of the model was 88.4 per cent. The positive predictive value was 97.2 per cent and the negative predictive value was 42.9 per cent. Predictor variables included in the model were: existing acquisitive crime rates; unemployment deprivation; and education/level 4 attainment.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the short turnaround time of producing this insight, only limited data are available to build a model on. The paper focuses on characteristics of the geographical areas where rioting occurred, rather than the traits of the culprits themselves. Since completing the paper, more information has become available.

Practical implications

With key predictor variables identified, it is possible to look at areas that are a potential risk. The false positives and false negatives (local authority areas that did not behave as the model suggested) also pose interesting questions. Why did rioting not occur in certain areas that showed the same characteristics as those that experienced rioting?

Social implications

Where a riot risk is noted as high, local public services may consider any actions that could be taken to tackle the risk and can use this information to justify continued resources in that area.

Originality/value

Many discussions were had in the months that followed the August riots. These discussions tended to focus on the perpetrators and not the areas that are analysed in this paper.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 January 2012

Harry Angel

The plethora of popular and social scientific accounts of the English riots of August 2011 have not only failed to distinguish between the events that “triggered” the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The plethora of popular and social scientific accounts of the English riots of August 2011 have not only failed to distinguish between the events that “triggered” the initial disturbances and the underlying conditions which gave them impetus, they have also ignored the reality that while rioters may be apolitical, rioting is an inherently political phenomenon. This article endeavours to contextualize the riots by plotting the probabilistic connections between the trigger event and the underlying conditions which brought the riots to fruition.

Design/methodology/approach

Throughout, the article utilizes the form of the “essai” (essay) developed originally by Michel de Montaigne from 1580, which endeavours to link ideas in logical and original ways. The article draws upon recent research concerning the relationship between governmental austerity and social disorder and assesses whether, and to what extent, Durkheim's notion of anomie, Habermas's notion of “legitimation crises” and the idea at the heart of the Marxist dialect, of the transformation of quantity into quality have any explanatory power vis‐à‐vis the English riots of August 2011.

Findings

The article suggests that the riots should be understood and responded to as illustrations of crises in economic and political relations rather than simple problems of morality, culture, and the efficiency, or otherwise, of the criminal justice apparatus.

Originality/value

This paper could promote a more thoughtful debate.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

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