Racism, policing and austerity: have lessons been learned since England’s 2011 riots?
This week marks a decade since the riots that swept across England in August 2011. But has enough changed to prevent similar unrest happening again?
The killing of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old mixed-race man, by police officers in London in 2011 sparked rioting that spread first around the capital and then to cities and towns across England. Over five nights in August, the country witnessed its worst civil unrest for a generation. Five people died, many more were injured and more than £300m of property damage was done across England.
Youth worker and Tottenham resident Andrew Boateng looks back to that period 10 years ago and tells Nosheen Iqbal about how it felt to watch his community go up in flames. He talks about the aftermath of the riots and the cuts to youth services that he believes could once again create conditions for unrest.
Adam Elliot-Cooper, an academic who has studied the 2011 riots and the political response, tells Nosheen that recent proposed changes to policing – including relaxing the section 60 powers that officers have to stop and search people – risks inflaming an already tense situation in many communities. As Britain emerges from lockdown, with young people facing uncertainty in education and the jobs market, both guests point to an expansion of life opportunities as the key to avoiding a rerun of 2011.