The key risk factors which led to rioting in Croydon and across the country 10 years ago are “even greater today than in 2011”, leaving London at risk of riots.
That’s according to a review by Steve Reed OBE, the MP for Croydon North and Labour’s frontbench spokesperson for local government and communities.
Reed’s review was published this week, the 10th anniversary of the riots which left many areas devastated and scarred by the arson and looting that occurred. Croydon erupted into a night of civil disorder on August 8, 10 years ago today.
The rioting had begun in Tottenham and spread across London and the country. Afterwards, the Tory-led government commissioned a Riots, Communities and Victims Panel, with Darra Singh as the independent chair.
Singh’s panel delivered a report in 2012 with 63 recommendations.
According to Labour, in the decade since the riots, Conservative governments have managed to implement just 11 of those recommendations. Singh has described the last 10 years as a “wasted decade of opportunity”.
Further, Reed’s review has found that the number of “forgotten families” identified by Singh’s panel in 2012, where many of the rioters came from, has doubled in the past decade.
“Our city has been through a lot since the disorder of summer 2011,” said Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, “and there is no escaping the reality that some of the complex and entrenched causes of the riots – inequality, poverty, lack of opportunity and the need for better relations between our police and London’s diverse communities – remain.
“It’s crucial we tackle these challenges head on by advocating for increased funding and support to help regenerate the most deprived parts of our city.”
The police are struggling to connect with black and disadvantaged communities because they are “on the frontline of social failure”, Reed said. He blames drastic Tory cuts to policing, which saw 20,000 officers taken off the force across the country in the years following the riots.
Reed said police officers face a much tougher role “because if you take away social workers, family intervention, if you take away youth workers, the police force are left to pick up the consequences of that.
“Police are having to pick up the pieces of those services being taken away.
“My borough of Croydon went up in flames 10 years ago. Yet funding for those services have been cut by 76 per cent in 10 years.
“Fewer police have been left to deal with the consequences of public failures, and that does have a direct relationship on their ability to connect to their community that they’d be able to do if they had the proper resources behind them.”
Read more: Croydon riots 10 years on: A decade of missed opportunity
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