Riots Communities and Victims Panel

Listening, learning and understanding

About the Panel

The riots had a profound impact on the areas affected, with concern about the violence and potential causes of the riots reverberating throughout the country and beyond.

Our work is split into two main phases:

Phase one - establishing the causes of the riots

It is important that communities and victims have the chance to have their voices heard about the riots. Since 16 September 2011, we have been talking directly to people in communities across the country in order to properly understand the causes of the riots and what we can do to address them.

The findings formed the basis of our interim report 5 days in August (external link) which was published on 28 November 2011. The report made some recommendations for immediate action, as well as identifying the next steps to focus on in phase two.

Phase two - working to prevent future riots

The second phase of the Panel’s work was based around six core themes. These themes enabled the Panel to consider ways for more individuals and organisations to contribute positively to society, and to help prevent the risk of future riots.

The six themes are:

  • The usual suspects: How to help reduce re-offending for the good of the community and individuals.
  • Hopes and dreams: How to tackle youth employment and a real and perceived lack of opportunity by young people.
  • Building personal resilience: How to support young people to be responsible, ambitious, determined and conscientious.
  • Children and parents: How to support parents to provide the best chances for their children.
  • Riots and the brands: How brands can use their influence for the good of the community.
  • The police are the public and the public are the police: How to improve perceptions of and relationships between communities and the police.

The Panel will be bringing together the key players within each theme, to take stock of the challenges facing communities and to review what more can be done to help prevent future riots.

We recognise that there is already a lot of existing work targeted at addressing some of these themes. However, we are interested in gaining further insight into the range of activity in government, the wider public and voluntary sectors as well as the contribution that businesses can make. The perspective of think tanks and academics is also valuable.

We are hosting round-table events with relevant experts in each of these areas to discuss ways to tackle the underlying causes of the August riots. This will form recommendations for our final report due to be published in March 2012.

Our work

When conducting our work, we will:

  • Be independent. We are drawn from across the political spectrum and will be entirely independent from government.
  • Report without fear or favour. We will draw conclusions and recommendations firmly based on evidence, including - if necessary - recommendations for government as well as other organisations.
  • Be open. We will be as open as possible unless there is a good reason not to (for example victim confidentiality).
  • Learn from others. It is important that everyone’s voice is heard - that is why we made a national call for evidence. We have met communities and businesses all over the country. Evidence can also be sent in by email.
  • And will conduct analysis based on the evidence. As well as the views of those affected by the riots, we will also consider academic research, statistical data and other reports to gain a full and informed picture.

Our work is looking at:

  • the motivation for a small minority of people to take part in riots;
  • why the riots happened in some areas and not others;
  • how key public services engaged with communities before, during and after the riots;
  • what motivated local people to come together to take civic action to resist riots in their area or to clean up after riots had taken place;
  • how communities can be made more socially and economically resilient in the future, in order to prevent future problems; and
  • what they think could have been done differently to prevent or manage the riots.

You can read our interim report, which outlines our initial findings, by clicking on the following link: (external link).