Spiral of Decline: Race and Policing

  • John Benyon

Abstract

The riots in 1980 and 1981 provoked a variety of explanations. It was claimed that ‘hey were the result of criminality, lack of parental guidance or indeed ‘seditious, sociological claptrap that is passed on in our schools as education’.2 Others identified social and economic deprivation as the prime cause, particularly escalating youth unemployment, abysmally inadequate housing, unacceptably low levels of social service provision and decay in central areas.3 A number of politicians, police officers and news media put forward the conspiracy theory; for example the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir David McNee, told journalists

Keywords

Burning Income Explosive Expense Petrol 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Mr Ian Lloyd, Conservative MP for Havant and Waterloo: House of Commons Official Report, Parliamentary Debates (Hansartf), Session 1980–81, Sixth Series, vol.8, col.575 (9 July 1981).Google Scholar
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  3. 3.
    Quoted in J. Clare, ‘Eyewitness in Brixton’, in John Benyon (ed.), Scarman and After: Essays reflecting on Lord Scarman’s Report, the riots and their aftermath (Pergamon Press, 1984) p.50.Google Scholar
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    G. Murdock, ‘Reporting the riots: images and impact’, in John Benyon (ed.), Scarman and After, op. cit., pp.83-5. Of course British history reveals many instances of riots, see for example G. Rude, The Crowd in History, New York: Wiley, 1967; E. J. Hobsbawm, Primitive Rebels, Manchester: University Press, 1959; John Stevenson, Popular Disturbances in England, 1700–1870, London: Longman, 1979.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Zig Layton-Henry and Paul B. Rich 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Benyon

There are no affiliations available

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