We are in England, it’s August 2011 and London is burning. The police have managed to shoot dead yet another black male in dubious circumstances and across the city thousands of people have taken to the streets. The resulting disorder unfolds for a further four days as the riots reach out beyond London and take hold in metropolitan cities across the country. It would be the worst outbreak of urban disorder England had witnessed in three decades. Someone or something had to be blamed and it was not going to be the police or government policy. Within three days of the riots the Prime Minister, David Cameron (reluctantly pulled back from his Tuscan retreat), convened a press conference at Downing Street and identified ‘gangs’ as the criminal masterminds responsible for organising the riots and ‘gang culture’ the background cause. Put together, these were responsible for what he went on to identify as a ‘major criminal disease that has infected streets and estates across the country’.
KeywordsGang Member Moral Panic Street Gang Urban Violence Youth Crime
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