To introduce the context of the London Riots.
To look at the timeline of events and analyse press reports.
“Identities are not ‘given’ but are
constructed and negotiated.”
Consider this quote when looking at the collective identity of
youths through the case study of the London riots.
How is the identity of youths constructed by the press?
Is there any opportunity for this representation to be ‘negotiated’
between producer and audience?
18:15 BST - Mark Duggan, 29, is shot dead by police at
Ferry Lane, Tottenham.
The death occurs during an operation where specialist
firearm officers and officers from Operation Trident, the unit
which deals with gun crime in the African and Caribbean
communities, are attempting to carry out an arrest.
Mr Duggan is a passenger in a minicab and is shot after an
apparent exchange of fire. A police officer's radio is later
found to have a bullet lodged in it.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
announces it will investigate the incident and later says it
believes two shots were fired by police. It also confirms that
an illegal firearm was recovered from the scene.
THURSDAY 4TH AUGUST
Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old black man, was shot on 4th
August 2011 by police attempting to arrest him in Tottenham,
North East London, England. He was suspected of planning
a revenge attack following the fatal stabbing of his cousin
and had a gun with him. He died from a gunshot wound to
the chest. The reaction of some people to the apparent
circumstances of his death, a public demonstration and an
attack on police vehicles, were contributory factors to a riot
in Tottenham, which escalated into widespread riots, looting
and arson in London
This is the first reports of the disturbances in Tottenham.
A series of disturbances by
people in Tottenham in Haringey
(8.8% unemployed) followed the
protest march on 6 August. The
rioting occurred shortly after
about 120 people marched from
the Broadwater Farm estate to
Tottenham Police Station via the
SATURDAY 6TH AUGUST
19:45 BST - Around 100 hooded youths gather outside
Enfield Police Station.
22:30 BST - Reports on Twitter of a police presence at
Oxford Circus in London's West End. Police later say a mob
of around 50 people damaged property in the area.
SUNDAY 7TH AUGUST
23:27 BST - Rioting is taking place in Ealing, west London,
where the windows of a Tesco supermarket have been put
out, a car is on fire and rubbish is strewn in public areas.
There is also a fire in Haven Green park, opposite Ealing
23:30 BST - About 40 vehicles were damaged in a night of
violence in Nottingham described by one senior officer as
"motivated" by the London riots. Most of the incidents
happened in the St Ann's area, but police foiled an attempt
to break into the Victoria Centre in the city centre. The
trouble lasted about three hours.
MONDAY 8TH AUGUST
09:43 BST - London Fire Brigade says it faced its busiest
night in recent history. The brigade's 999 control centre
answered 2,169 calls between 18:00 BST on Monday and
07:19 BST on Tuesday. This is around 15 times the normal
rate of calls the brigade would expect on an average day.
09:55 BST - The Football Association confirms that
England's friendly against Holland at Wembley tomorrow has
been called off because of the rioting in London.
11:06 BST - David Cameron makes his first statement
outside Number 10 after cutting short his holiday to return to
London. He announces a massive increase in police
numbers and the recall of Parliament.
TUESDAY 9TH AUGUST
09:13 BST - A 21-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of
starting a fire at the House of Reeves furniture store in
Croydon - destroyed during Monday night's rioting in London.
11:15 BST - Prime Minister David Cameron makes a statement
from Downing Street, paying tribute to police and the
emergency services. He warns that more people will be
arrested and charged. He said: “We will not allow a culture of
fear to exist on our streets”
Mr Cameron also said there were contingency plans for water
cannon to be used at 24 hours' notice.
13:43 BST - Ministry of Justice statement says there are
enough prison places for all those sentenced to custody. The
Met Police release a second tranches of images of people they
would like to speak to about the recent disorder. Greater
Manchester Police release a batch of CCTV images of
suspects wanted in connection with the rioting and looting.
WEDNESDAY 10TH AUGUST
11:30 BST - Prime Minister David Cameron makes a statement
to MPs in which he admits there are questions to be answered
over the shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham last week. He
calls the rioting "criminality, pure and simple“ and says the
courts will continue sitting for as long as necessary to deal
with the extra cases. He says police will be given powers to
force people to remove masks and scarves covering their faces
where there are reasonable grounds to believe they are
planning criminal activity. Mr Cameron also announces a £10m
recovery scheme to make areas safe and clean again.
11:55 BST - Labour leader Ed Miliband calls for an inquiry to
look at the deeper causes of the "wanton vandalism and
looting". He says the riots have been a “stark reminder” of the
need for police on the streets and he calls on the government
to rethink cuts in police spending.
THURSDAY 11TH AUGUST
00:22 BST - The Metropolitan Police say 1,103 people have
now been arrested in connection with the riots and 654
people have been charged.
Greater Manchester Police said they had so far made 147
arrests and more than 70 people had already gone through
the courts. Merseyside Police said they had made 77 arrests
and charged 45 people. West Midlands Police said 445
people had been arrested and Nottinghamshire Police said
they had arrested 109 people and charged 69.
The night passes off peacefully - with officers still on the
streets in large numbers.
FRIDAY 12TH AUGUST
Suggested Contributory Factors
Poor relations with police
Moral decay at the top
Failure of the penal system
WHAT CAUSED THE LONDON RIOTS?
Professor Gus John from the University of London has
argued that the tactical use of frequent "Stop and search",
particularly of young black men, has caused resentment of
the police in the black community.
Kenneth Clarke, writing in The Guardian, described the riots
in part as "an outburst of outrageous behaviour by the
He drew attention to the statistic that almost three-quarters
of the adults who had been charged with offences related to
the disorder already had a criminal record. Clarke
characterised this as the legacy of "a broken penal system",
one that did not have a good record for preventing
POOR RELATIONS WITH THE POLICE/FAILURE
OF THE PENAL SYSTEM
Tony Blair writing in The Observer, stated that the riots were
not caused by a broken society, but due to a group of young,
alienated, disaffected youth who are outside the social
mainstream and who live in a culture at odds with any
canons of proper behaviour, he said that this is found in
virtually every developed nation.
Lack of male role models.
"Like the overwhelming majority of youth offenders behind
bars, these gang members have one thing in common: no
father at home.“ Daily Telegraph
Scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance,
removing of funding for courses where the student already
has an equal or lower level qualification and trebling of
university tuition fees, combined with high youth
unemployment has placed the British youth 'between a rock
and a hard place' alienating and angering the youth
Tottenham has the highest unemployment rate in London
and the eighth highest in the United Kingdom
In a Newsnight discussion on 12th August, historian David
Starkey blamed black gangster culture, saying that it had
influenced youths of all races.
Watch from 1.41 minutes
Some argue that motivation for rioters targeting the city
centre was not anger, but greed.
Rich and powerful generating anger among the British
Daily Telegraph cited the MPs' expenses scandal, bankers'
bonuses, and the phone hacking scandal as setting poor
MORAL DECAY AT THE TOP
Collect and embed examples of news coverage of the
London riots from YouTube.
For each news report discuss how youths are represented.
Who do the reporters interview?
What images are used in the broadcast? What does this suggest
about representation of the riots?
Is the broadcast biased?
Are youths given a fair voice?
Collate a selection of stories and images from online
news reports from broadsheet and tabloid press and
post onto blog.
Analyse the images and sensationalist/emotive language used.
How does the article construct representation of youth identity?
Is the broadcast biased?
Are youths given a fair voice?
1) Overview of Contemporary Case Study
1) What were the context of the riots?
2) What were the reasons given as to why youths were involved in the
3) Were youths given a fair and unbiased representation in the press
coverage of the riots?
2) Applying Theory
1) How can the coverage of the London riots be understood in relation
to the ideas of Stan Cohen?
2) David Gauntlett stated that “Identities are not ‘given’ but are
constructed and negotiated.”
3) From the research which you have conducted into the coverage of
the London Riots, to what extent is the representation of the
collective identity of youths constructed by the press? Consider for
and against argument.
LONDON RIOTS CASE STUDY WRITE UP
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