In October and November last year I worked with One Housing to find out what young people thought about the summer riots that took place in their areas. We explored the experiences, decision-making and views of ten young people (age 17 to 24 years) who chose not to get involved. All the young people interviewed live in supported accommodation in riot affected areas of London.
The picture that emerged, was one of much more nuanced divisions between the categories of ‘rioters’ and ‘non-rioters’. These young people chose not to riot but generally felt they understood and sympathised with the reasons for rioting. They resisted the ‘with us or against us’ style divisions between rioters and non-rioters that have been drawn in much of the media. Common themes emerging from the young people included the importance of personal and shared identity, support and influences, “getting stuff”, money and power and having a voice.
Check out the full report which includes audio and video clips from the interviews with young people.