Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

"The biggest gang"? Police and people in the 2011 England riots

Newburn, Tim, Diski, Rebekah, Cooper, Kerris, Deacon, Rachel, Burch, Alex and Grant, Maggie (2016) "The biggest gang"? Police and people in the 2011 England riots. Policing and Society. ISSN 1043-9463

PDF - Accepted Version
Download (776kB) | Preview

Identification Number: 10.1080/10439463.2016.1165220


Conflict with the police is a staple of civil disorder and the English riots of 2011 were no exception. The antagonism towards the police expressed by the rioters varied in intensity – from a low-level anger stemming from occasional negative experiences on the one hand to outright, visceral hostility on the other – but was visible everywhere riots took place. Leading politicians dismissed this hostility as nothing more than the typical wariness criminals have of the police. Indeed, it is undoubtedly the case that the police are an easy target for rioters seeking to explain away their conduct. Nevertheless, drawing on 270 interviews with people involved in the riots this paper shows that for some involved the police were a very deliberate and specific focus of anger and resentment. The basis of such feelings was complex and variable, but included historically poor relations between the police and particular communities, an inherited distrust of the police as an institution, to more particular and immediate experiences of mistreatment and prejudice – often coalescing around the perceived misuse of police powers such as stop and search.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2016 15:06
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2024 18:33

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics