In the Media

Letters: Digging deeper into summer riot data

PUBLISHED October 26, 2011

You report that "The ethnic composition of court defendants was particularly different from the local area profile in ? Haringey in north London, where 55% of defendants were black compared with 17% of young people locally" ( Gangs did not play central role in riots, inquiry finds , 25 October). That 17% base results from a stark east-west socioeconomic disparity in the borough, between mainly white Highgate and Muswell Hill in the west, and much higher ethnic diversity, poverty and unemployment in the east, where the riots occurred. A more accurate "local population" comparison would be with the three postcodes of N15, N17 and N22, where ethnic minorities are shown as 60%-70% of the local population in the ward statistics on Haringey council's website. The riots broke out in localities where both poverty and ethnic minorities are concentrated ? showing up social disparity within the borough rather than evidence of disparity between the ethnicities of those involved in or prosecuted for rioting and their local communities. Judith Hanna London ? The Ministry of Justice and Home Office analysis of the socioeconomic background of young people arrested in the summer riots comes as no surprise to those of us who work (or used to work) in youth services. The list of social exclusion factors identified closely resembles the criteria for referral to the Positive Activities for Young People scheme (targeted intervention for young people, including access to activities in school holidays) and sadly ended in most areas of the country due to the withdrawal of central government funding from the area-based grant. Hazel Ellerby Hornby, Lancashire UK riots Crime Gangs Communities Young people London Race issues © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds