In August there were riots, first in Tottenham and then the rest of London and across England. At the time, politicians dismissed the riots as 'criminality pure and simple'. For the first time a study has been carried out by the London School of Economics and the Guardian newspaper which involves interviews with 270 rioters. Of those interviewed, 85% cited anger at policing practices as a key factor in why the violence happened. Other factors cited included anger at the government over cuts to benefits and the educational maintenance allowance (EMA). Many of the young people involved had been on protests against the tripling of university tuition fees and removal of EMA. The government argued that the rioting was to do with gang culture. However, the report reveals that for four days there was an effective truce between gangs as they were united in fighting with the police.
See the Newsnight story and hear from the rioters in their own words for the first time here.