Labour MP explains ‘increased risk’ of riots as UK situation worse than 2011 ‘A tinderbox’

Riot risk is ‘higher than it was 10 years ago’ says Steve Reed

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Shadow Community Secretary Steve Reed was deeply concerned after a Labour report found the economic and policing situation in the UK has not improved since the 2011 London riots and has, in fact, gotten much worse. Ahead of the ten year anniversary of the London riots on Friday, Mr Reed explained there were 1.6 million children who were not getting the support they need despite government pledges to introduce safeguards following the riots. Sky News host Kay Burley spoke with the Labour frontbencher who agreed the situation was like “a tinderbox” with the risk being at its highest level. 

The Labour report titled “Ten Years After the Riots” says there are around a million “forgotten families” who have not been provided government support – double the number a decade ago. 

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Reed explained: “In the ten years since [the riots] we’ve now reviewed whether the government has acted on what they found.

“They’ve actually done the opposite of what the report recommended, so police numbers are lower now than they were at the time of the riots, youth services have been cut by 70 percent since the time of the riots.

“And the key finding that the report came out with what there were half a million families who needed support to bring up their children safely but weren’t getting it.

“By the Government’s own figures, there are now 1.6 million children in those circumstances in need of support but not getting it.

“This means the level of risk we’re carrying as a society today is even higher than it was at the time of the riots.”

Ms Burley interrupted and asked whether the UK was in a “tinderbox” situation where further riots could break out. 

Mr Reed said it would be accurate to describe it like that but fell short of saying riots would definitely happen. 

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He clarified while the risk is much higher than it has been, he could not rightfully say more would certainly occur. 

Mr Reed added the situation did not only apply to riots and explained it meant more children would get into knife crime, drug dealing and other forms of crime thanks to the cut in services. 

On August 6, 2011, riots broke out across London with Tottenham seeing the worst of the violence. 

The riots broke out after Mark Duggan was shot by police after he was fleeing police who believed he had a handgun on him. 

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Following the riots, panels were set up to figure out the cause of the violence with the Riots, Victims and Communities Panel finding 500,000 ‘forgotten families’ where many of the young people involved in the riots came from.

Around £200million worth of property damage was caused over the five-day riot which left businesses and streets trashed and looted. 

The panel also recommended several changes which looked at strengthening communities with investment.

However, Mr Reed said these have been ignored by the Government with only 11 out of the 60 recommendations being fully implemented.

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