To What Extent Is the Government to Blame for the Start of the 2011 London Riots?

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To what extent are government cutbacks to blame for the 2011 London Riots? The 2011 London Riots were one of the biggest displays of civil unrest in the UK for 30 years and saw arson, looting and violence spread across the UK. More than 3000 people were arrested in connection with these riots; some as young as eleven years old. Mark Duggan was shot dead by police in Tottenham, which caused anger from local residents and acted as a catalyst for the riots to begin. The rioting and violence then spread to other parts of London and quickly extended to further areas of the UK [1]. Trouble spread “like a contagion” and at “unprecedented speed” to sixty-six flash points across England; five people were murdered, and the damage caused was estimated at £500 million[8]. Buildings and cars were set alight, shops were looted and the police were petrol bombed [2]. The shooting of Mark Duggan caused public outrage, as many people felt there was misconduct by the police and the shooting was unwarranted. The shooting was the reason for some original remonstrations; however there were other factors that sparked the nationwide protests, and the extreme violence which followed. There are many conflicting views and beliefs concerning who or what is to blame for the riots ranging from; social media platforms such as BBM (Blackberry Messenger) and Facebook [5], which encouraged people to revolt. Others justified their actions as a consequence of Government cuts and poor policing, which antagonised some of the more deprived communities throughout Britain. "If you're making massive cuts, there's always the potential for this sort of revolt against that"[7]. Alternatively others blamed opportunists taking advantage of the situation to loot for their own benefit, and cause mindless violence. One explanation as to what triggered the riots is argued as being the Government cuts to benefits

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