Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Summary - BBC News - England rioters 'poorer, younger, less educated'

Summary - BBC News - England rioters 'poorer, younger, less educated'

Title: BBC News - England rioters 'poorer, younger, less educated'
Publisher: BBC.
Date published: 24 October 2011

Themes: Journalism, reporting, statistics. 

Summary of online article:

The article, written anonymously, is a condensed version of the Home Office and Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures/reports.

The article briefly covers the prime statistics, focusing on demographics, criminal and educational backgrounds. In which case, info graphs are utilised to give a surmised version of the reports:

Riot statistics
The article continues by referring to several other quotes from the two respective reports; focusing on the opinions of how the incident should be treated. Sentiments range from how the riots encapsulate the new and always needed drive to tackle social inequality and the need to re-energised social mobility. The consulted include spokeswoman Rhian Beynon of Family Action (a charity for disadvantaged and socially isolated families) who spoke of the need for social mobility and Prison Reform Trust director Juliet Lyon claimed it demonstrated the need to address social deprivation. 

Initially, Conservative Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith asserted that gang violence was a pivotal drive in the riots, but upon the release of the statistics  this 'pivotal role' was revealed to have been exasperated. Yet Criminal Justice Minister Nick Herbert continues to insist that the figures "...confirm that, in the vast majority of cases, existing criminals were out in force during the disturbances in August." Labour harshly criticized this conservative dogmas, saying that it demonstrates the naivety of the Conservatives in working class issues. 

The article ends by skimming over the Metropolitan Police has published the initial findings of a review into its handling of the rioting and looting. 

Key quotes:

  • "...young people involved, 42% were in receipt of free school meals compared to an average of 16%..."
  • "...13% of those arrested overall were gang members but in London the figure was 19%..."
  • "... a third of young people who were involved in the riots had been excluded from school during 2009-10..."
  • " in 10 of the young people appearing before courts had been permanently excluded - the figure drops to 0.1% among all those aged 15..."
  • "The worst possible outcome would be just to sling all these young people in prison and risk their joining gangs out of terror and becoming hardened criminals." - Juliet Lyon, Prison Reform Trust.
  • But following the release of the statistics, a government spokesman said: "In terms of the role gangs played in the disorder, most forces perceived that where gang members were involved, they generally did not play a pivotal role."

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