As the Independent reports:
- Only 13% of rioters were involved in gangs
- Two thirds had eduational special needs
- 42% had relied on free school meals
- Nine in ten had failed to achieve five A* to C grade GCSEs
- Over three quarters had previous convictions
It also shows the folly of harsh sentences. If three quarters have been punished for breaking the law before then it just goes to show the truth in the mountain of evidence proving that prison sentences make people far more likely to reoffend than if they are given community punishments combined with rehabilitation.
As I said at the time, the only lasting solution to the riots will be to tackled the underlying social causes. This means improving education and reducing inequality. I think policies like the Lib Dem's pupil premium to provide more money for the pupils from poor backgrounds are a good step in the right direction but both the government and society need to do far more.