27 Mar 2012

In response to the Riots Communities and Victims Panel report into the riots, our Policy Director Enver Solomon said:

'It is of little surprise that this independent report has pointed to factors like lack of opportunities for young people as causes behind last summer’s riots.

'The Children's Society's own research has revealed that many young people believe that poverty and disadvantage were one of the key reasons behind the August riots. We know from our work that there is a significant link between a child’s material deprivation and their overall life satisfaction. Clearly, tackling this is crucial to avoid further unrest among children and young people.

'The majority of adults and children believe the government should be doing much more to support young people in the aftermath of the riots and the panel has set government a clear challenge to make this happen.

'The panel has rightly identified the need for services to more effectively work with forgotten families and support every child to achieve their potential. Providing children with an advocate so their voices are heard and they are able to hold services to account could make a real difference to whether or not their needs are met.'

Media enquiries

For more information, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or email mea@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors

The Children's Society in December published the first intergenerational study, Behind the Riots, into public views on the causes of the riots in December, surveying both 13-to-17 year olds and adults. Key findings of Behind the Riots were:

  • Most 13-to-17 year olds and adults believed the main reasons behind the worst disturbances in this country since the 1980s was 'to get goods and possessions they couldn't afford to buy'.
  • Young people and adults surveyed both felt that children and young people would be viewed more negatively following the riots. This was a particular concern for 17-to-24 year olds.
  • The majority of adults and children (51% and 56% respectively) believe the government should be doing more to support young people since the riots.
  • One in seven children and young people thought they had fewer prospects for their immediate future following the riots 17-year-olds were most likely to cite government cuts as a reason for the riots, and also were most likely to say more government support was needed following the riots (67%).
  • More information on Behind the Riots is available on our website

The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.