Deprivation and the riots of 2011

In the aftermath of the widespread UK riots of August 2011, the Guardian created an interactive deprivation map placing locations where incidents took place in the context of area deprivation (although they use the term ‘poverty’, the map data is from the IMD 2010).

Deprivation and riot locations

However as commenters pointed out, while interesting, this map didn’t take into account the fact that the rioters were generally thought to have travelled to the riot locations from their home addresses – therefore the map wouldn’t necessarily reflect the circumstances of rioters themselves. So perhaps the deprivation reflects the locations of shopping streets and town centres that were targeted – many of these within deprived areas such as Haringey (where the riots started) or Brixton.

Following on from this the Guardian released another data map which maps the home addresses of those arrested in the riots and locations their offences took place. They used the example of Manchester to argue there was a trend of rioters living in deprived areas around the city converging to riot in a less deprived centre:

Riots - addresses of accused

In a linked article the paper points to supporting research, such as the finding that 58% of those in court were from the 20% most deprived areas in England. They argue that socioeconomic conditions and constraints should form part of the discussion around causes and that “geography matters”.


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