Police fear a repeat of summer riots
Police fear a new wave of riots in a repeat of last summer’s disorders and worry they will not be able to cope due to budget cuts within the force.
Reading the Riots today reveals the second phase of the in-depth research into the riots of last summer where police officers account for their experiences of fearing for their lives during the unrest.
The study conducted by The Guardian and London School of Economics includes 300 interviews, of which 130 are with police officers. The officers believe further riots are likely to take place as the social and economic conditions worsen.
The police service is currently involved in a dispute over budget cuts with the home secretary, Theresa May, as they fear cuts will prevent them from handling any further riots.
Most officers remained anonymous in the interviews and the research shows that senior officers were astonished that no police were killed during the riots.
Reading the Riots published the first phase of their research in December, which focused on the rioters and their claim that the police fuelled the summer’s unrest.
The officers interviewed in the second phase of the study believe their general strategy to protect life and use minimum force during the unrest was the right approach.
Line Elise Svanevik