One in four predict repeat of riots
Filed under: News
It reveals that many youngsters say boredom, copycat behaviour, peer pressure, jealousy and fears about the future caused last year's scenes of disorder and violence, and that little has changed.
About three in ten of those questioned also said that the sentences and punishments handed out to those who took part in the riots were too soft.
The poll, commissioned by StreetChance and Barclays Spaces for Sports, asked just over 1,000 12 to 18-year-olds for their views of the riots which overshadowed the summer of 2011.
The findings, which come exactly a year after the violence broke out, show that more than a quarter (27.8%) believe that it could happen again this summer. Just over two-fifths (43%) were not sure and the rest did not think that there will be further outbreaks of unrest.
More than half of those surveyed said that the riots happened because young people were simply copying what they saw others doing and more than a third (37.5%) said youngsters got involved so that they could boast to their friends.
A similar proportion (36.6%) thought that boredom among young people was a cause, with a fifth (20.4%) saying there was concern about the future and jealousy of other people's money and possessions.
A total of 13.8% thought that the actions of the police had led to young people rioting.
Of those that said the police were a cause, two-fifths (40.3%) said it was because the police are seen as racist by young people.
Similar proportions said that there is widespread distrust and dislike of the police by young people, and that they over-reacted to an incident.
Among those that predicted that there could be a repeat of last year's violence, the main reason given was that the chances of young people getting a job have either not improved or worsened.
About two-fifths (43.2%) said that the riots could happen again because young people are as bored, or more so, than they were last year, while 40% said relations between youngsters and the police have failed to improve.
A total of 37.9% do not believe the Government has done enough to address the needs of the younger generation, with a further 35.7% saying that the gap between rich and poor has either widened or stayed the same.
On a positive note, half (51.4%) of the young people questioned said that an increase in free sporting facilities would help to prevent a repeat of the riots.
Wasim Khan, chief executive at the Cricket Foundation, said: "The fear among a quarter of young people of a repeat of the riots this summer is a cause for concern.
"Free sporting activities are just one measure that can help keep children out of trouble and thousands of children are now playing cricket, rather than playing up, as a result of StreetChance."
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: "Anyone who disrupts the communities and livelihoods of our citizens will face the full force of justice.
"Since last August the Government has sent the strongest possible signal that mindless criminality will not be tolerated ever. Over 1,900 people were swiftly brought to justice and the average sentence was over four times longer than usual.
"Government made millions of pounds available to councils to quickly help reopen shops and rebuild communities affected by the riots, and made sure the police continue to build positive relationships with those areas.
"We are determined to see our young people given the best start in life. We have embarked on a billion-pound apprenticeship scheme, which includes wage incentives for 'youth unemployment hotspots' - and are going into the homes of 120,000 of the nation's most troubled families to address root causes.
"At this time we must also remember the acts of selfless kindness shown by the many people who stood up and joined the 'broom brigade', which were in stark contrast to the reckless criminal minority that perpetrated this disorder."
Nearly 25,000 young people have taken part in StreetChance cricketing programmes since 2008.
:: The Opinion Matters poll questioned 1,008 12 to 18-year-olds living in cities between July 16-23.