Reaction to England Riots

Reaction to England Riots

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We conducted a study amongst 2,019 adults aged 18+ and representative of the UK and discovered some pretty clear views of what has happened and what should be done.

  • Two thirds (69%) believe that organised gangs taking advantage of the situation were the most important cause of the UK riots
  • 38% think social media should be temporarily shut down during periods of civil unrest such as riots
  • Over 80% believe that the image of London and of the UK as a whole has been damaged by the riots
  • 40% of Londoners believe Boris Johnson?s re-election bid has been damaged

Gang Lands

Brits blame last week?s riots on organised gangs taking advantage of the situation with 63% citing it as a factor. However a popular target for blame among older people was a lack of parental/father figures (59% of over 55?s) while young people also blamed Boredom (31% of 18-24 year olds).

Young offenders

With so many distressing scenes of young people running riot, it is no surprise that 88% of respondents believe that the UK is not tough enough on young offenders with only 2% saying it is too tough.
Brits also believe the riots were caused by a broader base of young people rather than young people from ethnic minorities in particular (52% to 31%).

Shut down social media

With many rioters communicating via social media, the idea of temporarily shutting down such sites down attracts some support but mainly from older people. Half of Brits over 55 would support shutting down social media compared with less than a quarter of younger people (24% of 18-34 year olds).

Tougher measures

Brits also favour other tough measures such as water cannons (69%), rubber bullets (54%) and curfews (54%) although only half of Labour voters supported water cannons compared with two thirds of Conservatives.

The thin blue line

Brits had most sympathy for the police with 75% saying they felt sorry for the Police for having to deal with the riots although only 21% believed that the police did a good job handling them.

The Mayor of London

Boris Johnson?s re-election campaign may have taken a hit after the riots as 27% of Londoners believe that Ken Livingston would have done a better job handling the situation and 40% of Londoners believe the Mayor?s re-election bid has been damaged.

Damaged Image

Looking abroad, 80% of the UK believe that London?s image and the image of the UK have been damaged by these riots.

Why are they rioting?

We asked respondents: ?What justification do you see for the current civil unrest??

Chart Image

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,019 UK adults aged 18+ from 9th to 11thAugust 2011. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

Opinium Research is a full service market research agency offering quantitative and qualitative marketing research and consultancy across a range of sectors. These include consumer markets, financial services and insurance, technology, business to business, advertising and media, automotive, business and leisure travel, politics and healthcare. Opinium?s offering spans consultancy, syndicated, Omnibus and field and data services. Opinium runs a daily low-cost online Omnibus survey interviewing 2000 UK adults per wave.