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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 84135 Find in a Library
Title: Disturbances of July 1981 in Handsworth, Birmingham - A Survey of the Views and Experiences of Male Residents (From Public Disorder, P 41-73, 1982, by Simon Field and Peter Southgate - See NCJ-84133)
Author(s): P Southgate
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: Her Majesty's Stationery Office
Norwich, NR3 1GN,
Sale Source: Her Majesty's Stationery Office
PO Box 29
Norwich, NR3 1GN,
United Kingdom
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Interviews with 532 males between 16 and 34 in the Handsworth area of Birmingham, Great Britain provide the basis for an analysis of the 1981 riots in that inner-city neighborhood and residents' attitudes toward these events.
Abstract: Disorders in Handsworth occurred in July 1981 shortly after riots in Liverpool and Southhall, resulting in considerable property damage, injuries to 40 police officers, and 121 arrests. Police records show that few females were involved and that 78 percent of the males arrested were between 16 and 24. The sample for this study represented 1 in 21 male residents aged 16-34 and was interviewed in October-November 1981. Handsworth has a mixed population of white, West Indian/African, and Asian residents. Most respondents were not unduly critical about the neighborhood as a place to live and did not cite racial tensions or police harassment as particular problems. Many said they knew there was going to be trouble and witnessed the disturbances, but only 4 percent reported active participation in the rioting. This group was younger and more often unemployed than the rest of the sample and included whites. The most common reason which respondents saw for the riots was unemployment, followed by boredom and imitation of events elsewhere. There was considerable disapproval of the riots in the sample as a whole, and few believed that they had stopped, searched, or arrested by police in the last year. Although some witnesses blamed agitators for the riots, the study did not discover any evidence that political activists played an organizing role. Tables and 10 references are included. For related materials, see NCJ 84133-4.
Index Term(s): Civil disorders; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Riot causes; Urban area studies
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