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Summer Riots Could Be Repeated, Young Warn

Many young people believe there could be a repeat of last summer's rioting as the conditions that contributed to the disorder remain unchanged, a survey has indicated.

On the eve of the first anniversary of the shooting dead of Mark Duggan by police officers, which triggered the riots in London and other major English cities, more than one-in-four 12 to 18-year-olds said there could be more violence this summer.

More than half of those surveyed said that the riots spread because young people were copying what others were 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 their futures and jealousy of other people's money and possessions.

Among those that predicted that there could be a repeat of the violence, the main reason given was that many young people believe  theirs chance getting a job have either not improved or worsened.

Although youth unemployment fell by 29,000 in the first three months of 2012, 1.01 million 16 to 24-year-olds are still without employment.

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.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: "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."

Many of those questioned for the poll, commissioned by StreetChance and Barclays Spaces for Sports, criticised the role of the police.

Of the more than 13% that said the police were a cause of the violence, 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, and that they over-reacted to incidents.

A Home Affairs Select Committee report published last December said that police were too slow to react to the disorder and the perception that they had lost control encouraged the spread of the violence.

Mr Pickles warned: "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.

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