CPS author Harriet Sergeant explains long-term causes of riots

In the wake of last week’s riots, CPS author Harriet Sergeant has written an extensive piece for the Sunday Times News Review entitled Fixing Broken Britain (£).

This follows the extensive research which she undertook for the CPS book: ‘Wasted: the betrayal of white working class and black Caribbean boys’ in 2009.

Having spent years talking to gangs, youth club leaders, teachers, community leaders and charities, Harriet found that:

  • A failure for white working class and black Caribbean boys to make the transition to manhood was leaving them dangerously disengaged from society.
  • This disengagement resulted in both an increase in violent incidents and youth disorder.
  • Three key areas of catastrophe helped produce this disengagement:
    • A lack of male role models in the home and classroom
    • A failure of the education system, particularly in basic literacy skills
    • Poor incentives in the job market due to welfare payments and immigration

Regarded as an expert in the underlying causes of moral breakdown among young people, Harriet has also used her inside-knowledge to explain how these factors have culminated in the rioting observed this week via her Spectator article. In particular, she focuses on evidence of clear failures of government policy over the last 15 years.

The main area she identifies where government policy is failing is in education. You can listen to her explain why on last Saturday’s Today programme here.

Date Added: Monday 15th August 2011