Why did Sheffield avoid last summer’s riots?

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The reasons why Sheffield did not suffer from the riots that affected many cities across the UK last summer are set to be debated during a major conference and exhibition.

Sheffield Hallam University sociology lecturer Dr Bob Jeffery witnessed riots in Salford close-hand, and has now begun a study involving a number of Sheffield-based community groups to see why the pattern was not repeated here.

The conference - Politics, Consumption or Nihilism: Disorder And Protest - takes place on September 13 and 14 at Hallam University, followed by an exhibition at The Showroom Cinema in November of photography and testimonies taken during the riots across the north.

Dr Jeffery said: “There have been a number of arguments put forward by academics, politicians and commentators as to why riots did not occur in certain cities, with suggestions varying from the quality of police-community relations, concentrations of poverty, the existence of ‘flashpoints’ that unleashed community anger, and even the weather.

“Our aim is to draw upon the lack of disorder in Sheffield to interrogate the arguments to better understand the underlying causes of social unrest, the triggers of disorder, but also the ways in which politicians, the police and community groups can work together to prevent such incidents occurring in the future.”

Keynote speakers will include professors from universities in Manchester, Suffolk and Salford.