August this year in London was heralded by the crash of breaking glass, the wail of police sirens and the smell of livelihoods and businesses going up in flames. Thousands of rioters and looters smashed their way into the public consciousness by instigating the worst violence the capital had seen for nearly fifty years. In a chain of events precipitated by the police killing of a young black man, Mark Duggan, it seemed the whole country was possessed by a form of Midsummer madness as copycat protests spread as far north as Nottingham, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.
“Everyone was just on a riot, going mad. Chucking things, chucking bottles, breaking into stuff… It was good though.”
These are the words of two young rioters who made headlines when they boasted to the BBC that they were showing the police they could “do want we want”.
But three weeks on, now that the smoke has cleared, the anger and fear have given way to reflection, and a form of justice has been served, what do the people on the street make of the fallout from the recent upheaval?