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Youth Rioting in the UK

A new sign of terrible social aberration that seems to be spreading is the youth rioting in the UK over the last few days. Here's a summary of events so far, from guardian.co.uk.

The riots that have plagued London for three consecutive nights have claimed their first life. A man shot in his car during last night's rioting in Croydon, south London, died after being admitted to hospital. He was discovered in a car suffering from gunshot wounds at about 9.15pm as trouble flared in the area.

David Cameron has announced that 16,000 police officers will be deployed in London tonight, in an effort to get a grip on the violence. This is up from 6,000 the night before. The prime minister promised a tough response to any trouble tonight: "I have this very clear message to those people who are responsible for this wrongdoing and criminality: you will feel the full force of the law. If you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the punishments."

Police have disclosed that live baton rounds -- nonlethal plastic bullets -- may be deployed tonight. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Kavanagh of the Metropolitan police told our crime correspondent, Sandra Laville: "If we need to, we will do so." He said 525 people have been arrested since rioting began on Saturday, and about 100 have been charged.

Rioting spread to other cities in Britain for the first time, with unrest in Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and Nottingham. West Midlands police made 138 arrests. Chief Constable Chris Sims said of the looting in the city centre: "This was not an angry crowd, this was a greedy crowd."

A clean-up operation has got under way across London, with many residents turning out to help. A number of websites and Facebook groups have been set up to co-ordinate the volunteer forces.

The riots have been going on for three days, spreading more widely on the 8th. This is a diffuse event, with no sharply defined temporal focus, so the GCP event was set for the 24-hour UTC day of the 8th. The result is Chisquare 86727.182 on 86400 df, for p = 0.215 and Z = 0.788.

Rioting in the UK

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.

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