The August riots were a God-sent opportunity for the nation's army of Sociologists and Statisticians, who have been seriously under-employed since the government halved the number of fatuous studies commissioned. First on the scene was the Ministry of Justice, with a statistical analysis that showed that 76% of those charged following the riots had a previous conviction, and they were likely to be in receipt of Free School meals or benefits, were more likely to have had special educational needs and be absent from school.
Next up was the Riots, Communities and Victims Panel, a brand new Quango set up by Nick Clegg to report on the riots. In a weasel conclusion, they announced that "Lack of confidence in the police response to the initial riots encouraged people to test reactions in other areas." or in other words when it was clear that the rioters were getting away with it, others were encouraged to join in.
And now the Guardian's joint study with the LSE has been published, and reveals that most rioting was opportunistic, a chance to steal and get away with it, that activity was orchestrated via Blackberry Messenger, and that many of the rioters disliked the police. With 76% of them at the time being convicted criminals, you may think their last prejudice a not unreasonable one.
There is one question that no-one has asked of the rioters so far to my knowledge; "did you grow up with your biological father?" You see, I think I know the answer to this already - that an overwhelming majority of them will be growing up or have grown up with an absent father - but it would be nice to see the figures.