The Scarman Report – Brixton Riots


After the 1981 Brixton Riots – veteran judge Lord Scarman went wandering round the area to find out why it had all happened. He cut a rather unusual figure at the time, something from another age. But looking back now, he seemed well meaning in his intent. His report became something of a best seller, put out in paperback through Penguin.

Not everybody thought Scarman had got to the bottom of what had caused the violence. Ted Knight, the bellowing leader of Lambeth council said it was “a very small and misleading contribution”. While the Daily Mirror in total contrast claimed it was “one of the great social documents of our time”.  Darcus Howe called it “mere tinkering”.

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