‘Turning point’ or ‘opportunity lost’? The legacy of 1980– 81
in Race and riots in Thatcher’s Britain
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This closing chapter initially examines the nature of and differing reactions to the events of 1980–81, before providing an overview of the subsequent developments since, in terms of race, policing, protest and public inquiries. It shows how the legacy of 1980–81 had a differing impact upon various aspects: for example, it cannot be said to have vastly altered authorities’ views on racial issues or the police’s attitudes towards accountability and policing by consent – other than increasingly hardening views towards combatting public disorder. While there have been a number of advancements – such as municipal anti-racist programmes, increasing presence for black and minority ethnic politicians, widespread acknowledgement of police ‘institutional racism’ – recent statistics regarding the policing of minority ethnic groups and deaths in police custody demonstrate many of the issues remain unresolved.




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