Institute of Race Relations report: The London clearances

‘While twenty or thirty years ago, communities could draw inspiration and strength from established black community and neighbourhood campaigns, today’s targeting of BAME populations comes at a time when they are being dispossessed of community networks and decanted from the capital.’

This is from a new report from the Institute of Race Relations on race, housing and policing. The report builds on existing research in these areas to more emphatically make the connections between urban policy, housing and policing.

The report looks back at four decades of housing policy, including Right-to-buy, ‘positive gentrification’, and the Estates Regeneration scheme, showing the cumulative effects on social housing stock and community networks. It looks at how debates around inner-city housing became more intensely racialised since the 2011 riots, while structural causes of the riots were largely ignored in favour of talk of ‘gangs’ and ‘ghettos’.

The report goes on to look at the intensification of location-specific policing after the riots, linked to the government’s Ending Gang and Youth Violence strategy. It concludes by linking the Anti-Social Behaviour frameworks with local authority policies that cater to businesses while marginalising BAME communities, and the related targeting of black subcultures and social spaces.

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