Friday, 19 August 2011
While cases involving professionals hit the front pages, only 8.9% of defendants either had jobs or were studying

Only a small proportion of people appearing in court charged with offences committed during the riots are listed as being in work or in full-time education, according to an analysis of most of the defendants whose cases have been heard so far. Research carried out by the Guardian of around 1,000 cases going through the magistrates courts shows that just 8.6% of defendants have jobs or are students.

Yet, over the past fortnight, it has often been those with respected jobs, high-flying academic records and middle-class backgrounds who have found themselves in the media spotlight. The vast majority of those charged – young, unemployed men and boys – have made way on the front pages for professionals, pillars of the community and an 18-year-old Olympic ambassador.

Of course the Guardian casts this in class terms, but the truth is that the media has highlighted cases involving people of British ancestry while downplaying those of non-European ancestry.


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