A Labour MP whose constituency was at the heart of the England riots last summer said social landlords can be the ‘social glue’ to help prevent further disturbances.
In an interview to mark a year since rioting broke out in Tottenham before spreading to towns and cities across England, David Lammy warned of the potential for further problems due to the economy.
He warned that the country is ‘in for a decade of unrest’ as a result of the current crisis in the eurozone.
He said: ‘We run the risk of sliding back to the broken glass syndrome, where there’s graffiti and decay around that drives crime.
‘We need to try and not repeat the mistakes of the 1980s, where we see our housing estates fall back into disrepair, parks full of hypodermic needles and drug addicts and prostitution’.
Mr Lammy called on councils and housing associations to work with other organisations to offer apprenticeships.
He said: ‘[Previous recessions] led to a phenomenon of loads of young men roaming the streets with nothing to do.’ He warned this is now happening again.
Chris Grose, anti-social behaviour advisor at the Chartered Institute of Housing, said social landlords have ‘made strides over the last decade to build partnerships with other statutory bodies, and also to be more in touch with communities’.
He added that, although it is not solely landlords’ responsibility to ‘stop things going back to the way they were [in the 1980s]’, he agreed with Mr Lammy that their role is ‘crucial’.