A REPEAT of the 2011 London Riots “will happen” – unless authorities tackle the inequality and police grievance that drove people to the streets, new analysis says.

The Metropolitan Police lost control of parts of London for four days as buildings were burned and shops looted during the violence.

It began in the Tottenham district after Mark Duggan was shot and fatally wounded by police.

Launching a report yesterday, St Andrews University experts say so-called mob mentality does not explain the incident.

Instead, the social psychologists have called on authorities to tackle the “deprivation and antagonism with police” that they say fuelled the disorder.

The comments follow speculation about potential rioting after Brexit.

Last week reports emerged that the UK Government is considering the possible imposition of martial law after a no-deal withdrawal.

Cabinet secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme the government was “not specifically” planning for martial law, but refused to rule it out.

He said: “Of course government all the time looks at all the options in all circumstances.”

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The PM has said that there will be disruption in the event of no deal, but as a responsible government we are taking the appropriate steps to minimise this disruption and ensure the country is prepared.”

The London Riots report follows a three-year research project.

The findings challenge commonly held views that the riots were organised by gangs and driven by habitual criminals, with strings pulled from outwith the areas affected.

Instead, deprivation and negative relations with police – generated by “intensive” use of stop and search – are named as key factors, alongside the Met’s “failure to engage with the community” after the shooting of 29-year-old Duggan.

Officers believed he was a gang member and in possession of a gun when they intercepted a taxi he was travelling in in August 2011.

An inquest held three and a half years later concluded the killing was lawful, as the officer who fired on the father “honestly believed” he still had a gun.

In fact, the firearm had been dropped when the vehicle came to a stop.

Duggan’s family sought to have the findings of the inquest quashed, but this bid was rejected by the Supreme Court.

After rioting began in London, similar disorder broke out in other English cities –including Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby, Wolverhampton, Coventry and Bristol.

Hair salons, newsagents and more were attacked, with windows smashed, goods stolen and fires set in some cases.

At the time, many attributed this spread to social contagion, with media coverage prompting others to act out in their areas.

However, the report says the violence spread to those areas where numbers of young people either saw themselves in the Tottenham rioters or felt “empowered” by their actions to express grievances against police, property or authority.

Professor Stephen Reicher said: “Whenever riots occur, people argue that previous such events might have been bound up with social injustices and grievances, but that these riots are an exception – a simple outbreak of mindless violence by violent individuals.

“This certainly happened in 2011, but our research shows that 2011 was no exception to the historical pattern. The riots arose out of deprivation and antagonism with the police.

“Unless we face up to this and make changes, riots will happen again.”

Dr Fergus Neville added: “One of the most important contributions of our research is to clarify how riots spread. It is traditionally thought this occurs through a process of so-called ‘contagion’ – just seeing others riot makes observers more likely to take part in ‘copycat riots’.

“We show that this cannot explain where the riots spread to, and where they did not. Rather, we demonstrate that processes of identification and empowerment are central in waves of rioting. That is, people copy other rioters only when they see their own situation in the riot, when they see the rioters as people like themselves, or else take confidence from previous riots that they can take on their own opponents.”

Analysis commissioned by The Guardian found the Metropolitan Police increased the use of stop and search in 2018.

Almost half of those affected – 43% – were black, the newspaper found.

However, no wrongdoing was found in most cases, and searches of this group were less likely to detect crime than those of white people.