Social Tensions

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Impact of Immigration

By 1958, 210,000 commonwealth migrants had settled in Britain.75% were male, earning to support families at home. 

Urban areas were where immigrants were highly concentrated and there was friction and resentment towards the migrants due to mass unemployment (tensions were already high), especially working class resentment. 

Notting Hill Riots: 4 nights of riots between white and black population. Violents attack and fighting. 

Authorities saw immigration a economically desirable, the immmigration rate rose. Leading to the government creating The Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 which limited immigration through work permits. 

Attitudes were mixed; there was unpleasant outright racism. But, in other times a sense of tolerance and 'getting along',  Reluctance to limit immigration was clear, from countries with close links. 

The Empire Windrush: Boat sailed from Jamaica with 492 migrants, seeking new life. It became a symbol for Afro-Carribbean immigration into Britain. 

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Violence, Criminality and Hooliganism

Public anxieties grew due to unfair and inaccurate reportage on criminal behaviour. Violent crime was blamed on immigration, but it was in fact home-grown. 

Teddy Boys came in the 1950s, previous norms of law abiding behaviour were breaking down. They were seen as a challenge to older people and social order. 

Throughout the war, crime had a sharp raise, due to social dislocation and the blackout. From 1951 to 1955, criminal behaviour dipped down in rates. Then, rose from the mid 1950s. The number of criminal offences doubled between 1955 to 1965. 

Examples of crime in Britain:

  • Mods- rode scooters, suits.
  • Rockers - rode bikes, leather and rock and roll.
  • Kray Twins - extreme violence, crime clubs and 'property development'
  • Football hooligans, disturbances in the football grounds
  • Youth crime
  • Young men fighting in streets. 
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