BBC News Spain riots
The first riots began on Saturday night in Tottenham, north London, following a peaceful protest over the police shooting of Mark Duggan. However, the trouble soon spread across the capital and to other parts of England, in what police called copycat incidents - Manchester, Salford, Nottingham and Wolverhampton were among those affected. But on Wednesday, the spotlight fell on Birmingham where three men were killed in a hit and run.
As the heavy police presence helps restore order to England's towns and cities, the debate has begun into what caused the widespread riots and looting - and how future trouble can be prevented.
Here are some of the main arguments:
David Cameron has called parts of Britain "sick" and blamed "mindless selfishness". The prime minister believes this is a moral problem and has pledged tougher penalties. He says he wants to see better parenting and more discipline in schools.
Gap between the rich and the poor
A number of campaigners have linked the recent trouble to the widening gap between the rich and poor. There are warnings that rising university tuition fees and the scrapping of the education maintenance allowance (EMA) will create a "lost generation". The Save EMA campaign argues the abolition of schemes like EMA and further cuts to youth services need to be reconsidered.
Get rich quick culture
Head teachers' leader Brian Lightman thinks it's down to a mixture of poor parenting and consumer culture. He believes young people are often given the impression they can be "rich and famous without doing any work" and says parents need to set boundaries for their children - giving them a sense of right and wrong.
For Kids Company, which works with vulnerable inner city children, the problem runs deep into society. Founder Camila Batmanghelidjh argues there's a "completely ignored underclass" who get no help or support. She says they need better role models within communities and their voices must be heard in the wider society.
So, where does the responsibility lie and how can we stop similar rioting and looting from happening again? Let us know what you think.
You can watch RIOTS: Young Voters' Question Time presented by Richard Bacon live on BBC Three tonight at 8.30pm. The panellists are: Shaun Bailey of the youth charity My Generation, Labour MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasey, Kidulthood and Anuvahood director Adam Deacon and Sheldon Thomas from Gangsline. Join the debate online during the show - don't forget to include #YVQT in your tweets.
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