This Is Not a Riot, Oh Dearie Me, No, Definitely Not a Riot
No, not a riot. For we’ve a little oddity in English law: eleven or fewer people doing this is “violent disorder”. Twelve or more people doing this sort of thing is a “riot”.
And if you go and look at a standard insurance contract you’ll see that, between the Acts of God you’re not covered for and the terrorism you’re not covered for, you’re not covered for riots. But you are covered for the results of violent disorder. So, if it’s a riot the insurance companies don’t cough up for the damages….but who does?
That would be the police force itself actually. Presumably on the grounds that the police are there to prevent riots and if they don’t prevent them then they should pay for the damage they haven’t prevented.
So, other than that 11 or 12 people thing, what’s the difference between violent disorder and a riot? We don’t use the JP reading the Riot Act anymore so actually, it really comes down to whether the police say it’s a riot or not. If they charge everyone with violent disorder, or at least any of the scrotes they catch they so charge, then it’s not a riot. If they charge anyone with riot then it’s a riot and the police have to pay the damages.
Which is why you’ll find that that’s not a riot, oh dearie me no. That’s many groups of 11 people or less engaging in violent disorder, entirely independently of each other.