In responding to the riots, many prominent public figures have suggested that the problem is a simple one. With regard to the criminals whose despicable behaviour has destroyed livelihoods, they argue that it is a straightforward matter of right and wrong. These people have committed appalling acts for which there can be no excuse. Others have suggested that, whilst there is no excuse for individual acts of criminal behaviour, there are complex underlying factors which have eroded communities and made such behaviour more likely. There is an element of truth in both of these positions.