An official inquiry into riots which bought violence to the streets of Birmingham, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton will hear first-hand testimony from the communities affected, the Deputy Prime Minister has pledged.
Nick Clegg announced the official launch of the Communities and Victims Panel, which is looking into the causes of the riots and looting which left three Birmingham men dead.
It will be chaired by Darra Singh, chief executive of Job Centre Plus and former chief executive of Ealing and Luton Councils.
The official inquiry, which will report back to Mr Clegg and to David Cameron, the Prime Minister, as well as Labour leader Ed Miliband, follows the launch of a separate investigation by the Home Affairs Select Committee, which includes Birmingham MP Steve McCabe (Lab Selly Oak) and Black Country MP David Winnick (Lab Walsal North).
Mr Clegg said: “The August riots were on a scale that many people have never seen in this country.
"I saw devastating scenes of burnt out shops and houses in neighbourhoods around the country. I met traumatised families who no longer had homes.
“Only by listening to people who have been affected by the riots - the victims - will we ever be able to move on and rebuild for the long term.
"This is not just about individuals, but entire communities.
“These victims, who stood side by side and refused to be beaten by the senseless destruction, hold the key to how residents, shopkeepers, parents, young people and communities can move on.”
He added: “This will be a grass roots review – we want to know what happened at street level, not from afar and only from the perspective of those affected.”
Officials said the inquiry was expected to visit all the communities most affected by the violence, including those in the West Midlands.
It will look at what motivated people to take part in violence and theft, and why he disorder happened in some areas and not others.
Residents will be asked what they think could have been done differently to prevent or manage the riots.
Birmingham was first affected by disorder in the afternoon of August 8 when large groups began to gather in the city centre, attacking shops and businesses.
The violent scenes continued into the next day at various points across the region. Three men were killed after they were struck by a car in Winson Green on August 10.