Now, four major reports into the riots agree they were mainly caused because people from different ethnic groups in these areas lead separate lives.
Single faith schools hit
The actual riots were caused by minor incidents, but they were made worse by racial tensions bubbling under the surface.
The reports also suggested local politicians in these areas did not do enough to sort out the problems, and that lack of jobs for young people were also to blame.
The findings could also hit plans to introduce more single faith schools, after fears these could increase the chances of different races living separate lives.