Just a few thoughts, from a Christian perspective, as I try to process what's going on.
1. I need to beware my instinct to look for some fundamental difference between me and the people who are out on the streets. I would love nothing more than to be able to say 'I am not like them', and of course there are significant differences - but if there are any ultimate differences they are based on Christ and not my own natural character. Suppose the looting and rioting to be driven by the basest motives - anger, greed, envy: are those things absent from my heart?
2. Seeing God's providential hand behind all the events, one has to ask 'what is being said to us?' Surely a wake-up call to a society which has assumed that it is affluent and secure, and can get by well enough without God and without any value system.
3. We must say at one and the same time 'the sin of individuals has caused this' and 'the sin of society has caused this'. Therefore, we must insist on the one hand that individuals be punished, and that society examine itself to see what systemic failings have contributed to these actions. Ed Miliband seems to me to have been clearest about this on the political side.
4. We must preach gospel-with-law, not just law. Only Jesus provides the meaningful narrative within which these people (and all people) must live their lives, and he offers transformation and a call to a better life. This is true of everyone regardless of background - nobody's background means they don't need it, nobody's background means they're too far gone for it.
5. Might it not be the case that creating a society with a massive sense of entitlement, and then creating a situation in which certain groups of people have very little, would inevitably lead to conflict? We need to address not just the deprivation, but also the expectation that the world revolves around you and you have a right to do and have whatever you want.
More thought needed.