Abstracts: November 8th, 2006

This publication from the Crime and Society Foundation is made up of a collection of essays examining what impact, if any, criminal justice agencies have on crime levels. While offering distinctive perspectives and proposals, the seven authors, who include politicians, opinion formers, campaigners and academics, are agreed that an effective approach to crime reduction must look beyond the criminal justice system, to the wider social and economic policies that lie behind crime trends.The leading article argues that because the criminal justice system only resolves a tiny fraction of the offences that are committed, it is largely irrelevant as a means of controlling crime. This means that attempts to improve the functioning of the system, including the kind of crisis management measures recently announced under the Government’s `Operation Safeguard’, can only have a marginal impact on crime rates.

There is a call for a fundamental reassessment of how best crime can be reduced and safety and security enhanced. Crime is the result of social and economic policy, and that is where an effective response must be sought.

The publication is available at: http://www.crimeandsociety.org.uk/opus182/DCJW_Final.pdf