British Journal of Criminology

Published by Oxford University Press (OUP)
Online ISSN: 1464-3529
Print ISSN: 0007-0955
This study examined socioeconomic change, social institutions, and serious property crime in transitional Russia. Durkheim's anomie theory and recent research on violence in Russia led us to expect an association between negative socioeconomic change and property crime. Based upon institutional anomie theory, we also tested the hypothesis that the association between change and crime is conditioned by the strength of non-economic social institutions. Using crime data from the Russian Ministry of the Interior and an index of socioeconomic change, we used OLS regression to estimate cross-sectional models using the Russian regions (n=78) as the unit of analysis. Results surprisingly showed no effect of socioeconomic change on two different measures of robbery, only very limited support for the hypothesis of direct effects of social institutions on crime, and obviously no support for the hypothesis that institutions moderate the effect of change on crime. We interpret these findings in the context of transitional Russia and conclude that rigorous research in other nations is important in determining the generalizability of criminological theories developed to explain crime in Western nations.
While an increase in research on criminal desistance has occurred in recent years, little research has been applied to the gang field. Using qualitative interview data, this article examines fatherhood as a potential turning point in the lives of 91 gang members in the San Francisco Bay Area. Fatherhood initiated important subjective and affective transformations that led to changes in outlook, priorities and future orientation. However, these subjective changes were not sufficient unless accompanied by two additional features: first, changes in the amount of time spent on the streets and, second, an ability to support oneself or one's family with legal income. Though fatherhood is no panacea, becoming a father did act as an important turning point toward desistance and motivator for change for some.
The Russian homicide rate doubled during the 1990s and is now among the highest in the world. During this same period, Russian citizens experienced swift, widespread, and meaningful political, economic, and social change. It is likely that this profound transition altered structural conditions, cultural norms, and interpersonal relations in a way that led to changes in the nature of interpersonal violence. Taking advantage of a unique set of homicide narratives drawn from court and police records in the Udmurt Republic, this study examined stability and change in the distribution of Russian homicide victim, offender, and incident characteristics before and after the fall of the Soviet Union. Odds ratios obtained from logistic regression showed no change in victim characteristics, but substantial changes in several offender and incident characteristics. We discuss the potential mechanisms through which the structural and cultural shifts are resulting in these changes and conclude that the ongoing transition is largely responsible for the changing nature of homicide in Russia. In doing so, we introduce the new term “criminological transition” and suggest that Russia (and perhaps other nations) may have experienced a change in its crime profile in much the same way as we discuss a “demographic transition” in terms of fertility and mortality profiles.
This paper uses a time-series econometric model, previously published by Pyle and Deadman (1994), in order to forecast levels of recorded property crime for the years 1992-96 inclusive. The model forecasts well for the period 1992-95 inclusive, in that it picks up the turning points in the series for recorded theft (in 1992) and recorded burglary (in 1993) and predicts the continuing increase in recorded offences of robbery. The model forecasts a further fall in the level of recorded theft in 1996, if GDP grows at the rate of 2.1 per cent predicted by the NIESR for that year. However, the model predicts that the fall in the number of recorded offences of burglary may come to an end in 1996 and that offences of burglary may even increase slightly. The number of recorded offences of robbery is predicted to continue to increase. A method of separating the effects upon recorded crime of economic changes from criminal justice changes is suggested.
Examination of recorded homicides in Ireland over a 160-year period reveals a trend that is in the same direction as found in other European countries: declining for around 100 years, then rising again. However, when the killing of babies is disaggregated from other killings, a different pattern emerges in that the secular decline is not reversed. It is argued that the virtual disappearance of baby killing is related to increasing respect for infant life and a marked increase in celibacy after the Famine of 1845-50. Other killings remained at a relatively high and stable level for the latter half of the nineteenth century. This is attributed to the persistence of 'recreational' violence. The decline in homicide from the turn of the twentieth century is related to emigration and the foundation, after 1922, of an independent Irish state.
Analyzed crime and imprisonment rates in Britain and Australia during the 1960's and 1970's. Results show that both countries experienced increases in their crime rates, which put severe strains on their criminal justice systems. While the use of imprisonment increased in Britain over this period, in Australia the imprisonment rate actually went down. It is concluded that the data do not support the proposition that lower imprisonment rates lead to abnormally high crime rates. It is suggested, however, that very high crime rates lead to lower use of imprisonment in the ensuing years. (6 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
This paper explores the use of statistical and Geographical Information Systems mapping techniques in producing a preliminary assessment of geographical patterns of racially motivated crimes and harassment in a given area. The geographical distribution of allegations of racially motivated incidents reported to the police in the London Borough of Newham is investigated. The results of the analysis suggest that the ethnic composition of an area appears to have a significant effect on the rate of incidents. Correlation and regression analyses are carried out and support the preliminary finding that rates of incidence are significantly higher where there is a large white majority and smaller groups of other ethnicities.
This article draws upon research conducted in an English police force to explore how greater political recognition of cultural and gendered identities has impacted upon the interior culture. Two broad, and opposing, perspectives on the contemporary working environment are presented. The first is characterized by resistance and resentment towards the new diversity terrain, and is articulated principally by white, heterosexual, male officers. A contrasting standpoint, held by female, minority ethnic and gay and lesbian officers, reveals the persistence of an imperious white, heterosexist, male culture. It is argued that the narratives of demise and discontent put forward by the adherents of the former operate to subordinate the spaces of representation for emerging identities and sustain an increasingly endangered culture.
Replies to J. D. Pratt's (see record 1984-31269-001) critique of the 1st author and colleagues' (1977, 1978, 1980) research on the effect of the use of adjournments by the Leeds magistrates when disposing of truancy cases brought under Section I (2) ( e) of the 1969 Children and Young Persons Act. Pratt criticizes this research on several grounds. Although the present authors concede that some of their findings may need qualification, Pratt's criticisms could have been more constructive in suggesting ways in which this research could have furthered its own aims. (7 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
This essay uses contemporary sources to argue that the first probation officers appointed following the Probation of Offenders Act of 1907 were very different from the Police Court Missionaries then working in the courts of London. It uses both published and archive material to reveal the methods and aims of the new officers and contrasts them with those of the existing system of Missionaries. The work adapts and borrows from Garland's (1985) work describing the creation of a penal welfare complex and, in particular, his analysis of the methods used by the newly appointed probation officers.
In The Organised Nature of Power, Magnus Hornqvist initially synthesizes Foucauldian and Marxian conceptions of power in order to highlight the connection between everyday exercises of power and power relations embedded in social structure and the state. He then proceeds to demonstrate how risk has become the coordinating mechanism in the organization of power. Risk is a common language and technology across institutions, linking exercises and structures of state power in ways that have both productive and repressive consequences. The architecture of risk and power is empirically investigated in the context of public employment, prison and customs bureaucracies in Sweden. The investigation is based on readings of policy documents, official forms, risk assessment technologies, surveillance infrastructures and case reports used in these bureaucracies. Hornqvist demonstrates how power is embedded in norms of risk management beyond the law; the multifaceted and variable uses of risk in processes of empowerment and subjection across different state bureaucracies; and the fact that we are still in disciplinary societies more than societies of control. Hornqvist's work is interrogated to indicate some limitations and directions for future research.
Top-cited authors
Jonathan Jackson
  • The London School of Economics and Political Science
Ben Bradford
  • University College London
Paul Quinton
  • College of Policing, London, United Kingdom
Ken Pease
  • University College London
Mike Hough
  • Birkbeck, University of London