UNDERGRADUATE AND MASTERS DISSERTATIONS
The Internet Journal of Criminology presents Masters and first class undergraduate dissertations in the field of criminology, which are considered by the Editorial Board to be worthy of publication.
The IJC will only publish undergraduate dissertations that receive a first class mark, and it should be noted that these criminology papers are NOT peer reviewed, edited or assessed for their quality. So long as the student was given a first class mark and the paper is criminological in content we will publish it, thereby offering up and coming criminologists an outlet through which to become published.
To download the articles please click on the links below.....
Georgia Shearman: University of Huddersfield for the degree of BSc (Hons) Criminology with Law.
The main aim of this research was to uncover if there were any differences in the way the British newspapers portray male and female child sex offenders. Specifically, the labels, language, discourses and narratives were analysed to uncover if and what differences there were in the portrayals. Additionally, the theory which best explained these differences in portrayals was researched, in relation to news theory such as Newsworthiness or feminist theory such as Male Gaze or Double Deviance. Consequently, the main theories drawn on for this research were Newsworthiness and the Ideal Victim and Ideal Offender concepts, along with feminist theories of Double Deviance, Male Gaze and the Chivalry theory.
By Louis Wassell Nottingham Trent University Division of Sociology BA (Hons) Criminology
Plagiarism is something that all students have heard of, yet still some are unaware of the intricacies of it. The same can be said for Turnitin, which is also a huge part of university work. By critically assessing the use of Turnitin, it can be discovered if there is an alternative to the online anti-plagiarism software. Therefore, this dissertation set out to analyse plagiarism based primarily on secondary research and attempts to simplify the matter for the benefit of future students. To test the effectiveness of Turnitin, a short web-based experiment was carried out, with the aim to see how much plagiarism Turnitin can find when plagiarising intentionally and to see if it can be ‘beaten’.
By Gianna Cadorna Royal Holloway University of London
The public stigma towards people with paedophilic disorder was previously considered a blind spot in the stigmatisation literature. However, in recent years, we have seen increased attention to this topic, specifically researchers have emphasised the importance of reducing this public stigma towards people with paedophilia, in a bid to encourage willingness to seek therapy and thus, reducing the risk of committing child sexual abuse. In this study, we examined the effectiveness of narrative humanisation presentations in reducing the stigmatic and punitive attitudes towards people with paedophilic disorder. This was done by distributing self-administered questionnaires to a student population (N = 100). It was hypothesised that the participants in the experimental condition (narrative presentation condition) would exhibit less stigmatic and punitive attitudes towards people with paedophilic disorder, in comparison to the participants in the control condition. Our findings generally supported this hypothesis, with narrative humanisation presentations producing reduced stigmatic and punitive attitudes towards people with paedophilic disorder. Notably, medium to large effect sizes were reported for four of the outcomes (total scores, dangerousness, intentionality, and punitive attitudes). Intercorrelations of the outcomes and within-group differences were also examined. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings, at a societal and individual level, are discussed, as well as suggestions for future research.
By Sarah Butters, School of Law, University of Leeds
The most recent available data from the Crime Survey of England and Wales (2018/19) reveals that one in seven victims of crime were offered the chance to make a Victim Personal Statement – an invite to participate which should be made to every victim of crime under the entitlement of the Victims’ Code (Ministry of Justice, 2015). The police are responsible for delivering the Victim Personal Statement however, police perceptions of the scheme in England and Wales have not been the focus of research when reflecting on the reasons for these disappointing delivery statistics. Using a series of semi-structured interviews with serving West Yorkshire Police officers ranging in rank and service length, this dissertation has assessed perceptions to purpose, delivery, effectiveness, victims’ rights and improvements to Victim Personal Statements. The findings support previous studies in regard to confusion of purpose, use of a hierarchy of crime and success in offering ‘therapeutic jurisprudence’ (Erez, 1999). However, this research also suggests areas for further exploration – specifically the issue of timing of delivery, a challenge to universal victim participation and the suggestion of outsourcing such participation to civilian staff to deliver. The number of victims participating in the scheme reveals that the Victim Personal Statement, as it is currently delivered, is not working for the overwhelming majority of victims. This dissertation offers areas for further research and practical action which could result in meaningful participation for more victims of crime.
By Rica Alexandra Hülseberg - London Metropolitan University
This study identified patterns of victimisation not only against but, importantly, within the community. It also identified general mistrust in the police among individuals and apprehensiveness of confiding in the police about issues regarding safety within their businesses among managers and owners. This was found to be exacerbated by the force’s loss of LGBT liaison officers and therefore LGBTQ+ representation, which contributed to the police having been found unsuitable to address issues of LGBTQ+ safety as a singular agency. While the research argued for this gap to be filled by alternative organisations and solidarity within the community through inter-agency approaches, it has identified issues with the inclusivity of campaigns and intra-community victimisation. It was therefore recommended to provide more funds to alternative organisations and to task them with developing campaigns providing pertinent training to businesses and staff that is tailored to the community’s needs. A special emphasis on identifying and addressing intra-community patterns of victimisation through campaigns and dialogue has also been suggested in order to create an inclusive framework for LGBTQ+ safety within the night-time economy.
MSC Criminology Dissertation By Jason Taylor Leeds Becket University
This dissertation explores the relationship between homelessness and offending. The central aim is to highlight the need for more research into homelessness as a cause of offending. Basic quantitative data is collected from a small number of homeless hostels in a Northern UK city to demonstrate that offending is more common within this context. Unstructured interviews with service users and staff within these hostels were then conducted to explore offending in the context of homelessness. Results highlight that substance misuse and contact between the police and those who are homeless are important factors which require further research. Surprisingly, the physical design of homeless hostels is highlighted as a potential factor in offending behaviour for those living in them, as is staff interaction and hostel policy. Notions of ‘anomie’ and stigma are then used to frame discussions from these interviews. It is argued that there is a need for more Criminological research into this area.
Darren Christopher White.
Dissertation: MA Criminology.
National University of Ireland, Cork.
Drug markets in Ireland have seen a marked change in recent years, with rural areas now comparable to urban areas in terms of drug availability and drug use. A key aim of this research is to account for the reasons for the emergence of drug markets in rural Ireland, using a small town in West Cork as a case study. A new type of drug dealing model has been identified in the UK called ‘county lines’, whereby “drug dealers are engaging in out-reach activity and travelling from their urban hub to provincial towns and cities within a wide radius of their home turf, not just to deliver their product to that location as a ‘weight’ but also to retail it there themselves” (Coomber and Moyle, 2017). European studies have shown that there is evidence of county line type drug dealing in Ireland, and a key aim of this research is to highlight this. Guided by existing literature done in Ireland and the UK, a convenience sample was utilised, and two professionals were interviewed regarding a drug market in the area. Media analysis was also employed, as several newspaper articles were reviewed to gain a contextual understanding of the local drug market. The findings of these interviews suggest that changes to the local drug market have been influenced by a multitude of factors. Foreign nationals moving into the area, from those attracted to hippy communes was the origins of this market, and it moved from a social supply model to a more entrepreneurial one as years went on, with some similarities to county lines in the UK. Money & recession and rural vulnerability are also highly influential factors to the drug market in the area.
By Matthew James Williams, John Moores University, April 2017.
This study investigates students’ attitudes towards the use of various illegal drugs in relation to the classification system in the UK. Background: Though studies of this nature exist in other countries (Bullock, 2004), no such research has been conducted in the UK to date. Thus far, research has focussed on drug use prevalence rates and attitudes towards drug use (Bryan, Moran, Farrell, & O’Brien, 2000; Home Office, 2016; Ormston et al., 2010) or more recently, and slightly more relevant to the current study, whether drug harm is actually related to the current classification system in the UK (Morgan et al., 2009; Nutt et al., 2007). However, these studies fail to take into account whether the participants agree with the current classification system Therefore, this research was deemed important and necessary to provide insight into field not previously investigated in the UK. Method: This mixed design study recruited 100 undergraduate students via opportunity sample from the two university libraries.
By Amy Jacklin, BSc Criminology. London Metropolitan University
Climate change has grown in importance over the last 20 years, with protest groups such as Extinction Rebellion (XR) becoming an interesting topic for green criminologists to study and analyse. Previous literature around green groups has been highly theoretical, with focus on the ways other societal groups view them and their actions, rather than qualitative data from the viewpoint of XR. Therefore this research aimed to fill this gap, using semi-structured interviews with 3 members of XR who have previously been arrested for their protesting actions. The data was analysed using NVivo and produced two themes: the interactions participants had with the police, the way in which formal and informal controls are used to attempt to discourage individuals from breaking the law and who the participants are and what motivations they had. This paper concludes that further research needs to be undertaken into the experiences of the BAME demographic within police custody and whilst protesting, as this study has shown how these protestors may have additional negative experiences and consequences of their arrests.
Molly McDonnell (B.A Hons. Criminology. Liverpool John Moores University)
The ‘black urban crime’ genre has grown in popularity over the past two decades though its exploration in the UK is limited. Top Boy first appeared on our screens on Channel 4 in 2011 and returned in 2013 before being axed until its 2019 Netflix revival. This dissertation offers a synthetic and critical analysis of the representation of young black males in popular culture, drawing upon the cultural verisimilitude of the series and its vivid illustration of the issues facing the UK today. Understanding the representations in Top Boy allows media audiences to reconstruct their own social meanings around black youth and street culture, affirmation that the series will spark policy debates for years to come.
By Daniel Scott
BA (Hons) Criminology. Sheffield Hallam University
This dissertation addresses the phenomenon of Western female Muslims migrating to join the so-called Islamic State. The report utilizes the existing literature on the subject to first of all critically discuss the pathways that lead young women and girls away from their lives in the UK and into the arms of a terrorist organisation. The second part of the report will look at the main roles carried out by these women when they get to ISIS-controlled territory and the implications for future threats to security. Finally, the third part of the report will critically analyse the UK government’s PREVENT strategy in terms of its effectiveness at dealing with the issue.
By Georgia Meyer. Leeds Becket University
The introduction of heavily restrictive abortion legislation in America has sparked international controversy surrounding the status of women’s rights, granted by Roe V. Wade. This is especially controversial due to the decriminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland in the same year. I aim to provide insight into how similarly Westernised countries can have such conflicting ideas on the right to an abortion, and whether the introduction of heavily restrictive abortion legislation is to solely control women through a (Foucauldian) genealogy. I look at the growth and power behind the pro-life movement in America and how this is sustained through the implementation of ‘norms’ through the use of Foucauldian Power-Knowledge thesis. By identifying the social dynamics that feminist theories fail to recognise as a contribution to instituting success in anti-abortion views, I explore the context and religious significance in America using secondary data.
By Susannah Hickie. University of Sheffield.
A thesis is presented on the mental health issues amongst policemen. In today’s society, it is apparent that men hide or repress mental health issues due to the associated heavy stigma. In recent years, there has been more attention on the topic of mental health and emotions. However, there has been little research into specific occupations with a high prevalence of mental ill health. Police officers deal with negativity day after day with limited insights about its effects. This dissertation describes how emotions, masculinity and mental ill health present themselves amongst police officers. The aim of this research is to understand why male policemen repress their mental health issues, what causes this and the effectiveness of available help. The mental health issues in focus are Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, suicide and depression. This project uses qualitative methods to delve into the minds of policemen and retired policemen who are suffering. The key findings surround solidarity, gender, mental health, help available and the public’s views
By India Papathanasiou. University of Huddersfield
This research entails an investigation into the implications of imprisonment on the mental health and well-being of (ex) prisoners, explored from the perspective of professionals who have experience in working with this cohort. This research strives to provide a deeper understanding into factors within the prison context that lead to the development or exacerbation of mental health problems amongst all prisoners. The literature review highlights an array of themes, including gym, drug use and parental imprisonment in affecting the mental health of prisoners, of which were also widely explored in the participants responses. The research serves to investigate these (and further) issues in order to tailor better services to approach the specific mental health needs of the prison population.
By Daniel Scott
A criminological dissertation submitted as part of the MA in Applied Human Rights, Sheffield Hallam University
During different periods of history, the Yazidis have suffered from marginalisation and discrimination because of their religion. The scale of the persecution suffered by the Yazidis was highlighted by Yazda (2017) in a report that suggested the religious minority had suffered 74 genocidal campaigns against them throughout their history. Allison (2018) highlights that they have been targeted because they are viewed as ‘devil worshippers’ due to the fact that they are a non-Abrahamic religion. They came to the forefront of the world media’s attention following the siege of Mount Sinjar where tens of thousands of Yazidis were trapped by attacking IS forces (Cooper and Shear, 2014). It has been suggested that since the so-called Islamic State started attacking Yazidi settlements in August 2014, around 3100 Yazidis have been killed, and around 6800 have been kidnapped. Ultimately, on August 3, 2014, ISIS exploited the political, social, economic, and security collapses in the country and invaded Nineveh province, including Sinjar city and the surrounding Yazidi villages in northern Iraq (Lister, 2015).
By Alan Robert Harrop, University of Derby
This dissertation is being submitted in partial fulfillment of the
candidacy requirements for the degree of
MSc Criminal Justice and Criminology
In recent years, the proliferation of digital technologies has generated a means for the creation of sexually explicit content. The non-consensual dissemination of such material has sparked an increase in online abuse and is an act better known by its embellished title, Revenge Pornography (RP). Whilst the label of RP was initially useful in highlighting widespread attention to a new and emerging social harm, academics have expressed concern that its continued use is problematic as it has become a convenient, media friendly term, that focuses on the assumed motivations of the perpetrators and therefore overlooks the harms suffered by victims (McGlynn and Rackley, 2017).
Drug trafficking, the pressures of transnational organised crime on the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), a comparative analysis of policing strategies within the war against drugs.
Jamie Heslop (Supervisor: Hilary Miller)
A dissertation submitted in requirement for the degree of
BA Hons Criminology & Criminal Justice
University of Essex
The following dissertation has been conducted to provide awareness into the prevalence of transnational organised crime in relation to the constant threat from drug trafficking. The study investigates the pressures drug enforcement agencies face within the war against drugs and how they currently implement strategies. Currently, however, there is a void in research published comparing the NCA and DEA, and their transnational fight making this study imperative in analysing how these drug enforcement agencies are currently coping. As a result, the research was mainly retrieved from NCA and DEA documents which were processed within a rigorous systematic review of an inclusion and exclusion process to remove vast amounts of unnecessary literature. The research presented findings into criminological theory as to why drug traffickers exist such as social disorganisation and General Strain Theory. Such theories linked to strategies enforced to disrupt transnational drug supply through implementation of HIDTA’s, National Control Strategies and the Southwest Border Initiative which findings show to be an imperative part of policing. It also became evident that current political restraints of Brexit and the Trump administration have become key areas of discussion which pose significant threats to the existence of current transnational strategies. The research concludes the importance of enforcement agencies policing strategies, presenting that without such policing skills, the transnational cartels would place the UK and U.S. communities in great detriment.
By Eibhlín Toomey. University College Cork.National University of Ireland, Cork. School of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences.
This study sought to ascertain the understanding and perceptions of final year UCC Criminology students in relation to sexual consent. An empirical research survey was designed and disseminated to students. The findings were analysed comparative to previous research and legislation. The study found the ambiguity of current consent legislation is leading to an uncertainty of how sexual consent is given. The study also found an inconsistency in understanding consent within relationships when compared to other sexual encounters. A lack of educational influences on consent perceptions has also been strongly highlighted.
By Shenée Nash. Royal Holloway University of London
This study critically analysed the extent to which the doctrine of joint enterprise criminalises young BAME individuals and how gang narratives contribute to the prosecution of BAME groups. By conducting three semi-structured interviews with academics and a campaign coordinator, it was discovered that the process of prosecution of young BAME groups is underpinned by a gang narrative which is fuelled by racist stereotyping. The findings suggest that from the combination of gang databases, prejudiced policing in black communities, the use of gang narratives in court and the medias’ perpetuation of gangs, young BAME groups are criminalised through joint enterprise. The legitimacy of whether joint enterprise is fair and just was also brought into question highlighting the lower evidential threshold in these cases, harsh sentencing practices and the problems with secondary liability. Recommendations are made regarding the criminalisation BAME youth who are labelled as gang-involved and the necessity for research that probes into the lives of BAME groups in their communities to prevent gang stereotyping and reduce the impact of joint enterprise on BAME individuals.
By Hannah Cashman. University of Portsmouth.
This dissertation seeks to discover to what extent sexual assault occurring in the night time economy is normalised. A mixed methodology approach was utilised consisting of an online survey and non-participant observation in the form of a Twitter analysis of the #MeToo movement. The online survey was distributed through social media and the sample included anyone over the age of 18 residing in the UK and received a total of 167 participants. A total number of 100 tweets were analysed as part of the non-participant observation.
This research upholds findings of a range of previous academic studies including the existence of notions such as rape culture and victim blaming. It has also provided new and valuable information including the environment of the night time economy can be seen to influence negative and misogynistic behaviour derived from rape culture, increasing the likelihood of a sexual assault occurring compared with during the day. Although the influence of drugs and alcohol on this issue is also notable, the night time economy as the setting for such activity to thrive, can be argued to be a facilitator of sexual assault. It also has a detrimental effect on the likelihood of reporting such an incident, not only through the repercussions of alcohol in terms of memory loss, but also as this type of behaviour is somewhat expected it hence goes unquestioned when it occurs.
By Martina Indelicato. BA Criminology. University College Cork - National University of Ireland, Cork,
This thesis dissects the relationship between this organisation and Italy (more specifically Sicily) from its origins to its contemporary form. Hence, some key socio-historical factors are analysed and critically discussed so as to understand the relationship between Cosa Nostra, Sicilian society and Italian politics. Particularly, the dissertation concerns with the changes in methods, structure and influence of the Sicilian Mafia following the Maxi-Trial (1986-1987) and the introduction of the 41-bis prison regime as a punitive instrument towards Mafia associates. The research describes the rationale and principles of the 41-bis prison regime, as well as clearly explain the effect that this event had on Cosa Nostra’s organisational nature and impact on the wider society.
By Castellani Cecilia, University College Cork – National University of Ireland, Cork, Criminology
Studies aiming at understanding of this group of criminals have been slowly increasing in the last few years, the academic knowledge on FSOs still remains in its early stages causing, unfortunately, a limited understanding on the public level (Elliott and Bailey, 2014). Additionally, literature seems to focus on the Anglo-Saxon perception of FSOs and very little research has been done with regards to countries like Italy. Indeed, the Italian country rarely appears in statistics, papers or researches on such topic determining a worrying, and very likely misleading, ignorance.
By Clare Chamberlain, University of Hull
The continuing march towards a progressive, enlightened society, may when viewed against a backdrop of increasing societal acceptance of a visible Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender [LGBT] agenda, have paradoxically facilitated an increase in hate crime.
This dissertation provides an insight into the specific views held by members of the LGBT community as to why hate crime continues to be perpetrated against them; and their opinions as to the insidious, sometimes counterproductive effects Pride events can produce, when viewed as increasingly commercialised product.
The use of semi-structured interviews for the purpose of collating real and lived experiences, is the framework for this dissertation. In turn this gathered data is used for the purpose of analysing four emerging themes, paramount as to why LGBT individuals feel hate crime is on the rise in an otherwise, contemporary, liberal society.
By Rebecca Robinson Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK
Hickman and Muehlenhard (1999) define consent as “free verbal and nonverbal communication of a feeling of willingness” with offences such as rape and sexual assault being areas in which the prosecution is to prove the absence of consent. Between 2009 and 2012, an average of 473,000 adults per year said they had been victims of sexual offences (Ministry of Justice, 2013: p.6). Previous research into consent campaigns has shown an over reliance on the victims role in preventing an attack (Bedera and Nordmayer, 2015), and a separation in understanding between negotiating sex and consent (Beres, 2014). This highlights the importance of positive understanding around consent, with an aim of lowering the frequency of sexual violence occurring against and by young adults. Adopting a social constructionist approach, this study aimed to examine how the language used in sexual consent campaigns within universities in the United Kingdom could influence the construction of knowledge and understandings of sexual consent. This was investigated using Foucauldian Discourse analysis to establish the dominant discursive patterns available to young adults. Overall, consent was constructed as a positive aspect of all sexual encounters, with the responsibility of its establishment being placed equally on both parties. The data suggested that the most beneficial way for
sexual partners to negotiate sex and fully understand each other’s feelings of willingness or refusal is to encourage an open, on going and informed discussion.
By Joe Gleadall (BSC Dissertation) University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK
With public attitudes towards crime loosely informing criminal justice system procedures and the appropriateness of sentences handed down over time, the need for renewed understanding around these perceptions remains important. Particularly, when considering past research suggests demographic features such as gender play an important role in both attitudes towards crime and different sentences offenders receive based upon their gender (Quas, Bottoms, Haegerich & Nysse-Carris, 2002). The aim of the present study was therefore to examine gender differences and the role of participant demographics upon perceptions towards crime and the criminal justice system. Participants were a combined sample of university students and members of the general public (n=157). Procedures involved exposing participants to the same six crime vignettes, in which both male and females commit comparable crimes. The experiment looked to observe how the gender of the participant and the gender of the “criminal” influenced the length of sentence given. Other variables such as age and education status were examined. Findings displayed although no significant differences in sentencing were found between with male and females for serious crime scenarios, a significant difference in the length of sentence for minor offences such as drink driving offences was found. Further analyses also displayed the importance of participant demographics on conviction proneness and confidence held in the criminal justice system. Theoretical and practical implications for findings are discussed.
Shades of Evil: An Interdisciplinary Gaze into the Abyss
By Domenico M. Galimi (MSC Dissertation) - University of Greenwich.
This dissertation sheds light on the problem of evil by concentrating on three main questions. The first one, “what is evil”, focuses upon trying to provide a definition of the concept of evil. The second one, “who is the evil person” seeks to identify the essential characteristics of the evildoer. The last, “why is evil alluring” focuses on determining the reason why, ultimately, evil sways more and more people.
An Exploration of Animalistic and Mechanistic Dehumanisation in Public Attitudes Towards the Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Violent and White-Collar Offenders
By Lloyd Christian Peter Paskell (MSC Dissertation) - University of Portsmouth
Findings showed that animalistic dehumanisation plays a significant role in public attitudes towards the rehabilitation and sentencing of violent offenders. The same results were found with white-collar offenders but in a mechanistic form. Thus, suggesting that as dehumanisation increases, public support for rehabilitation decreases, and support for higher sentences increases.
Laura Kavanagh (MA Thesis) University of Portsmouth.
This study assesses the impact of court attendance on reoffending for children and young people, through an assessment of the relevant literature and a preliminary study, comparing reoffending rates YCCs and ROs.
By Sean Brennan, University of Portsmouth
Cybercrime’ is the term used to describe the use of internet and computer technology to engage in unlawful activity. Through its scale, anonymity and portability, the internet has revolutionised the way we live our lives while in turn giving rise to new forms of crime and deviance. Policing must adapt to this unique environment while continuing to meet conventional demand. This review summarises and critically evaluates existing research on how the internet has changed society and the demands on policing.
Miranda Trier (MA Thesis) Swansea University
The purpose of this research is to critically evaluate the effectiveness of current policy and practice responses in England and Wales to unaccompanied migrant children (UMC) who are trafficked into slavery.
Ashton Rebecca Kingdon (MSC) University of Portsmouth
The Islamic State is an impenetrable world; what we know is what propagandists want us to see, and, over the past four years, the Islamic State has developed not only as orchestrators and performers of attacks, but also as professional storytellers, setting out to hijack the popular culture of the west and seduce its youth. The Islamic State has successfully industrialised its propaganda machine, and is thus now deemed to possess a more powerful propaganda apparatus than that seen in Nazi Germany (Aly et al, 2017). The research presented here took an interpretivist epistemological approach, utilising qualitative data-gathering techniques, embedded within grounded theory (Corbin & Strauss, 2015). Methodologically, this study incorporates non-participant observation of online spaces, and a semiotic content analysis of 100 propaganda videos, in order to explore the visual persuasiveness of terrorist imagery, and, more importantly, the subcultural elements of radicalisation evident within Islamic State propaganda.
Do the actions of extremist groups segregate communities and promote hate crime: Do the English defence league (EDL) and the Muslims against crusades group (MAC) constitute a social problem? “Two sides of the same coin of hate”?
By Maryam Aisha Zaman. London South Bank University.
Through the use of primary and secondary analysis this dissertation aimed to explore the actions of the English Defence League and the Muslims Against Crusades, and how they are perceived by the government, the media and the public.
By Benjamin Slocombe, University of Portsmouth
Criminal justice professionals in the UK are seeking alternatives to the formal criminal justice system
for young people. In response to this community courts have started to emerge in the UK.
Community courts originally emerged out of North America during the 1990’s in response to quality
of life crimes that neighbourhoods in New York faced (Atherton, 2015, p.113). The aim of this
dissertation was to critically examine the importance of a community court in the UK that is offering
an alternative for dealing with young offenders, as well as highlighting the issues that it faces.
By Rezia Begum, Loughborough University
This study examines the subjective experiences of Muslim and Hindu women in Leicestershire who have suffered domestic violence. It is based on in-depth semistructured interviews with ten Asian women and self-completion questionnaires completed by sixty women victims living in refuges. The guiding research questions are: age, marital status, religion, identity of the abuser, period of the abuse, forms of abuse, involvement of the police, family member awareness, agencies approached for help, frequency of medical assistance, state of mind of the abuser, thoughts of leaving and reasons for not doing so.
THE FUKUSHIMA DISASTER – A critical evaluation of the crisis management practice and accident response taken in the case of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident from the perspective of ‘risk society’ thesis and green criminology
By Yuki Taira Royal Holloway, University of London
This study, the question of whether or not the occurrence of the Fukushima nuclear disaster is ascribable to the accumulation of manufactured risk factors was addressed. In order to construct a plausible argument, this study considers the potential applications of Beck’s ‘risk society’ thesis and green criminology theory as a theoretical foundation.
By Nicola Tallon. Nottingham Trent University.
This literary analysis critically examines how Fine Art can aid prisoners rehabilitation and desistance from crime by adopting Tilley and Pawson’s (2004) realist evaluation, “what works, for whom and in what circumstances?” (Pawson & Tilley 2004). In order to achieve the research aim various avenues have been examined. Firstly, taking into consideration multiple evaluations conducted on the effectiveness of Fine Art Programmes in prison settings in the USA and the UK. The strengths and weaknesses of research designs were tested using the Sherman et al. (1998) Maryland Scale.
Additionally examined are the challenges that Fine Art programme facilitators face in the running of their programmes, as well as challenges researchers face when carrying out their studies and the limitations of existing research. Furthermore, this research examines the links between high UK prisoner mental health illness levels and the therapeutic benefits of art activities that result in improved well-being for participants. Lastly, this thesis gives realistic recommendations for future research that will strengthen research design, allow for new findings, and aid the continuation of Government funding through the Transforming Rehabilitation Agenda’s (2013) payment by results strategy.
By Dominic Willmott, University of Huddersfield.
There is a mass of research literature providing evidence for the ‘Weapon Focus’ effect which although traditionally accounted for in terms of an Arousal explanation, underpinned by Easterbrook’s (1959) Cue-Utilisation Hypothesis, recently research has favoured causation of such an effect in terms of a Salience explanation, understood in terms of Schematic memory structures. However, neither explanation as of yet has been able to conclusively disprove the other. In a study measuring the physiology and memory of participants, in conditions specifically designed to improve on past literatures methodological shortfalls, the effects of both explanations were meticulously separated out in an attempt to clearly investigate differences between them. Findings displayed that although differences emerged between memory scores and levels of physiological arousal between salience and arousal conditions, such were not to a significant extent. Methodological shortfalls within the current experiment and past research studies are thought to account for the failure to produce a weapons focus effect or further significant differences, however critical evaluation and deeper consideration of the current theoretical accounts identifies the inadequacy of these explanations, as well as future suggestions on how such might be improved.
By Rachael Hannah Fowler. University of Chester/St Helens College
This dissertation offers a critical examination of the possible explanations for paedophilia by expanding on previous undergraduate research. It begins with an explanation of moral panics and how this can cause common misconceptions regarding paedophilia and child sexual abuse. Following this, the focus shifts to the topic of paedophilia by exploring intra-familial abuse and how sexual attraction can be affected by cultural and religious differences, biological influences and via social learning. The dissertation then explores societal perceptions of the female paedophile, the Madonna-whore taxonomy and the juxtaposition of the female paedophile as a victim of a patriarchal society. It concludes with an overall summary and discussion of the main findings.
By Ellie Ralph, John Moores University, Liverpool.
This work is a piece of systematic desk-based research that explores theories of newsworthiness and their application to terrorism in 2015. Through both quantitative and qualitative content analysis, the work explores
the extent to which news values derived from Chibnall (1977) and Jewkes (2004; 2011; 2015) apply to two specific terrorist attacks carried out by IS and Boko Haram. Using quantitative content analysis, a cross section of online newspaper articles were analysed for the presence of news values. Through qualitative
content analysis, the presence of these values were then analysed in order to explore the reasons as to why the British media prioritise particular news values over others. The work also includes discussion of other theories such as Orientalism (Said, 1978), othering, labelling, media imperialism and Islamophobia to explain why non-domestic terrorism is reported in the way that it is. The researcher utilises a mixed method approach to compare how two Islamic extremist groups are represented in the British media and ultimately derives a definitive list of news values that apply to media reporting of terrorism that are a combination of values drawn from Chibnall (1977), Jewkes (2004; 2011; 2015) and this research.
Managerial opinions of Nottingham City Council’s wardens as policing partners
By Jordan Cashmore, Nottingham Trent University
Since the beginning of the cuts to police budgets, constabularies in England and Wales have had to make substantial savings to meet public expectations with fewer resources. In the City of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire Police have worked in a unique partnership with Community Protection Officers – police vetted and CSAS certified neighbourhood wardens employed by Nottingham City Council – for over a decade. With Nottinghamshire Police having to rely increasingly on partners to ensure adequate service delivery, it is time to ask whether CPOs as an agency and as a policing partner have met the expectations of managers in Community Protection and Nottinghamshire Police.
Having expanded in size, remit and power over the last ten years, CPOs have become an integral part of neighbourhood policing. They have met or exceeded all of the expectations held by participants and are projected to continue receiving political support in Nottingham. Their future seems uncertain, with respondents from Community Protection and Nottinghamshire Police anticipating different directions in the future of this scheme.
By ALANYA ROSE SPILLER
School of Science, London Metropolitan University
The relationship between young people and the rise of knife crime has been a serious issue that has affected many people’s lives. The moral panics that have stemmed from the increase of injuries and deaths as seen in the media, as well as the government response to (Wood, 2010), have undoubtedly made this topic one of fragile nature and has become most memorable for youths in the last decade (Hesketh, 2019). While young people have gone unnoticed (Halsey and White, 2008), this project sets out to examine the issue with young people’s perspectives on knife crime, and as well, aims to understand the influence of media on these beliefs.
By Carlos Puig Saenz, University of Derby
This dissertation aims to assess normalisation of recreational drug use on an English and a Spanish sample, testing the validity of the thesis created by Parker et al. (2002). The inclusion of two different countries allows a comparative assessment of the five key factors of normalisation: drug availability and accessibility, drug trying rates, regularity and recency of use, and degrees of social and cultural accommodation. The figures obtained are compared to other social studies measuring drug use, demonstrating that the rates of recreational use of drugs amongst the young-adult population remains consistently high. Respectively, 87% and 94% of the English and Spanish respondents involved in this research have been in drug offer situations, reporting cannabis to be the easiest drug to acquire. 66% and 81% of them have tried at least one drug, cannabis trying rates standing at 59% and 74% followed by the ‘dance drugs’ ecstasy and cocaine. Even though the abstainers held a negative opinion towards the topic, an average of 96% of participants selected it as the most acceptable drug, indicating – as most research suggests – that “it is only with the recreational use of cannabis that the normalisation criteria have been adequately satisfied” (Parker et al., 2002: 961).
By Alexander Goodwin, Nottingham Trent University
Over this last year there has been a lot of media attention and controversy about a potential new crime wave of untraceable three dimensional (3D) printed firearms. However, the question remains is this all necessary? This research through a critical review of the current and potential impacts of 3D printed firearms aims to determine the level of concern that is required in relation to 3D printed firearms.
The ‘Chav’ as a Subcultural Response to the Ideological Stigmatisation of Working Class Youth in an Ontologically Insecure Postmodernity
By Emily Harley-O’Neill, Nottingham Trent University
The twenty-first century, as an epoch of innovation and advancement, is riddled with perplexities of social existence. While the juvenile delinquent is by no means a novel consternation, a consumer society of cultural multiplicity and precarious relations has submerged the public imagination in existential fear of transgressive youth. The ‘chav’ is visual phenomena of expressively branded identity, of which has come to be figuratively coalesced with the origination of a criminogenic British underclass. Characteristics of welfare dependency, sexual promiscuity and worklessness are propagandised as the epitome of a moral corrupt society. Mediated stereotype acts as a deviancy reinforcer, further ostracising an outcast youth beyond the boundaries of normative reality. A deconstruction of the underclass, as contextualised in a socio-political continuum of class hatred, is necessary for interpreting of the ‘chav’ identity as a subcultural acclimatisation to the ontologically insecure self.
By Michelle Karsparians, London Metropolitan University
This research explores whether there are any changes in how the UK’s national newspapers report on the trials of child sex offenders over a seven year period from 2008 to 2014 using the methodological approach of content analysis. The purpose of the research is to uncover whether there is evidence that news reporting informs its readership of changes in the understanding of child sex offenders, reporting more sympathetically on the growing medical and academic challenges to perceived perceptions of child sex crime offenders who, notwithstanding the seriousness of their crimes, are, for example, often either victims of child sex crimes themselves, or are genetically predisposed to their behaviour. There is an increasing school of thought that there is more of a requirement of medical, psychological treatment and rehabilitation and a little more understanding by society of underlying causes of such behaviour, rather than total condemnation and vilification. Does our national press, as a source of information, reflect this change of understanding about child sex offenders in its news coverage?
A critical insight into fraud and corruption, and its facilitators, in global sporting organisations in a Western European and North American context
By Kirsty Teague, Nottingham Trent University
Criminology as an academic discipline is becoming increasingly aware that crime and deviance within sport is by no means trivial, yet to date there is a paucity of literature in what has been dubbed as ‘sports criminology’ (Groombridge, 2012). Through the utilisation of secondary sources, this library-based dissertation seeks to bridge the gap in knowledge, to gain a critical insight into fraud and corruption, and its facilitators, within global sporting organisations, such as FIFA. Thus, seeking to be a preliminary piece of work allying the disciplines of criminology and sport together. This dissertation argues that not only does the self-governing and self-regulating nature of global sporting organisations, facilitate fraud and corruption, but also, that the commercialisation of sport more generally has been a catalyst for the occurrence of fraudulent and corrupt practices. Whilst there are a number of individual-level criminological theories which aide the explanation of fraud and corruption conducted on an individual basis, it has been found that the nature and extent of fraud and corruption within GSOs is best explained by Messner and Rosenfeld’s (1994) institutional anomie theory. However, ultimately this dissertation took a similar stance to that of Hall and Winlow (2015), proposing that it is timely that criminology needs to expand the zemiological study of harm to become better able at explaining harms in today’s neoliberal era, in order for crime and deviance within sport to not be disregarded or trivialised.
By Kristian Parkin, Northumbria University, UK.
The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the extent to which recreational drug has become normalised amongst young adults in contemporary society. Drug normalisation has been a theory that has been heavily neglected for around a decade, therefore this dissertation is extremely valuable as it provides a thorough investigation in a contemporary setting. Through the use of online self-completion questionnaires, the research has investigated; the access and availability of illicit drugs, drug trying rates, levels of recent and regular drug use, levels of social accommodation from abstainers and ‘ex’ triers, as well as levels of cultural accommodation. The research revealed that 70.5% of respondents have tried an illicit substance, whilst it is the significant minority who have never consumed some form of illicit drug. The research has also importantly revealed that non-users and ex-triers are highly tolerant of the use of drugs recreationally and many attitudes displayed are remarkably accommodating. With regard to previous research, the current research revealed that cannabis still remains to be the most normalised drug; however LSD and amphetamines can no longer be seen to hold a footing within the conceptualisation. The current research has also been revealed that cocaine appears to be gaining a substantial level of momentum and is moving away from its ‘hard drug’ classification; it could soon be situated within the conceptualisation. Overall, the research found that within the sample, recreational drug use has become further normalised and has moved significantly away from its traditional association with deviancy. Recreational drug users can no longer be simply thought of as social ‘outsiders’.
Patriarchy, Culture and Violence Against Women:A Qualitative, Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Criminal Justice Responses to Honour Based Violence in the United Kingdom.
By Sara Kathrada, Liverpool John Moores University, UK.
This thesis employs qualitative methods to examine the subjective experiences of 9 South Asian females in the United Kingdom, all with varying exposure to honour based violence and the criminal justice system. Recurrent themes emerge from their accounts to suggest that abusive acts arise out of a multiplicity of cultural circumstances influenced by power and gender relations. Interdisciplinary theoretical analysis in the discourses of criminology, criminal justice, sociology, law, cultural studies, psychology and political science compliment the research, with the interplay between contradictory discourses neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism demonstrating how the volatile and pensive climates of multiculturalism embedded in contemporary issues of terrorism, sexuality and patriarchy, fracture social relations in the dichotomy of belonging and identity. The notion of honour is also explored, seen both as a tool to constrain women's self-determination and independence, and as a catalyst for violence when notions of family and community norms are challenged by women. Case descriptions from the UK are employed to illuminate how the concept of honour is used in practice, as well as highlighting problems with accountability and the lack of civil and criminal remedies that fail to provide women with adequate protection whilst covertly legitimating male violence. Recommendations based on findings include holistic responses in the provision of training for criminal justice bodies, the creation of guidelines and legislation specific to honour based violence, and the development of specialist voluntary services.
By Charlotte Dodds, University of Winchester, UK.
This dissertation explores the impact of parental separation on children’s wellbeing. Specifically, it will investigate the adverse behavioural and psychological effects of parental separation on children’s wellbeing, the possible explanations for these effects and the trauma it elicits in the lives of affected children. It does this by comparing children separated from their parents because of imprisonment with children separated because of military deployment. In doing so, this dissertation aims to ascertain whether parental imprisonment poses a unique threat to children’s wellbeing, distinct from other forms of separation. It found that parental imprisonment could be understood to pose a unique threat to children’s wellbeing on the basis that the prison context has an exclusive set of factors which adversely affect children’s wellbeing. These include issues of stigma and visitation difficulties, although casual inference is difficult to determine given that the effects could be attributed to pre-existing disadvantages in children’s lives prior to the separation and not the separation itself. It is argued that certain similarities exist between both the prison and military contexts such as the ambiguous and repetitive nature of the loss which casts doubt on the uniqueness of the prison context in affecting children’s wellbeing. Ultimately, this dissertation considers that parental imprisonment does pose a unique threat to children’s wellbeing.
“Risked To Death”: A Study into Practitioner Perception of the Implications of Scotland's Sex Offender Management System on the Rehabilitation Of Registered Sex Offenders
By Mhairi Fyffe, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK.
Researchers have recently likened modern society to that of a “risk society”, a society preoccupied with risk prevention. It has been claimed that principles of justice are being jeopardised by an obsession with risk reduction, with punitive policies having little empirical basis. It is crucial that measures taken to combat sex offending are sensitive to coherent research into what evidences best practice and are not merely a panic, populist punitive response. At present, literature assessing the current system of management lacks the expert knowledge and professional experience of practitioners. This dissertation uses data collected from interviews with seven MAPPA professionals in order to enhance the understanding of the implications of Scotland’s system of management on the rehabilitation of Registered Sex Offenders. It is hoped that by doing this, a more coherent assessment of the management system can be made. The themes that are discussed are the importance of a holistic approach, problems with a misinformed public, the counter-productivity of the Scottish system of management and the assessment of MAPPA.
By Melissa Howard, Leeds Metropolitan University , UK.
The purpose of this dissertation is to critically discuss the evolution of African Americans in the United States. The 4concern is that despite gains during the Civil Rights Movement the black race has continued to experience; exclusion, exploitation, and discrimination although at present somehow this is ‘hidden’. African Americans are disproportionately imprisoned in the United States. They account for over 50 per cent of the prison population but account for only 13 per cent of the general population. This statistic is in no relation related to an increase in offending rates. This is all in consequence to changes in policy and practice in the last forty years. These changes in the economy and law and policy in particular have in consequence meant that African Americans are still being denied full integration and citizenship. This means they are still being blocked politically, economically and socially. This research discusses the simultaneous transformations and implementations since the 1970s this is inclusive of the neoliberal project, the ‘war on drugs’ and the ‘prison industrial complex. It becomes apparent that these all interlink and help to keep political and economic elite interests in increased wealth through profitability, at the expense of the black race.
By Ann Gransbury, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
This research examines one type of ‘Black Widow’ killer as an unexplored area of romance scams. Black Widow killers murder those close to them, usually those who they have some form of romantic association with, such as a husband or lover, however, they also prey on their own relatives. The type of Black Widow killer focused upon in this research is those who murder for the purpose of financial gain, through using romance to initiate the process. These killers are referred to as ‘Scamming Black Widow killers’. The notion that such a killer could be identified as a type of romance scam is due to these killers and those fraudsters conducting romance scams having the same motivations. Romance scams involve fraudsters romancing their victims to form a trustworthy ‘relationship’, to then defraud them of their finances. The crime of murder itself, committed by Black Widow killers, is extremely serious in that it requires attention. There is no way to fully understand the incidence of Black Widow murders, as it is possible for some to go undetected or possibly ruled as accidental deaths. The other crime of non-lethal romance scams discussed in this research is also a serious crime, which can result in high quantities of money lost, and great emotional pain for the victims. Although these two crimes are separate, the link between them has previously been weirdly unexplored. This research aims to fill this knowledge gap, proposing Scamming Black Widow killers to be understood as one type of romance scam.
By Aliraza Javaid, University of Leicester, UK.
This research explores the phenomenon of male rape and how the police recognise it, together with uncovering male rape myths in a local police force. Whilst male rape research is expanding, it was found that the police have a lack of knowledge, understanding, awareness, and specialised training of male rape. Therefore, police officers’ attitudes, ideas, views, perspectives, and beliefs on specific topics pertinent to male rape are discussed. This project also seeks to comprehend gender expectations and stereotypes of men, so as to comprehend the prevalence of male rape, the negligence of male rape, and the under-reporting/recording of male rape. Moreover, because male rape is a part of sexual violence, feminist theory is used as a foundation for this project, since feminism seeks gender equality. Ultimately, this research emphasises the need for the police to adequately manage male rape victims and take male rape seriously, without any negative attitudes, ideas, views, perspectives, and beliefs.
By Aliraza Javaid, University of Leicester, UK.
Female rape attracts a lot of attention in the social sciences, but male rape is greatly overlooked by feminism, which searches to highlight the gendered nature of rape. As a result, there is a lack of numerical evidence on male rape, although it is necessary to classify the theoretical development of male rape as a social issue as it looms across the social research discourse. Therefore, it is important to examine this growth because the current direction of the research on male rape has worrying ramifications for how male rape is theorised. Male rape in the 21st century is problematic because males are still frightened to report for a wide range of reasons. Therefore, explanations of underreporting are examined, how male rape is considered in criminology, the police, and how male rape victims are construed within the law, prison, media, and support organisations. Ultimately, this dissertation stresses the need to account adequately for both female and male rape victims alike.
By Daniel Shepherdson, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The effect of the media and what they can do cannot be ignored as it plays such a crucial part in daily life. This is highlighted by the recent Leveson inquiry which considered whether the press needed regulating. This thesis considers the effect of one of the fastest growing types of media, social media. In the UK alone, social network site Twitter registered around ten million users in 2012 (Guardian, 2012). A large percentage of the UK now has access to these social networking sites. This study explores the changing nature of media representations of the British police and the implications that social media may have on perceptions of the police. This will be achieved be examining the literature surrounding media representations of policing, followed by a discussion of five qualitative, primary research interviews with journalism students, which that examine the use of social media, engagement with police related content and influence of social media on opinions of the police. This thesis covers areas of media effects research that this author believes have not yet been addressed and so aims to fill a gap in the literature. Significantly, this research hopes to develop knowledge on, and allow the reader to understand the impact of the changing nature of media representations of the police on how the police are perceived. The findings suggest that social media enables users to be more involved in the democratic processes of government organisations, but what also happens is that people may be exposed to more damaging footage of the police, take in smaller amounts of information and still be greatly influenced by mass media organisations, who are the main context setters of news. Public opinion may be no better informed then before. Representations become more complicated, and so views of the police become more extreme and varied, which in turn may create more tension over opinions on the police.
‘Policing in Great Britain has always been as much a matter of image as much as of substance'
The Changing Nature of Media Representations of the Police and the Effect on Public Perceptions: From Mass Media to Social Media
By Joshua Walmsley-Lycett, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
This dissertation aims to analyse and compare the ever-evolving illegal music industry, both past and present. Specifically, this research will focus on the bootleg boom which occurred in the late 1960’s, with online piracy of today, which was enabled by the invention of the Internet. The approach undertaken aims to supply a brief history of both bootlegging and piracy, and to determine the actual financial impact the illegal music industry has had on official record sales. The study will utilise secondary research, as well as an in-depth interview with an individual involved in the pioneering of bootleg records in the late 1960’s.
Can The Police Prove Evidence of Non-Consent?
By Angie Neville, University of Teesside, UK.
The aim of the research is to explore whether the quality of evidence of non-consent, gathered from female victims of acquaintance rape in an East Midlands Police force area in 2010/11, is sufficient for a successful prosecution. Whilst the numbers of reported rapes has steadily increased, the conviction rate does not reflect this. The offence of Rape has the highest attrition rate of all serious crime and the contention is this is often due to insufficient evidence. This may be due to poor investigative interviewing of victims by the Police, hence the requirement for this research. This dissertation met the research aim through an extensive study of the relevant literature and the implementation of a multi-method approach, designed to collect empirical data from practitioners with expertise in the research area. The latter was carried out via semi-structured interviews and an evaluation of interviews conducted with rape victims. The findings were analysed in an attempt to assess the current quality of evidence of non-consent.
Vulnerabilites and Responses to Terrorist Financing: An Exploration of Informal Value Transfer Systems, Islamic Charities, Businesses And Financiers
By Joshua Morris, University of Derby, UK.
Since the events of September 11th 2001 the international community has explored various measures of tackling terrorism, one of these measures and one which has been explored less is the tackling of terrorism financing. President Bush announced the first stage of the War on Terrorism with an attack against the terrorist financial infrastructure, but since then there has been relatively little focus on this tactic. Due to the activities of al-Qaeda being mainly under the radar, this study only offers an exploration and insight into the vulnerabilities and effectiveness of the measures targeted at terrorist financing. Therefore it was not possible to offer a full conclusion on the findings and the effectiveness of the measures targeted at them. The findings on Informal Value Transfer Systems (IVTS) suggested that the system could be as clean and only as vulnerable to terrorist financing as the formal banking system for example. However as it has been stressed in this study, as there is no effective measure to confirm what effect any tactic deployed against al-Qaeda is having it cannot be said for certain. The findings on Islamic charities suggested that this source of terrorist financing is much more vulnerable to terrorist financing than the other two areas discussed. The reasons found for this were that the humanitarian consequences that these measures can cause make it difficult for governments and bodies to apply strict measures to this source. The final source discussed was businesses and financiers and the findings on this area were found to be the most inconclusive, as there were many conflicting opinions from authors present. However the evidence which highlighted the role financiers had in funding the 9/11 attack underlined the threat and vulnerability this source has in terrorist financing.
Does Secondary Psychopathy Exist? Exploring Conceptualisations of Psychopathy and Evidence for the Existence of a Secondary Variant of Psychopathy
By Christopher Thomas Gowlett, University of Derby, UK.
A growing body of theory and related research has proposed the idea that psychopathy may be no longer consist of a homogenous population of individuals who share common etiological and phenotypic features. Rather, it is now proposed that psychopathy may be further segregated into primary and secondary variants that score similarly on measures of psychopathy (e.g. Psychopathy Checklist – Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 1991, 2003)) and yet differ in elements of their personality, behaviour and the etiological factors implicated in their development. Utilising secondary research in order to conduct a critical review of the related literature, this study set out with the primary aim to critically evaluate evidence for the existence of a secondary variant of psychopathy. Further to this, a secondary aim was to investigate historical and contemporary conceptualisations of psychopathy and its operationalisation through its measures.
By Hannah White, University of Derby, UK.
The overall aim of this study is to examine the effectiveness of youth mentoring as a criminal justice intervention. It not only analyses the effect it has on offending behaviour, but also assesses the impact it has on other aspects of a young person’s life. In addition, it examines the importance of a meaningful relationship between a youth and their mentor in achieving a successful mentoring outcome. A comprehensive review of the current literature in relation to youth mentoring suggests that it can have a number of benefits, including increased school competency, enhanced social skills and improved family relationships to name a few; however, the findings do not support its use as a criminal justice intervention on such a large scale, as the impact it has on offending is argued to be modest at best. As youth mentoring is an increasingly popular method of crime reduction and prevention in the United Kingdom (UK), it is important to examine its effectiveness in greater detail. A case study of a sixteen year-old youth and his male mentor from a local Youth Offending Team was carried out using two semi-structured interviews. Through a process of thematic analysis, it is suggested that youth mentoring can have a significant impact on a young person in a number of ways, particularly in the presence of a good quality relationship between mentee (youth) and mentor.
By Rachel Allsopp, University of Derby, UK.
It is argued that the media is the main instigator of moral panics and that their depiction of male and female offenders of CSA differs based on their predisposed gender roles. An extensive literature review was undertaken in order to explore the differences between how male and female offenders of CSA are portrayed. It was found that female offenders were reported based on a ‘virgin’ or ‘whore’ paradigm and that they are classed as doubly deviant. Females who commit CSA go against their predisposed gender roles and carry out their offences under the guise of motherhood. Male offenders, on the other hand, are deemed evil and the use of the term paedophile is broadly applied giving society a false impression of sex offenders. It is also noted within this dissertation that the CJS respond differently depending on the sex of the offender. Female offenders appear to be taken less seriously whereas male offenders are vilified as a gendered group and the media takes it upon themselves to take vigilante action or encourage vigilante action as they perceive themselves as being the guardians of society. It was found that moral panics about male offenders of CSA are more prevalent than female offenders of CSA and this could be due to the consensus that CSA offenders are only male and that the few cases involving females are due to male coercion or not believed. This was found to be not true in the case of people such as Rose West who was sexually deviant before she met Fred West. It is suggested that the media with their influential ability should educate society rather than focus on playing on the fears of society and that the CJS needs more training with regards to female offenders.
By Rachel Harding, University of Derby, UK.
Restorative Justice has been used informally by other names for many years, but it is only recently that it has become a source for widespread debate. With the current economic crises, finding the most effective way of combatting recidivism and so reducing the cost of crime has become paramount in the eyes of the police, the public, and the government. Restorative Justice is often posited as a cheaper, more effective alternative to imprisonment, but it has the shortcoming of relying almost solely on the permission and participation of the victims. This report seeks to discover and analyse possible barriers to victim engagement in Restorative Justice with a view to making recommendations on how to remove or alleviate these. By creation of a Literature Review, it was discovered that, although popular media represents a usually negative view of Restorative Justice, the majority of victims and offenders in studies discussed felt positively about it. The statistics also showed Restorative Justice in a good light when considering recidivism. However, there were no projects that addressed victims of assault in Derby. To this end, a questionnaire was created and completed by thirty victims of assault selected through Witness Service in Derby. The answers were then analysed to fully benefit from the information within and the results were presented within coding frames. It was found that Restorative Justice was not a well-known practise, with less than half of the sample having previous awareness of the scheme. It was also found that there was a great deal of confusion concerning perceived effectiveness of the scheme, and there were few that answered directly to the questions over choosing an ambivalent answer. Overall, there was a general view that Restorative Justice can be good for both victims and offenders in certain situations, but can also be damaging if not applied properly.
By Ryan Ruddy, University of Cincinnati, USA.
This paper is written to address the role of the victim in the criminal justice process. Secondary data analysis is the method used for the research. The data include governmental, law, scholarly, and victim’s rights studies. The purpose of this paper is to suggest changes to the victim’s role and expectation in the criminal justice process. The reader is taken through the historical approaches to victim involvement in the criminal justice process, to contemporary issues that victims of crime face, the paper goes on to discuss changes that should be made for the justice system to leave victims more satisfied with their involvement. Multiple approaches pertaining to violent and minor crime are taken into consideration. Finally, this paper addresses challenges to implementing legal changes to victim’s roles.
The Extent of Student Knowledge on the Current UK Drugs Policy, and Their Perception of Harms In Illegal Drugs
By Coral Higson, University of East London, UK.
This project will measure university students’ knowledge on the current classifications of drugs and the sentencing penalties resulting from possession of an illegal drug. In addition the perceptions of how harmful drugs can to be. This will be done through self-completion questionnaires from a sample of 42 students from the University of East London. One of the main aims of the UK drug policy is to deter the public from consuming illegal drugs. However, previous studies have shown that young people have the highest level of illegal drug consumption, suggesting that drug policy is not working as effectively as it could be. The results of this study indicated a lack of knowledge on the current drugs policy and varying views of the harms drugs carry.
Why is the UK Reluctant to Adopt Consequentialist Approaches to Policing Drugs?
By Daniel Courton, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
‘If you are anti-drugs, you should be pro-reform’ – Nick Clegg (BBC, 2012). In 2012 a Home Affairs Select Committee recommended a Royal Commission into UK drug policy to investigate whether Portugal’s decriminalisation policy could be adopted (HASC, 2012). These calls were echoed in 2013 with the All-Party Parliamentary Group Report into Drug Policy Reform (APGRDR, 2013). Both were carried out by party-politicians and supported by academics, yet these calls were rejected by Prime Minister David Cameron who stated that current approaches were succeeding (BBC, 2013). Moreover, at the time of writing, Brighton council is considering the use of decriminalised drug-use rooms, attracting similar criticism (BBC, 2013c). Why is the case? Why is the UK reluctant to adopt such consequentialist approaches to policing drugs when other nations are seeing successes and endorsements from professionals? What is the cultural context behind this? This thesis is a literary analysis that presents a cultural comparison of the UK and Portugal to establish cultural explanations as to why the UK is reluctant in adopting consequentialist drug approaches when compared to other nations. This writer concludes that the UK is an embodiment of Young’s Exclusive Society and Garland’s Culture of Control and it is this cultural context that creates a reluctance to pursue such a consequentialist strategy as CJS policy is a reflection of a nation’s culture. The importance of understanding the influences cultural context possess regarding drug policy development is highlighted. Therefore if there are any desires to change policy, cultural change is recommended for acceptance. Thus, further cultural comparisons regarding drug policy between different nations are recommended with a focus on the BRIC nations to reflect drugs’ global attributes and the changing nature of this world.
By Nicola Murray, University of Bedfordshire, UK.
This research’s intent was to explore the issue of sex offending and in particular the use of sex offender registries within United Kingdom and America; looking at the impact of labelling, from the perspective of the offender and their families. Secondary research was used to gather the relevant studies together from both countries perspective in a cross cultural exploration using an implicit binary comparison of United Kingdom and America, to discuss the question of cruel and usual punishments. A considered effort was made to only use research which was taken from the offender’s perspective. Legislation from both countries was discussed, with the intention of highlighting the key comparisons and differences. Key figures show a decrease in sex offending while, evidence suggests a continued public unrest; England’s human rights policies are explored, as are the tougher legislations within the United States. Research indicated United Kingdom has sufficiently less sex offenders per 10,000 people than America. Moral panics, society’s morality and media influences are researched, these are used to demonstrate that public notification and restriction programs could be seen to infringe on the human rights of an individual and have a detrimental effect on any rehabilitation.
By Ruth House, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The face of policing is changing. This research examines the impact that the role of a police officer has on those who perform it. Through semi-structured, qualitative interviews, it explores the various pressures that are placed on officers throughout their role; the impact these have upon them as people; and the way in which they live their lives. In doing so, it seeks to determine whether policing is a lifestyle choice. For the first time in over 30 years, police forces in England and Wales are being subjected to significant reforms at the recommendation of Tom Winsor. Moreover, due to governmental cuts to funding, there is now more demand than ever on the police to be an efficient, effective and resourceful public service. This climate of transition and change within policing, forms the context within which this research enquiry sits. Whilst these changes have only just begun to take effect, invariably they have, and will, continue to create additional pressures with which officers must contend. Thus, during a time when police officers are placed, more than ever, at the forefront of public and political scrutiny, it is important that the pressures engendered within their contemporary role are fully understood and, crucially, do not go unrecognised. Currently, police performance is quantified, for these stakeholders, through numerical performance indicators. However, the findings of this research have led the researcher to question how practicable this really is, and whether measuring performance in this way is unintentionally hindering officers, the police service, the government and, potentially, the social recovery of society.
By Rachel Burton, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK.
This research analysis set out to examine and explore the relationship between neoliberalism and social harm theory in the US and the UK, to see if the effects of neoliberalism can be described as social harms. This exploration included the definition of the perceived notion of crime and how certain harms are not valued under criminal law. It used previous literature to assess and discover the impacts neoliberalism (as a form of capitalism) has on society (in terms of its political ideologies). Whilst also developing an understanding of the argument from critical criminologists who suggest a move to the social harm approach would be beneficial. The interest in this research was born out of the 2008 financial crisis, its causes and the responses to it. From this analysis it can be seen that there is a strong link between neoliberalism and the production of social harms. It was concluded that further research is required to push forward the need for these social harms to be recognised as unlawful.
Sex Trafficking of Women and Children in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States: The Global Politics of Exploitation
By Justyna Syla, University of East London, UK.
This project examined the phenomenon of human trafficking in the context of sexual exploitation. It focused on women and children, as the victims, because these groups are the most vulnerable. Furthermore, it presented methods of recruitment, reasons for targeting particular types of people and the consequences the victims suffer from sex trafficking. The international routes of human trade within Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States were also outlined. This included forms of transport and passage, destination countries and origin points. Human trafficking was defined and its occurrence and existence historically was critically evaluated. Furthermore, development of international legislations and awareness raised within the countries where the problem exists was presented. Moreover, this project illustrated different perceptions of trafficking which are linked to creation of diverse laws and approaches by various states to tackle this crime.
Unravelling their Misrepresentations and Understanding the Cause: An exploratory study into domestic violence concerning gay men
By Daniel Malcolm Nixon, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.
The concept of domestic violence has predominantly been understood within a heterosexual context where women are situated as the victims of both her gender and by her partner. Very little research has been conducted to explore domestic violence in non-heterosexual relationships. Many misconceptions have surrounded the occurrence of abusive behaviours within the relationships of gay men, which have most importantly contributed to its concealment, rejection and fundamentally its very existence as a problematic issue that society faces within the contemporary world. Therefore, this study pursues to unravel and enlighten this topic by exploring how such violent behaviour is caused, constituted, constructed and understood in late modernity by those gay men who have been subjected to it. The research adopts a qualitative approach using semi structured interviews to obtain ‘thick descriptions’ of how men have experienced domestic violence within intimate same sex relationships. The data gathered has been thematically analysed using grounded theory to explore what appear to be the central causes, processes and societal perspectives of the topic. The notion of crystallisation has also been used to drive its exploratory aim in providing a deepened understanding of domestic violence from various viewpoints. The findings indicate that domestic violence within the intimate relationships of gay men lack recognition, are misconceived, gay men struggle to self realise their victimized position and that current service provisions are inconsistent as well as ineffective at confronting the problem due to both heterosexist and sexist stereotypes. Ultimately, the study demonstrates that through exploring the lives of gay men, domestic violence is potentially an occurring feature within the discourse of a gay mans life, and that exploration must be continued if a thorough understanding of such a concealed topic is to be revealed.
By Grace Morrison, University of Teesside, UK.
This small scale research project utilises secondary analysis of 6 texts to lay the foundations into the study of criminal motivation in an increasingly individualised society. In order to achieve this it traces the history of criminology as a science and consumption as a socially constructed phenomenon back to their inceptions. It explores how consumption has become the grand narrative in contemporary society and examines the political and economic context in which this has flourished. It traces criminological thought back to its founders and assess the impact on which it has on modern criminological thought, whilst noting the flaws in its foundations. It will argue and demonstrate how desire has been manipulated in the core of our biological being and harnessed into consumerism allowing the Kenyan capitalist economic system to grow. It will show the relationship this holds to modern criminal activity. This paper will conclude that access to the consumption market is the Holy Grail for modern citizens and criminal activity is a result of exclusion to this market and of a revolutionizing process of repression from our basic animalistic drives. It will also show that criminology as an academic discipline and practical science needs to move away from its preoccupation with controlling crime risks and encourage more original thought into discovering individual criminal motivations, rather than nostalgically comparing out dated and flawed theories.
The Criminal 'Edgework' Alternative Hypothesis: Is the Advancement of Entertainment and Communications Media Reducing Crime?
By Simon Hayward, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
In an unexpected turn, the Western world is experiencing a steady reduction in crime, which began in the mid – 1990’s. In an attempt to make sense of this 15 year crime drop, Criminologists have been proposing many different explanations, all of which suffer from a lack of evidence to provide validity and reliability. The idea is that this 15 year crime drop is partly due to the unintended consequences of some form of relatively new human activity or invention. The proposition put forward within this dissertation is whether the advancement in entertainment and communications media has played a part in this crime recession. The argument is that this advancement in media technology has provided a substitute and a distraction from committing real life crime. The new emerging trend in Criminology has been to cite Routine Activities Theory as an explanation for the crime drop, and given that the advancement in entertainment and communications media has been an obvious change in society, the theory has been incorporated into this study. The notion of ‘edgework’ is also a focus, as it is an original and interesting concept that humans craving for the exhilaration of risk can cause crime, and that modern day media technologies may provide an alterative avenue to feed this craving. We may call this hypothesis: The ‘Edgework’ Alternative Hypothesis. Ultimately, however, it is clear that the study suffers from the same lack of evidence and support that other explanations suffer, and that further research is needed in order to validate the research. At present, the research is very much down to individual opinion.
By Jana Trajkovska, Navitas College of Public Safety, UK.
The following socio-criminological study seeks to discover how modern society perceives early childhood aggression as a predictor of future antisocial behaviour. This report investigates links of causal factors of aggression and antisocial criminality, through the collection of published literature, public surveys and professional interview analysis. Theorists have linked antisocial personality traits to violent criminality since the 1930’s (Moeller 2001, p.2000).The current interest however lies with the causes of antisocial behaviour- much established research being dedicated to the causal factors of violent offending. Early aggression is on the other hand sparsely investigated within published research; however authors that have made the link and covered this topic show that it is an important area to consider further research into, to satisfy the ultimate aim of adequate crime prevention. The goal of this report is to uncover what modern society’s views are on early childhood aggression as a predictor of future antisocial behaviour. This report investigates links of causal factors of aggression and antisocial criminality through the collection and critique of published literature, public surveys and professional interview analysis. Within this paper you will find a literature review, a research proposal and a final report- consisting of analyses of the data collected.
By Thomas Delaney, University of Westminster, UK.
‘The most powerful military in the world cannot invade, kill or capture a network or destroy every loose weapon on the planet. The best response to this network of terror is to build a network of our own -- a network of like-minded countries and organizations that pools resources, information, ideas, and power. Taking on the radical fundamentalists alone isn’t necessary, it isn’t smart, and it won’t succeed’ (Biden, 2006 cited in Crenshaw, 2007) This report is a conservative, unprecedented attempt to evaluate and address the EU Action Plan for Combating Terrorism and wider EU counter-terrorism policy initiatives through a multidisciplinary lens. An ambiguity-conflict nexus has been distilled from a systematic literature review of differing perspectives that equate to policy entrepreneurs evoking ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors within policy formation and implementation. Furthering this, an empirical content analysis of the Action Plan and related EU counter-terrorism documents and their evolution since September 11th 2001 highlight the overriding ambiguity-conflict nexus within EU counter-terrorism initiatives. Lastly, this report concludes that the ambiguity and conflict within the Action Plan that arose from policy entrepreneurialism and the ‘push’ and ‘pull’ perspectives, contradicted the central requirement of a managerialist, hierarchical governance that the Action Plan hoped to achieve (Yonah, 2002; 2006; Council of the European Union, 2004a; 2004b).
By Shaun Yates, University of Central Lancashire, UK.
The purpose of this study is to distinguish the useful and harmful aspects of Fractional Reserve Act 1913 is. This study concludes by stating that the act is destructive in nature and needs to be readdressed. This study analyses the Act, questioning its moral legitimacy and practicality. It analyses how the Act was created, who published it, why it was created and how useful it is for society. As a result of this research, the harms this Act has created are exposed. An investigation into the act’s history is also conducted raising questions over the legitimacy of the Acts original creation. The authors and publishers of the Act are criticised for manipulating policy in order to achieve private agendas.
By Nazmina Begum, Manchester Metropolitan University , UK.
This dissertation will focus on the significance of regulating prostitution. The UK Government currently regulates prostitution because the conduct attracts many problems such as drug use, violence, public nuisance, organised crimes, human trafficking, child prostitution, and exploitation. However, these problems are still present in the UK. Thus, there have been suggestions that perhaps the UK should take a different approach to prostitution to tackle these problems more effectively. This dissertation will aim to formulate a framework for the UK Government that will best tackle these drastic problems. This dissertation will present an evaluation of prostitution and prostitution laws in history. This dissertation will specify whether prostitution should be accepted as a trade like any other lawful trades or whether the UK should view prostitution as oppression, slavery, and coercion. Finally, there will be an investigation into the reform proposals to demonstrate the significance of regulating prostitution and whether any changes to the current UK laws and policies on prostitution could be made in order to pragmatically tackle the underlying problems of prostitution.
An examination of the ‘Breaking the Cycle’ Green Paper to determine whether the proposed increase in the use of restorative justice is more likely to reduce the recidivism rates of young offenders than the current criminal justice system
By Laura Hush, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
This research paper considers the proposals put forward by the Government in the ‘Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders’ (Ministry of Justice, 2010) Green Paper against theories of desistance from crime. This is to determine whether the proposed increase in the use of restorative justice could decrease recidivism rates of young offenders, or whether the current criminal justice system has a greater ability to achieve this. The major difference between the current criminal justice system and restorative justice is that, whilst the current criminal justice system focuses predominantly on punishing the offender, restorative justice concentrates on addressing the underlying reasons for the behaviour and the perspective of the victim. This difference is focussed on throughout the analysis.
This research found that young offenders’ desistance from crime can be a result of them maturing, though it is also assisted by strong links with the local community and wider society, for example through work or relationships. As such requirements are met more closely by restorative justice practices; it seems that this would be better placed than the current criminal justice system to decrease young offenders’ recidivism. The detailed reasons for this finding are discussed in this research.
By Victoria Loizou, University of Hull, UK.
The wide availability of the internet has brought massive changes in the ways by which communication can be achieved and in many instances have replaced traditional methods of correspondence. Increasingly popular is the use of social network sites which are one of the many ways by which computer mediated communication can be achieved. The massive growth of this sort of interaction has consequently attracted a large amount of media attention particularly following incidents of criminal activity that came to light. The aim of this dissertation is to explore the extent and nature of criminal activity of most popular social networking site, Facebook, and to determine whether the risks and warnings highlighted in the news and other media regarding the use of social network sites are justified.
By Kathleen Evans, University of Chester, UK.
Through the method of Critical Discourse Analysis this dissertation examined how female co-offenders are portrayed in comparison to their male counterparts within different forms of media. Existing literature on gender assumptions and the notions of masculinity and femininity and how they are reiterated in relation to the offender within the media sphere, were vital in not only providing the foundations for this dissertation but also the focus for the analysis. Concentrating on two different cases of male and female co-offending; Vanessa George and Colin Blanchard and Maxine Carr and Ian Huntley, a review of the literature relating to each of the partnerships was initially undertaken before critically analysing the linguistic features of a selection of headlines and two documentaries relating to each of the cases. Informed by the literature, due to the preconceptions surrounding femininity it was predicted that within both forms of media the female offender in each case would receive the majority of the negative attention and due to their gender would be demonised far more than the male. Whilst the analyses of both sets of headlines revealed this to be true, interestingly the documentary relating to Maxine Carr appeared to take on a far more balanced stance.
A Critical Analysis of the Justifications of Imprisonment as Punishment and the Culture of Punitiveness in Comparison to the Realities of Prison Life within England and Wales
By Nicola Dewhurst, University of Leeds, UK.
This project will aim to identify why imprisonment is considered to be the primary and most preferable form of punishment within England and Wales. To do this, historical and traditional notions of the penal system will be considered in depth before it is ascertained if such values are outdated, unjustifiable or ineffective in modern society. The penal system will be largely deconstructed in an attempt to remove normative and familiar assumptions and rhetoric that may taint objectivity of judgements. Essentially, this means that the penal system will be stripped of societal connotations (in so far as is possible given the arguable subjectivity of all human debate), in an attempt to reach a non-prejudiced, non-perverted conclusion about the justifiability of imprisonment as punishment, and the subsequent consequences that has for offenders.
How Punitive are the British Public?: An Evaluation of Kingston University Student’s Opinion
By Kate MacLeod, Kingston University, London, UK.
This dissertation researches the ‘punitive’ nature of Kingston University student’s opinions towards the sentencing of offenders. Using Hough and Roberts’ (1999) study ‘Sentencing Trends in Britain: Public Knowledge and Public Opinion’ as inspiration, the knowledge of two cohorts of students on the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and its practices, is tested to determine the origins and reliability of the sources they use to form their opinions. John Pratt’s notion of ‘penal populism’ (2007) will be explained in relation to its influence on the two groups of students. According to the findings of Hough and Roberts (1999) it is considered that the ‘not informed’ students would express more punitive attitudes due to their ‘lack of knowledge’ of the CJS and the populist punitive nature of the mass media they are exposed to (Pratt; 2007).
By Carly Speed, Liverpool John Moores University, UK.
In a modern day society dominated by a culture of crime and punishment there has been an increased use of prisons which has resulted in the prison population in England and Wales reaching an all time high. This persistent use of prisons has resulted in an increasingly vulnerable population being in the care of the state. Statistics demonstrate that self-inflicted deaths in prisons is a persistent problem which raises serious questions regarding the state’s ability to adequately care for prisoners wellbeing. This is where the charity INQUEST has been instrumental in supporting and campaigning for the rights of these prisoners and their families. This dissertation examined the work of INQUEST including their main achievements and problems they face as a counter hegemonic organisation. To discover this information, a vast amount of data was gathered from various staff members at INQUEST, historically right through to the present day. The dissertation was able to develop a profound understanding of how a counter hegemonic organisation like INQUEST can successfully challenge the state’s dominant truths surrounding the topic of self-inflicted deaths in prison and develop alternative truths as a result of their dedicated and tireless work.
The Police Uniform: Power, Authority and Culture
By Camilla De Camargo, University of Salford, UK.
The highly recognisable and iconic nature of the police uniform is arguably the most powerful tool of the police trade. The power and authority it bestows on its’ wearers can only serve to have some ‘contaminating’ effect on officers. This study uses qualitative interview data obtained from nine police officers accessed via a Police Neighbourhood Team over a two week period in December 2011. The resulting data was used in an attempt to explore the links between power, authority and the wearing of the police uniform and to discuss the social impact their occupation has on their lives outside the force.
Contemporary Controversies Surrounding Capital Punishment: How does the deterrence theory, victim participation and human rights impact upon current debate?
By Rosie Grant, University of Leeds, UK.
This dissertation examines three issues of capital punishment that are central to current debate. The areas that are of concern include: the efficacy of the deterrent effect, the role and impact for victims in capital cases and human rights influences. In the evaluation of the deterrence effect, the retrospective data revealed that murders and sanctions are independent phenomena. A comparison of abolitionist and retentionist states in the United States of America informed us that there is no apparent correlation between imposing the death penalty and a reduction in the average homicide rate. There are various other social and demographic factors that may have more impact upon crime. It is argued that the four main dimensions of punishment that the deterrence theory relies upon – severity, certainty, celerity, and publicity – are not exercised sufficiently for the death penalty to act as an effective to deterrent to murder in the United States of America.
By Brogan Currie, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK.
This dissertation examines the gendered experiences of women in prison. Women comprise just 5% of the total UK prison population therefore it is argued that the specific needs of imprisoned women are being overlooked in the development of policy. As a result, there is a view that women are being disadvantaged in terms of the delivery of services within the prison regime including access to appropriate prison rehabilitation programmes and healthcare provision. The literature review identifies the differences in the way men and women experience prison through examples of discrimination. It also highlights the key differences between male and female prisoners including offence type, life experiences and coping mechanisms therefore recognising them as a unique group in need of specialised treatment. However, an investigation into prison rehabilitation programmes and the specific issues facing women in custody such as gynaecological health, pregnancy and childcare, revealed a distinct lack of gender-specifity in available services. It concludes that the small numbers of female prisoners have been subsumed into the majority male population and as a consequence, their needs are failing to be met during custody. This reduces the overall effectiveness of imprisonment as a punitive sanction for women offenders, suggesting that perhaps an entirely new approach is needed.
Crime Reducing Entertainment: The Contribution of Media Entertainment and Communication Technologies to the UK’s Victimisation Drop
By Jordan Cashmore, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The crime drop of the western industrialised world has baffled criminologists of late, defying all predictions. Despite numerous attempts to explain it, no consensus has arisen as to the cause. Therefore, incorporating numerous hypotheses may be the way forward in order to formulate a more comprehensive understanding of the reasons for the decline in crime. The hypothesis presented by this dissertation aims to contribute to that, examining whether improvements to and widespread availability of media entertainment and communication devices have caused the crime drop, specifically in the UK. When comparing statistics from the British Crime Survey regarding victimisation in England and Wales with independent research into ownership and use of leisure and communication technologies, strong visible relationships were found. Routine Activity Theory is used to examine the possible effect that ownership and usage trends of these technologies has on crime victimisation. Since Routine Activity Theory could not explicate the reasons for these potential effects, the dissertation speculates various possible explanations for the effect. It is found that the hypothesis is plausible and can be applied to many victimisation crimes, though it is only a partial explanation and must work in conjunction with other hypotheses in order to mutually improve their effectiveness in explaining and continuing the crime drop.
Neat, Plausible, and Wrong: Examining the Limitations of Typologies in the Study and Investigation of Serial Murder
By Emily Dryer-Beers, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
This thesis questions the accepted use of typologies in an official capacity. To examine if typologies are of practical use in the study of serial homicide, potential implications of their use are critically discussed in five contexts, those of prevention, investigation, profiling, utilisation in court, and with respect to societal contentment. It is concluded that due to the inherent ambiguity of typological thinking and the inability of categorisation to characterise human behaviours, the use of such methods does more to impede understanding than it does to improve it. Rather, such pursuits are borne out of a very human desire to understand, and hence control the uncontrollable.
By Geoffrey Pickersgill, The Open University, UK.
There has been much research in recent years into the causes of the well-known phenomenon that mentally impaired people tend to be over-represented as defendants in the criminal justice process. Less research, however, has been undertaken into why such defendants and suspects appear to be at a higher risk of making false confessions. This may be because it appears that there is a simple answer to this question: such suspects are mentally impaired and vulnerable to the pressures of the criminal justice system, particularly those involved in being interviewed by the police. This is certainly one valid reason but it is by no means the only reason. Research suggests several causal factors are involved. This paper examines some of these causal factors and in doing so reveals the incremental nature of knowledge construction which various researchers have taken in their studies. Dispositional factors and situational factors are both instrumental in causing false confessions. The paper concludes that there is no one major factor that leads mentally impaired suspects to make false confessions more than suspects who are not mentally impaired but rather it is a combination of factors.
By Suzanne Eckton, University Of Central Lancashire, UK.
The aim of this study is to critically analyse whether imprisonment for women is a justifiable form of punishment, or whether alternative approaches are more appropriate. To gain a clear understanding of the question at hand, this essay is based on a theoretical stand point using sources from official research, feminist views and other critical thinkers, case studies, documentaries as well as charities/agencies and organisations.
By Keiran Morris, Birmingham City University, UK.
This work was conducted to determine the impact of human security concerns within security policies of, the dictatorships of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya upon the Arab Spring and the fall of the regimes in the region of Northern Africa in 2011-12. Academic literature tells us that the concept of security is changing from a state focussed realist concept in the colonial period to a human focused paradigm in the post-colonial period; and, although it discusses the threats posed to the moral values of an abstract ‘international community’ through human security issues such as poverty or human rights abuses, it does little to discuss the importance of the human security on stability of state institutions. Discussion of this change aids an exploration of realist security policies adopted by Tunisian, Egyptian and Libyan authorities during the 20th century post-colonial state-building period. What emerges from this is a discussion of how an ignorance of human security within continually realist security policies eventually led to the downfall of the dictatorial regimes when the legitimacy of those regimes was challenged by a changing international political and economic situation. This work shows that an analysis of media coverage, political statements, academic and NGO reports reveals negative citizen-state relationship where the regimes’ frequent human rights abuses damaged the human security of the general population, leading to the citizens rebelling and ultimately overthrowing the regimes. The work therefore concludes that a state’s recognition of human security is of paramount importance in ensuring its own legitimacy and state security.
By Jordan Picken, Birmingham City University, UK.
The research area of imprisonment and its effects on inmates has had a long and complex history over the past decades, with researchers having varying opinions. Early researchers suggested that imprisonment had negative psychological and physical effects on its inmates, leading to psychological deterioration. More recent research, on the other hand, has suggested that imprisonment is not as detrimental as first thought. This review aims to provide an overview of the coping strategies, adjustment and well being of male inmates in the prison environment. Additionally, a systematic review methodology is adopted to examine the relationships between coping strategies, adjustment and well being of male inmates. The objectives of this review were, firstly, to determine if coping strategies affect the adaptation, adjustment and well being of inmates and, secondly, to determine if institutional changes can improve inmate adjustment and coping. The results were mixed, but demonstrate that there is a complex relationship between the coping strategies, adjustment and well being of male inmates and that institutional opportunities and changes can be beneficial. The review concludes that there is a link between coping strategies, adjustment and well being of male inmates and that therapeutic communities, such as those at HMP Grendon, would be useful in conventional prisons to help inmates adjust and reform.
By Jasmine Smith, Birmingham City University, UK.
This dissertation examines both serial killers and terrorists in the hope that a more comprehensive understanding and look into their behaviour, can help counter their deviance. As recent tragedies such as 9/11 and 7/7 demonstrate the horrific damage terrorist organisations can cause, and highlights the need to understand their behaviour. Using library based, documentary review as a basis for critical research, this work attempts to investigate and analyse both serial killers’ and terrorists’ pathways into crime. In demonstrating the similarities and differences between the two, this dissertation aims to decipher if a terrorist could in fact be far more analogous to a serial killer than what is often believed.
By Anthony Mousdell, St Helens College in collaboration with Liverpool John Moore’s University, UK.
In a period spanning the past 20 years, there has been a “detrimental paradigm shift from ‘penal welfarism’ to ‘penal populism’, the result of which justifies an increase in the use of incarceration” (Bruce, 2010). This dissertation offers an in-depth analysis of Community Justice and the determining factors that entitle it as a viable alternative to the core problems (recidivism, public opinion / risk and economics trepidations) that blight our prison service to date. The findings of which unearth an ambidextrous dichotomy. Exploring ‘the North Liverpool Community Justice Centre’ and cross continental schemes, justice reinvestment coupled with community justice demonstrate a potential solution not without obstacles
By Sally Freeman, University of Huddersfield, UK.
The piece of work will be looking to address the gap in research around perceptions of homicide particularly with regards peoples’ perception of the dynamics of homicide such as where it occurs and the circumstances around the offence. The research will also look at where people get their information on crime from and consider if this has an effect on a person’s perception. Previous research suggests that peoples view of crime is not in line with official statistics and that people think crime is on the increase when official figure suggest that crime rates and in particular homicide rates are decreasing (Mattinson and Mirrlees-Black, 2000; McDonald, 1995; Mitchell and Roberts,2012). Research also suggests there is a difference between men and women’s perceptions of crime (Pfeiffer et al, 2005), and this piece of research aims to try and replicate those findings in respect to perceptions of homicide.
By Sarah Morrison, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
In recent years there has been an increase in the consumption of media, which has led to concerns about whether it is criminogenic. This research aims to evaluate the ways in which the media can be considered criminogenic via two outcomes – imitation of acts and incitement to crime. In order to assess the influence of media on imitation and incitement, a secondary methodological approach has been utilised; a literature review was used to compile evidence from a number of resources – including books and journals accessed through Nottingham Trent University. In addition, this research makes use of newspaper articles to gather anecdotal evidence for the purpose of analysing imitative behaviour of fictional media. This evidence provides details about specific cases of criminality, which is analysed in conjunction with the media individuals are purported to have imitated to evaluate the extent to which media is relevant in the cases discussed.
By Debbie Wells, University of Central Lancashire, UK.
The prison is used as a major form of punishment and is currently the ultimate penalty given to criminals who break the law in contemporary society. However, despite its widespread use, the effectiveness of the prison has always been a widely debated controversial issue. Utilitarian Jeremy Bentham and anarchist Peter Kropotkin have presented opposing views on the use of the prison as a form of punishment. This dissertation will outline these two diverse perspectives. After a brief historical discussion of the emergence of the prison, a discussion of Bentham’s and Kropotkin’s differing views of human nature will demonstrate what they perceive as an ideal society. This forms the basis of their conflicting solutions to reduce crime, in an attempt to answer whether the prison service is an effective form of punishment for criminal behaviour. After close examination of Bentham’s utilitarian theory, it is evident that he desired the reformation of the prison. On the other hand, Kropotkin demanded absolute abolition of the prison and all forms of authority within society, in order to allow for cooperation and mutual aid. However, despite their differences it is evident that both Bentham and Kropotkin would disagree with how the prison operates today.
By Samantha Walker, Plymouth University, UK.
The purpose of this study is to determine how ‘honour’-based violence is managed in terms of legislation and policy within the UK. Due to a substantial rise in immigration into the UK over the last decade and the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and 7/7, the UK moved away from multiculturalism and instead adopted a push towards civic integration. As a result greater focus has been placed upon minority ethnic within England and Wales. Furthermore, since the rise of second wave feminism and the human rights agenda, violence against women within the UK has been increasingly recognised as a social problem. Thus ‘Honour’-based violence, a phenomenon commonly associated with minority ethnic communities, is today increasingly found within both the media and political spotlight within the UK. Through an extensive study of the relevant literature in this area, this dissertation focuses on the way in which ‘honour’-based violence is managed within England and Wales; particularly within both legislation and policy.
High Plains Drifters: Intellectual Property, Freedom Of Speech And Big Business – The Battle For Control Of The World Wide Web
By Wayne Noble, University of Central Lancashire, UK.
This is a discussion and definition of Intellectual Property Rights, Intangibility, File Sharing, Freedom of Information, Drift Theory and the Social Construction of the Cyber Criminal. In this work I intend to outline measures which have been taken to curb Intellectual Property Crime by the media industry and consider how such measures have been effective in designing out crime. Also an examination of the threat allegedly posed by file sharing to the media industry and if that threat is as great as the bodies and statistics claim? There is an exploration of Foucaldian notions of power and how they are stratified across the internet rather than being centred within one particular body or institution.
By Katie Grady, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The illicit drug trade is the largest transnational form of organised crime in the world and dates back well before any regulations were introduced to monitor or control such substances, or indeed, to respond to the problems it subsequently created. The detrimental impacts of this sustained problem, either with supply or demand, have become embedded in many nations which has allowed upper-level drug traffickers to increase their networks and control, often using violence as a weapon. Despite the large profits generated from the drug trade, it is argued that the suffering caused by the high crime levels and costs to the economy is greater than that of the drugs themselves.
By Aleasha Cox, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The emergence of youth gangs in the UK in recent years has resulted in heightened media attention of the group, with sensationalised headlines appearing in newspapers relating to violent gang crimes which have led to the deaths of many young people. This has resulted in the fear of groups of young people within communities, as well as a multitude of government responses. The aim of this dissertation was to identify the myths and realities surrounding the emergence of youth gangs in the UK in order to determine whether the media is fuelling a moral panic which in turn has led to inappropriate responses by the government. A literary based approach was utilised for this research in order to ascertain whether it is appropriate to apply the wide range of US literature to the UK situation. The research focuses on the varying definitions of youth gangs, followed by an analysis of both US and UK subcultural explanations of the emergence of gangs and finally a look at how media moral panics influence government initiatives. The research concludes that youth gangs do exist in the UK, however, due to gaps in research and a lack of reliable empirical evidence, along with the influence of the media’s involvement; it is found that government responses are failing to address the needs of youths involved in gangs. Recommendations are also made, suggesting further areas for research as well as improvements which could be made to government policy and initiatives.
By Emma Gordon, Blackpool and Fylde College, an Associate College of Lancaster University, UK.
The differential extent of research into nutrition and malnutrition and the impact this has on externalising behaviours is vast. It is generally accepted that nutrition and related factors such as food additives, hypoglycaemia and cholesterol plays an important role as a contributor of children and adults externalising behaviour, such as aggression or anti social behaviour, and as such much research has been carried out into the prevalence of this. However, little is known about the role malnutrition plays in such externalising behaviours (Raine, Lui, Venables, & Mednick, 2004). Furthermore identifying the antecedents of anti social behaviour has also become prevalent in society today (Rutter, 1997). Therefore, the following paper will explore the relationship between malnutrition and anti social behaviour.
By Stephen Whattam, Blackpool and Fylde College, an Associate College of Lancaster University, UK.
According to some commentators, Britain is a place of heightened public insecurity and anxiety. ‘Fear of crime’ (FOC) is a routine feature of many people’s lives. It can be argued that in the UK successive governments since the 1970s have utilised this fear, which in turn has provided the political legitimation for the increased use of situational crime prevention security measures. Paradoxically, visible signs of security hardware may make some people more fearful, sensing that high security must indicate high risk. This dissertation discusses whether situational crime prevention is modern society's 'trojan horse'.
By Sophie Lockley, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The intention of this dissertation was to examine the effectiveness of current practises in place by the criminal justice system to supervising sex offenders in the community. While treatment techniques within a custodial setting have been investigated in previous research, there has been a deficiency in research once sex offenders are released. It considered legislation which has introduced such measures to monitor sex offenders upon their release from custody and analyses the methods and accuracy of risk assessments before reverting back to a debate which highlights the difficulties in balancing the human rights of the sex offender against the rights protecting the public.
'Child Criminals’ in the Media: an Analysis of Media Constructions of ‘child criminals’ and a Critical Analysis of the Consequences
By Helen Dunbabin, University of Central Lancashire, UK.
The intention of this dissertation is to highlight the socially constructed nature of ‘childhood’ through the production and reproduction of knowledge from discourse. The author endeavours to expose the unequal power relations and discursive manoeuvres that are utilized in media discourse(s) that sustain dominant notions that children and young people who transgress the law are ‘evil’ and/or 'adult like'.
By Joe Sheffield, Birmingham City University, UK.
This paper is aimed at addressing public opinion towards the Right-Wing group, the English Defence League (EDL). Having received the label of extremists by the media, this paper seeks to examine such claims that the English Defence League is an extremist organisation. What we hope to achieve is a more detailed understanding of the accusations being made against the EDL, as well as identifying who the EDL are and what they stand for.
By Rhian Metcalf, University of Central Lancashire, UK.
The central objective of this dissertation is to develop an understanding regarding the socio-economic issue of homelessness. This dissertation attempts to review and develop understanding regarding the ethos and social improvement practices of the Recycling Lives organisation, evaluating the multi-dimensional company’s social value in terms of socio-economic rejuvenation and individual rehabilitation. Other charities and support measures are reviewed alongside government statistics including an acknowledgment of factors which may have added to the progression of an individual’s disadvantaged state, whilst reviewing the benefits and implications of institutionalised intervention.
By Michael E. Marotta, Eastern Michigan University, USA.
The demise of the legal person Arthur Andersen LLC models the many miscarriages of justice, wrongful convictions and subsequent exonerations of real persons. The case shines a bright light into corners of the criminal justice system often ignored both by the mass media as well as by many criminal justice professionals. This dissertation provides a cross-section of the case.
An evaluation of the Offender Assessment System (OASys) as an assessment tool for the National Probation Service
By Kerry Newbold, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The intention of this research was to evaluate the Offender Assessment System (OASys) and to consider its role within the probation service. Primary research was conducted using the semi-structured interview in order to gain information on several a reas of interest in relation to OASys. This included the length of time it takes to complete the assessment, any technical difficulties that occur, gender specific questions, the usefulness of OASys, the results and the relevancy of the information required. A snowball sample was used in order to gather the participants, which consisted of seven probation employees.
Is CCTV effective in reducing Anti-social Behaviour?
By Philippa Fletcher, Lancaster University, UK.
It seems that currently there is very little literature or research evaluating the effectiveness of CCTV in reducing antisocial behaviour. As antisocial behaviour can be an antecedent to more serious crime it is important to know which initiatives are effective in reducing the likelihood of it occurring. CCTV is a situational crime prevention method, a way to design out crime (Newburn, T., 2007).
The aim of the research was help to bridge the gap in knowledge in the area of the effectiveness of CCTV in reducing antisocial behaviour with the use of both primary and secondary sources. The results were startling, showing CCTV to have little impact on the level of antisocial behaviour in one area and the opposite in another area. The interview with the Blackpool CCTV Unit and research has highlighted some interesting factors as to why these results may have occurred.
Why Has Prison Emerged as a Prominent Form of Punishment for Most Crime and What Are its Functions in Relation to Wider Society?
By Robert Taylor, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The purpose of this dissertation is to ascertain why prison has emerged as a prominent form of punishment for most crime and to critically discuss the function of modern day prisons in relation to wider society.
Following the Second World War the prison population in England and Wales increased dramatically and continues to rise, even though crime rates have reduced since 1997. As a result 82 of the 142 prisons in England and Wales are overcrowded. Yet we continue to sentence offenders to custody, since May 1997 a total of 1,036 new offences have been introduced which are punishable by imprisonment and the Ministry of Justice anticipate that the number of offenders behind bars will reach 95,800 by 2015. This thesis endeavours to explore why it is prison remains a popular form of punishment.
By Claire Willoughby, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
This dissertation explores false and malicious allegations of rape made by women against men and the effect this has on the workings of the criminal justice system. Further objectives include examining the reasons why false claims are made, to what extent they contribute to the low conviction rate in rape cases which is currently only 6% (Home Office, 2010) and examining the role that alcohol and drugs may play in making a false allegation. These issues were investigated through both library based and primary research that took the form of semi-structured interviews with a convenience sample including a police officer specialising in the field of rape, a prosecuting barrister for the Crown Prosecution Service and someone who has recently been accused of rape.
By Catherine Phillips, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The criminologically orthodox view of crime displacement is that displacement is not inevitable; is often less than anticipated, and that Situational Crime Prevention Initiatives may even lead to a ‘diffusion of benefits’. Advocates of this viewpoint cite empirical literature that purports to show little evidence of displacement. A secondary analysis of this literature shows that displacement may in fact be more common than is widely claimed, particularly in the case of studies with offenders. Furthermore, the findings of the Kirkholt Burglary Prevention Project, which purport to demonstrate a diffusion of benefits, are shown to be based on questionable evidence. This dissertation therefore questions the accepted view of crime displacement, and the soundness of the evidence on which it is based; and recommends that a large scale research project should be conducted with offenders, to discover a more accurate picture of crime displacement.
By Lydia Hackney, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
Women’s prisons are surrounded in controversy and commentaries on the many issues relating to them such as drug abuse, mental illness and s elf-inflicted death have become increasingly visible to the public in the twenty-first century. A number of scholars and campaigners blame these issues upon a gendered design; believing that the UK prison system was designed by men, for men. The aim of the dissertation was to investigate the veracity of this notion using a secondary literary-based research approach.
By Lucy Kentish, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
Genocide is perhaps the most extreme and destructive crime against humanity, however, the international response to incidents of this nature has frequently lacked political will or commitment, either financially or through military interventions. A commonality in the lack of genocide intervention by individual states is the absence of gainful resources such as oil, gold and diamonds in the country of conflict, or through the description of such events as ‘civil wars’. A further problem encountered with the intervention of genocide is its legal classification, the limited meaning of which has consequently resulted in governments failing to respond whilst attempting to determine the correct ‘terminology’, with the recent conflicts in Darfur being a key example of this problem (Quayle, 2005). This thesis, therefore, attempts to determine whether genocide can be actively prevented through a discussion of the potential causal factors of genocide, and a critical evaluation of whether existing responses to genocide are both appropriate and effective.
‘The Ultimate Betrayal' Female Child Sex Offenders: An Exploration of Theories, Media Representations and the Role of the Internet in Relation to Female Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse
By Laura Bexson, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
Following the recent case of Vanessa George, the nursery worker who sexually abused children in her care, this dissertation has chosen to look at this group of offenders in more detail. The sole method of data collection chosen for this study was library-based research. Using a range of textbooks, journals, newspaper articles and websites the researcher was able to gather information on this topic. The study discusses a number of theoretical explanations put forward in attempt to explain the actions female perpetrators of child sexual abuse. It e xplores a number of high profile cases of female sex offenders these being; Myra Hindley, Rosemary West and Vanessa George. The ways in which these women were represented in the media is examined looking at the imagery and language used. Finally the role of the Internet in sex offending is examined with a more specific section on what it is about the Internet that may be driving women to commit sexual abuse against children. Here the importance of male-coercion is highlighted.
By Sarah Price, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
This dissertation measures the extent to which recreational drug use has become normalised amongst the student population at university. It draws on five key dimensions to measure normalisation through the use of online self-completion questionnaires; access and availability, trying rates, rates of recent and regular use and the degree of social and cultural accommodation of such use. This dissertation assessed the extent of normalisation in comparison to previous research carried out amongst young people in this subject area.
By Sarah Coutts, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
The Prison Service’s emphasis on punishment, control and security has created many problems for the efficient and effective delivery of care to mentally disordered prisoners. Mentally disordered offenders do not have the crucial coping mechanisms or ability to deal with the ‘prison culture’ (Stephen and Knight, 2009). Conflicting opinions with regards to the treatment of mentally disordered offenders between the prison system and the NHS means care available to prisoners is limited. The focus remains on punishment for the offence rather than treatment of mental disorders (Criminal Justice Act: Chap 44, 2003). Therapeutic communities offer a potential solution to the question of where mentally disordered offenders should be placed. The research found that all three (Community, Institution and Prison) are useful with regards to the placement of mentally disordered offenders. It seems that each provides care for the offender and protects the public from future harm to differing degrees. It identifies the appropriateness of each placement, however also identifies that placement should be dependent on the aims (punishment or rehabilitation), the offence and the mental health issues.
The Reintegration Of Elderly Prisoners: An Exploration Of Services Provided In England And Wales
By Matthew Davies, University of Leeds, UK.
The elderly population in England and Wales has received relatively very little attention in the criminal justice system across a number of levels. This is despite a rapidly increasing elderly prison population which is contributing to an already overcrowded prison system. This poses a number of challenges for the Prison Service, since older people in prison experience a host of unique problems which differ to those of younger prisoners. One significant aspect that has been overlooked by academics, politicians and practitioners is the issue of re-integration. A literature review reveals that older inmates disproportionately struggle with resettlement as a result of distinct psychological adjustments they have made in prison, a reduced support network in the community and an increased likelihood of health and mobility concerns. These problems are exacerbated by a system oriented on a stereotypical understanding of the young male criminal. In England and Wales, this has restricted the usefulness of prison programmes and activities for older prisoners who are less likely to re-offend and who are less likely to be a threat to society upon release. With the prioritisation of reducing re-offending and protecting the public, the National Offender Management Strategy (NOMS) fundamentally conflicts with the characteristics of elderly prisoners and fails to consider their re-integrative needs.
By Jana Bednarova, Anglia Ruskin University, UK.
The aim of this dissertation, which is based on secondary research involving analysing a range of books, journal articles, Government publications, newspaper articles and videos, is to critically examine the position of the victim in the criminal justice system. The paper looks at the role of political interests in establishing victim-focus policies and the direction towards their placement at the heart of the justice system. This includes the managerialistic values, modernization of the Government and covering-up of punitive measures taken against the offender that all point to the political rhetoric around the centeredness of the victim. Furthermore, the view of traditional justice is accounted for in order to get a grasp of the many underlying factors that can be attributed to the so called rebirth and the consequent concentration on the victim. The paper firstly discusses characteristics of victims, the impact of crime on victims and also their needs for a better understanding of who they are and what can be done to help them. Particular attention is drawn to stereotypes associated with victims and constructions of the ideal victim. Secondly, the adversarial nature of English justice and implications for victims are discussed, as well as some tensions between the interests of the offender and the victim, and the opposed nature of the two. Procedural and service rights especially play an important role in defining whether victims are given appropriate attention. Many new initiatives favour the victim and pledge for its better treatment, but it will be shown that there are conflicts as to what can be done in reality and what is proposed. However, it cannot be disputed that support for victims has progressed significantly within the last decade. In the dissertation, it will be argued that the position of the victim, influenced by these many factors, cannot be at the heart of the system, but has advanced in terms of their treatment.
By Fiona Bruce, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK.
Over the years, there has been a paradigm shift from penal welfarism to ‘punitive populism’ in the UK, and a consequence of this has been an increased use of imprisonment. It has been recognised that high imprisonment rates disproportionately affect the most deprived communities, and this study outlines the detrimental impact that this has upon their economic viability, reputation, cohesion and strength of networks. This study demonstrates that community justice is a potential solution to these problems; as such an approach aims to improve communities by getting people to become more engaged with the criminal justice system (CJS), reintegrating ex-prisoners, and by focussing upon areas such as housing, employment, education and health, and not simply individual offenders. The ways that justice reinvestment initiatives have been used in the US are also outlined in this study, to demonstrate that no new monies are required to fund community justice. Although there are a number of obstacles that will have to be overcome, including support for ‘tough on crime’ policies, a ‘decline in community’ and fear of crime, this study proposes that if the public are made aware of the wider benefits that such an approach could bring, then community justice provides an opportunity for real changes to be made to the CJS and communities throughout the UK.
By Anthea Tainton, Notingham Trent University, UK.
This dissertation evaluates the impact of Neighbourhood Policing in a local community, focusing in particular on the perceptions of key stakeholders and members of the community. Neighbourhood policing is the most recent model of community policing in the UK, whilst community policing has been a popular model in the USA it has not been as influential in the UK. However, during the early 2000s there was growing anxiety and an increase in the public’s fear of crime, despite crime rates decreasing since the mid 1990s. This led to the development of the National Reassurance Policing Programme. This programme developed a set of practical policing strategies that were targeted, primarily, at reducing fear of crime amongst the public. The Neighbourhood Policing model developed directly out of the reassurance programme, and is attempting, with the extension of the policing family, to provide each community with a local policing team that is both visible and accessible.
Due to the contemporary nature of Neighbourhood Policing there is limited literature available examining a range of important issues. Not least, the majority of evaluations of this model have focused on implementation issues at a national level, thus ignoring the localised nature of policing. In response to this gap in the literature this dissertation explores perceptions and attitudes towards neighbourhood policing at the level of a local community, examining: public awareness of neighbourhood policing and its aims; multi-agency partnerships and their fit with this model; public understanding of the effectiveness or impact that Neighbourhood Policing is having on crime and anti-social behaviour. Although this is only an exploratory study it argues that in order to understand the impact and effectiveness of Neighbourhood Policing it is essential that future research concentrates on the perceptions of those involved in the delivery and on the receiving end of this approach.
By Natalie Hearn, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The aim of this research was to explore factors which lead to desistance amongst offenders. There were three central areas looked at during the research. Firstly the correlation between age and offending, secondly the how and why the process of desistance commences, and finally, why people continue to desist from offending. The findings from this research were obtained from semi-structured interviews with two desisters, one male and one female, similar age group, similar economic back ground and upbringing. Themes were kept broad so that the responses were those of the interviewees and not directed by the research. It was discovered that the experiences and factors leading to desistance amongst the research sample group were not dissimilar to the theoretical frameworks of desistance. Given the level of funding put into simply punishing and releasing offenders back into society, this research looks at real interventions which may lead to people “choosing” not to offend in the future.
By Mark Horsley, Northumbria University, UK.
This dissertation discusses the neo-liberal capitalist hegemony that exists in the Anglo-American nations and its implications for national crime rates. It elaborates upon the tendency of neo-liberal nations to have dramatically higher crime rates than nations governed by other ideologies. It discusses the problems associated with the widespread adoption of values like competitive individualism, the rise of consumer culture and other factors like rising social inequality. These problems are backed up by case studies of the USA, Japan and the Scandinavian Nations. It concludes that although neo-liberalism may not lead directly to higher crime rates some of its effects are hardly conducive to a peaceful society.
By Bridie-Ann Milner, Loughborough University, UK.
Domestic violence has been a relatively ‘hidden’ problem in society for centuries. In the past forty years developing research has shown that children and young people who have witnessed domestic violence in their life time are likely to face long term implications in respect of their emotional, psychological and behavioural development. For children and young people who witness domestic violence, this experience is core to their lives, yet service support and delivery is still fragmented across the UK. The government need to re-address the evidence from research and practice that shows us the extent of the problem and its effects upon children and young people, so they recognise the need to appropriately fund and deliver supportive services for our young and vulnerable population.
By Mark Gee, Open University, UK.
A number of international legal instruments, adopted, signed and ratified, to protect the rights of children, represent a framework for how “justice” is determined legally (Mehigan, Walters and Westmarland, 2010). Employing content and discourse analysis, and adopting a cultural relative stance, this article examines the centrality of the concept of power to understanding how children are affected differentially by “justice”. Critiques of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations, undated) and the Convention of the Rights of the Child (United Nations General Assembly, 1989), will be followed by a critical assessment of The Impact of Armed Conflict on Children (Machel, 1996). The success of the international justice system in respect of childrens’ rights will be assessed by focusing on two pertinent international solutions, namely the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programme and the International Criminal Court.
Contemporary Maritime Piracy and Securi-Car Thefts: Can Lessons From the Past Have Practical Implications on Reducing Future Incidence?
By Robert Ford, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
Through analysing lessons from the past regarding how several notable methods of crime in transit have transpired, flourished, diminished and ceased, this dissertation seeks to discover if it is theoretically useful to create a common typology of successful crime prevention procedures that can help prevent future attacks on valuables in transit. The two main forms of transport becoming increasingly affected by the theft of cash and valuables in transit (CVIT) today are cash-in-transit vans and international cargo ships, both inconceivably important in modern society and equally as relied upon (BSIA, 2007; IMB, 2009). With the oceans home to ‘roughly 50,000 large ships’ carrying ‘80 percent of the world's traded cargo’ (Luft and Korin, 2004) and cash-in-transit vans carrying ‘£1.4 billion in cash daily’ (Home Office, 2007) around the UK, it is evident that the problem CVIT potentially creates is astoundingly costly. This dissertation aims to provide a resourceful tool by providing a typology and framework of promising practice to be applied to specific areas of such an escalating global crime problem. A typology of promising techniques may advance knowledge and better focus efforts in reducing the incidence of future thefts of valuables in transit, particularly with regards to maritime piracy and securi-car thefts. History has consistently uncovered a preferred method of transport for thieves to target due to a form of displacement occurring once weak targets are universally hardened, and knowing this may help society gear up for the next CVIT problem before it arrives.
By Rebecca Green, Loughborough University, UK.
This dissertation aims to provide a critical examination of the various types of treatment interventions that affect the mentally disordered offender. This area has seen vast change within recent years, with a number of factors contributing to the desperately high proportion of mentally disordered offenders currently held within prisons in England and Wales. Arguably, focal to debates surrounding the appropriateness of treatment for this group is the care and control dichotomy that has historically undermined successful policy implementation for this group. This dissertation will address the various approaches that have been taken, exploring whether it is possible to balance punishment for their offending behaviour with a need to treat their mental disorder, whilst taking into account concerns with public safety that have increasingly penetrated debates surrounding the treatment of this group. Further, it will propose a number of plausible future policy directions, illustrative of the need to uptake an approach dependent upon both mental health provision and the Criminal Justice System.
Passion, Poison and Pistols; Media Representations and Media Constructions of Female 'Crimes of Passion' in England, 1820-1856
By Kaye Leese, University of Manchester, UK.
This dissertation shows that the media constructions of mid-19th century murderesses were not as straightforward as some other historians have suggested. Using contemporary newspaper reports it will demonstrate that although many women received a uniformly negative response to their actions, there was a complex criteria underpinning her portrayal. The media was influenced by a woman's physical appearance, her personal life and emotional state, her religious devotion and her relationship with the victim, who was also intensely scrutinised. Class conflict is also evident in this research; a working-class murderess was considered a danger to middle-class notions of sexual honour and acceptable female behaviour. The idea of transgression allowed media reporters to make sense of such deviance. This dissertation shows how using this methodology can give historians a valuable insight into the everyday lives working-class women and also an opportunity to see patriarchy in action.
By Daniel Layne, Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
Denial of liberty is the most serious state sanction available in the United Kingdom. That people who have suffered an unjustified loss of their liberty, together with all the consequential damage to themselves and their families, should be swiftly and justly compensated is a principle few would disagree with. Of course, consideration of the detail is far more complicated, in terms of why compensation should be paid, who should qualify and how much they should receive. This dissertation attempts to address these issues and compare our current compensation scheme against international obligations and wider principles of justice.
By Lee Curran, Student at the University of Huddersfield, UK.
This dissertation offers a critical examination of the police response to domestic violence. The findings of the research suggest that until the late 1980s the criminal justice system paid little attention to the victims of domestic violence. A number of early studies documented the dismissive and derogatory way in which police officers tended to handle ‘domestic disputes’ (for example, Dobash and Dobash, 1980; Hanmer and Saunders, 1984; Edwards, 1989; Bourlet, 1990). Domestic violence was frequently seen by the police as a private matter, not 'real' violence, and unworthy ‘rubbish’ work (Dobash and Dobash, 1992). This dissertation found that from 1986, onwards, the need for changes in police practice to domestic violence was accepted by the Home Office, and domestic violence is now viewed as a crime both by practitioners in the criminal justice system and by government itself. In the past ten years in particular, there have been significant improvements in police policy and practice in response to domestic violence. By contrast, research is showing that enthusiasm for change presents the danger of inappropriate arrests of those they set out to protect.
By Hayley Killengrey, Student at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
What is the academic value of criminal “insider” accounts? How might the personal accounts of convicted criminals add to our understanding of criminal action? Might these accounts contribute to the study of criminology as a vibrant subject? Do such texts illuminate the subject in a way that makes the social reality of criminals easier to comprehend, or are they of no more value than works of fiction? These telling questions focus our attention upon an area of research which has currently received little attention, meaning that there is a gap in the existing literature on the use and usefulness of written criminal accounts. This makes this investigation particularly worthwhile, interesting and justified. This dissertating examines the differences, strengths and weaknesses between a number of criminal biographies and autobiographies and the usefulness of such criminal life stories in criminology.
What are the differences between how the social classes are portrayed in the News Media in regards to the drinking culture in Britain today?
By Amy Goulding, Masters student at the University of Central Lancashire, UK.
There exists a discrepancy between how the news media portrays the drinking habits of the lower classes namely the ‘underclass’ and the working class, compared with the middle class and celebrity culture in Britain today. Using critical discourse analysis this research explores why the social classes are portrayed differently, who decides on this portrayal and why, as well as the social ramifications of such portrayals. This exploration will extend to the wider social issues which affect the discrepancy in media portrayal. Firstly by looking specifically at the nineteenth century, the social history of Britain’s drinking culture and the class struggle that exists, as this was a period which highlights middle class dominance and has transcended the generations. Secondly, the acceptability of alcohol in British society and how this acceptability differs, dependent on the social class you belong to, according to media construction. Thirdly, an examination of class in modern Britain and how immunity is granted to the middle classes from condemnation from the media and the processes of the Law due to their perceived respectability and use of private and public space. Finally, media influence and how the news media is a business which seeks to increase its profits by being used as a tool in the transmission of ruling class ideology. This research focuses on the news portrayal from three newspapers; The Times, Daily Express and The Sun, as a means of examining the differences in portrayals dependent on the target audience of the newspaper. Societies reliance on the media to provide them with an insight into the world puts the media in a very powerful position. What this research aims to highlight is, that in order for there to be a cultural shift in Britain’s relationship with alcohol, the middle class should no longer be able to hide behind the protection of the media, with all social groups needing to be open to scrutiny.
By William Coyles, Student at the University of Central Lancashire, UK.
This paper examines the intelligibility of the neo-liberal state’s war on the ‘problem drug user’ within Foucauldian analyses of liberal bio-political regimes of governance. In the modern era, with the epistemic shift to bio-power, the order of power has become imbued with a rationality which derives its principles from those of warfare. The ‘problem drug user’ has become the subject of quasi-military style interventions in the name of the life and health of the population. These interventions are exercised at the level of the ‘problem drug user’s’ life as their form of existence has been ‘disallowed to the point of death’ within an advanced-liberal Britain. The use of such authoritarian strategies is not antithetical to the liberal project of ‘government through freedom’ but is integral to it. Within neo-liberal ‘governmentality’, only certain populations who have reached the ‘maturity of their rational faculties’ are considered amenable to governance within late modern ‘circuits of inclusion’. The pathological ‘problem drug user’ has been led to their improvement by the neo-liberal state in the guise of a benevolent despot. The modern state utilises its sovereign power of deduction to render the ‘problem drug user’s’ bare life amenable to bio-political investment by the ‘experts of life’ in a ‘localisation without order’ outside of the political community termed by Agamben (1995) as camp. It is argued that the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy setting within the late modern prison is the materialisation of this state of exception. Within this permanent spatial arrangement the ‘experts of life’ assume the role of the sovereign, confronting the problem drug user (who assumes the status of homo sacer) in a fundamental bio-political relationship where through a series of practical exercises they are incited to enfold authority and ‘subjectify’ themselves. The telos embodied within this strategy of control is the freedom of the subject and their re-insertion into ‘circuits of inclusion’ where rational and prudent subjects of self interest are ‘governed through freedom’.
Can Discipline Cope? Intra-EU Migration and its Implications Upon Foucauldian Discipline
By Thomas Alexander Evans, Student at the University of Central Lancashire, UK .
This dissertation is a discussion on whether the current ease of internal migration within an ever more integrated European Union (EU) could affect the concept of Foucauldian discipline, which I argue is embedded deeply within state legitimisation processes and national solidarity movements. I argue that discipline, which requires some form of enclosure, could falter at the national level due to the ease at which non-integrated ‘alien others’ can enter the nation-state’s disciplinary domain; thus creating problems of state legitimacy, leading to reactionary responses from the state and populace. However, if a strong invasive EU discipline were applied across all member states (MS) then it would be possible for the EU to fill the disciplinary void, perhaps also leading to a state formation process through the use of laws, rights and standardised policing. However, I also discuss possible disciplinary ‘crashes’ that could occur if an EU discipline failed or was too weak, which can be applied to all forms of discipline.
By Christine Victoria Thomason.
The Internet has become an integral part of UK society, many people use or access the Internet on a daily basis and utilise its resources to help them lead easier lives. The Internet is prevalent within the UK; its abilities are consumed by our education system, our retailing industry, and our employment sector, just to name a few. However, along with all the beneficial aspects that the Internet has created, there have also been some characteristics that have been damaging to society. Offenders have also been able to access and use the Internet to their advantage, to make their lives easier and to aid them in committing criminal offences. In respect to money laundering, the Internet has created huge opportunities and changes within the processes involved. ‘Hackers and fraudsters were first to exploit the criminal opportunities presented by cyberspace and they have since been joined by cyber launderers eager to wash the proceeds of both virtual and real-world crimes.’ (Kochan. 2005: 268). This dissertation has taken an in-depth look into the process of money laundering, along with how the establishment of the Internet has changed the methods utilized by offenders.
By Lara Harrison, Student at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The main purpose of this dissertation was to explore, explain and evaluate the responses of professional organisations when they have to coordinate a multi-agency response to deal with juvenile sexual offenders. Past literature has often ignored the issue of juvenile sexual offenders and therefore, this dissertation has provided a critical literature review which has attempted to rectify this problem. The findings of this dissertation showed that whilst there has been an attempt to coordinate a multi-agency response, the government has jeopardised this response by the introduction of difficult and confusing laws, policies and organisational arrangements. This has affected juvenile sexual offenders to their detriment, as practitioners have to negotiate the ambiguity of these diverse policies and legislations, and this has put at danger the arrangements already in place for juvenile sexual offenders. However, there has been at attempt to resolve this predicament and practitioners, in Greater Manchester, have established the AIM (Assessment Intervention Moving-on) project. The AIM project has successfully strengthened this multi-agency response and improved policies and practices, for the organisations that have to deal with juvenile sexual offenders. But, several problems have emerged within this multi-agency response and the government still have a lot of work to do, in order to improve the services for juvenile sexual offenders. As a result, items for consideration and future recommendations for policy-makers have been based on these problems.
By Ian Mirsky, Student at Buffalo State, State University of New York, USA.
Community policing is the connection between police and citizenry, who work together on safety involving the public in the community. The design of community policing is to entail a more open relationship between the police and the public which gives the police a more proactive role in the community (Thomas & Burns 2005). Community policing involves new and old tactics. The tactics include foot and bike patrol, beat meetings, mini-stations and many other citizen and police partnerships (Thomas & Burns 2005). Community oriented policing involves organizational changes as well as external changes.
Conceptual and Methodological Challenges in Examining the Relationship Between Mental Illness and Violent Behaviour and Crime
By Thomas Richardson, University of Sheffield, UK.
There is a longstanding view within the general population and the criminal justice system that the mentally ill are more prone than the mentally healthy to violence and. This view, however, is not fully supported by empirical research, in particular due to conceptual and methodological challenges that arise when the relationship between mental illness and crime is examined. This paper reviews such challenges, reviewing areas such as the ‘criminalisation’ of the mentally ill and the ‘psychiatrisation’ of criminals, as well as the complex problem of common factors, and the mediating impact of substance abuse. Specific methodological challenges are also reviewed, including problems with conducting longitudinal and randomised research in this area, and difficulties encountered in the sampling methods used.
Bridging The Gap Between Prison And The Community: An exploration of resettlement and desistance among female offenders in England and Canada
By Rebecca Berinbaum, University of Sheffield, UK.
Despite recent developments in law and policy in both England and Wales and Canada which have aimed to decrease the number of offenders being sent to prison, prison populations continue to increase. In England the prison population has nearly doubled since 1991 (Morgan and Liebling, 2007) and despite a slight decrease in the overall prison population in Canada in recent years both female offenders and offenders who have breached the conditions of their release are being sent to prison more frequently (Motiuk, Cousineau and Gileno, 2005; Dell, Sinclair and Boe, 2001: iv). Despite efforts to create a more ‘seamless’ service and provide a continuity of care for those leaving prison, recidivism rates remain high.
By Kimberley Marsh, University of Portsmouth, UK.
The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate young people’s experiences within different care environments (Residential, Secure, Foster and Kinship) and the extent to which they are criminogenic. The investigation is informed by three key criminological theories: the Risk and Protective Factors Paradigm, Control Theory, Anomie and Strain Theory. Previous relevant research on different care environments, offending behaviour and associated theoretical explanations are reviewed and informed the development of the specific focus of the primary research. Reviewing the existing literature illustrated the need for the current study. Much of the existing literature shows a high prevalence of offending amongst young people in care and those who have left care, without differentiating between types of placement or offering any theoretical explanation of the over-representation of those who have been in care and offending behaviour.
By Rebecca Ince, Student at Aston University, UK.
The BBC World Service recently broadcast a series of investigative reports detailing various transnational criminal trades, including the trafficking of women and children into the illegal sex trade, drug smuggling, the trade in human body parts, money laundering and much more (BBC World Service, 2002). The United Nations Convention Against Organised Crime in 2000 highlighted the role of trafficking groups and criminal organisations in these illicit trades, bringing to attention the fact that serious crime is not simply a series of random individual acts, but is often a carefully organised trade, with the obvious feature of it being both violent and highly illegal.
By Carol Norman, Student at Goldsmiths College, UK.
Modern art begins with Manet (1832-1883) and the Impressionists and continues until the present day (Julius 2002). Like crime, it often breaks societal rules, however, modern art is not typically against the law and for this reason it is ‘uncommitted crime’ (Adorno 1951). Deviance is the violation of societal rules, which may be consensual or imposed by a powerful group (Box 1981). Modern art breaks societal rules and so is deviant; for example Serrano’s (1987) ‘Piss Christ’ (Picture 1) mocks the Catholic Church and traps spectators into blasphemy. However, despite evidence of deviance in modern art, sociological theories of deviance concentrate on crime, delinquency and mental illness.
By Nicholas Reeve, Student at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The Primary aim of this dissertation is investigate social control theories, and how they compare to the actual role of CCTV as a social control agent.
Through a reflective analysis of the six years spent as a CCTV operator, the author hopes to use this experience in conjunction with statistical data gathered from both the London Borough of Harrow’s CCTV control room, and the Metropolitan Police to investigate the current role of CCTV. This study investigated the reality of procedure within CCTV, and how its role as a risk management strategy transforms it into an electronic Panopticon, capable of influencing the behaviour of those subjected to surveillance.
By Vicky Heap, Student at Loughborough University, UK.
Despite the increasing profile and reliance upon victimisation surveys to map crime trends, some of society’s demographic receive little attention. The elderly are one such group. They have received little attention due to the traditional notion that they suffer low levels of victimisation. This study challenges these long-held beliefs and focuses upon the criminal victimisation of the elderly, in order to assess if crime rates against them have changed relative to the overall crime rate. A secondary analysis was conducted on the 1988, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2001 British Crime Surveys in order to chart both the proportion and rate of criminal victimisation experienced by the elderly.
By Hannah Cooksey, Student at the University of Chester, UK.
Whether or not family pets are a factor in women staying in abusive relationships is an understudied and undervalued research topic in today’s society. The current study therefore highlights the issue through conducting empirical research, whereby questionnaires have been sent out to Domestic Violence refuges in the Staffordshire and West Midlands areas and completed by refuge staff regarding knowledge of the problem. Previous literature on this topic has been assessed and criticised as well as surrounding themes of the human-animal bond and how these factors would correlate to the current study. This combination of empirical and theoretical study has helped to gauge the extent of animal abuse within violent households. Results supported the notion that pets are a factor in women staying in abusive relationships and that pets are frequently abused by violent partners. The study highlights the need for a wider acknowledgment in addressing the problems and ensuring that more women become aware of the support available, resulting in less women feeling there is no alternative but to stay with their partner and less pets becoming abused in the future.
By Stuart Saint, Student at the University of Central Lancashire, UK.
The aim of this research was to explore the discourses, and discursive practices, concerning corporate environmental harms. Continuing in the tradition of Schwendinger and Schwendinger (1975), I chose to utilise harmful acts that were not necessarily illegal by legal definition but often had a much greater impact upon the ecosystem (such as the pumping of radioactive waste by BNFL into the Irish Sea). As Kennedy (2005) demonstrates, corporate environmental harm can often refer to acts that are legal as a result of significant influence from corporate representatives. This dissertation firstly examines how modernity and capitalism have encouraged environmental destruction and then assesses how the media, lobby groups and governments perpetuate the discourses of corporate environmental harm. There is then a short case study of the illegal dumping of electronic goods and spent radioactive waste. The dissertation concludes by stating that there are a number of different discourses of corporate environmental harm, but that these work together in different ways to reproduce existing power relations.
By Lorinda Norris, Student at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
Child Trafficking, whilst not a new phenomenon, remains a heinous activity as children are the most vulnerable members of society, yet it is exactly this vulnerability that makes trafficking possible in the first instance. Official statistics by the Home Office and the United Nations highlight a continuing increase in this ‘industry’ and whilst most of society holds the notion that children are not a commodity to be bought and sold, there remain a small but determined proportion of the population who are willing to exploit children for profit. Child trafficking is a covert, multi-faceted and organised criminal activity making it extremely difficult to detect and prevent, particularly in light of its cross-border nature, whilst child victims are themselves often difficult to recognise. It is issues such as these which make child trafficking such a complex activity to approach hence research in this field is often perceived as under-reporting the true incidence of the behaviour. There are legislative provisions and European-based conventions in place to protect trafficked children but many organisations have been slow to react thus responses are perhaps too little, too late. This dissertation, therefore, considers measures that have been put in place by the UK Government to protect trafficked children in conjunction with the various Non Governmental Organisations who are also involved in the issue, in an attempt to assess the scale of child trafficking in the UK.
By Rosie Lambert, Student at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The research aimed to investigate the presence, extent and effects of discrimination related to length of service within the police service. This is an under-researched area so literature relating to other areas of discrimination within the police service was considered. This aided comprehension of any common effects of discrimination, which may be similar to those experienced by officers if discrimination related to length of service is present. Primary research was conducted by issuing a questionnaire which gathered the opinions of officers in relation to several areas. The areas investigated include; recruitment, treatment by, and relationships with, other officers. Snowball sampling enabled a positive response rate of almost forty officers of varying ranks. However, this method did not allow the researcher to have control over the sample. All participants described their ethnicity as White British, so other ethnicities were unrepresented. Secondary findings suggested that length of service related discrimination is a problem in many organisations. Research showed that discrimination can have many negative effects on officers, such as reduced life and job satisfaction, stress and social withdrawal.
By Tom Wynne, Student at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The fear of crime has received an unprecedented amount of attention in the form of research in recent times; however there is a great deal which remains unknown and unanswered. The purpose of this dissertation is to attempt to extensively analyse existing research into the fear of crime, and to uncover new ideas and trends concerning fear and victimisation. In particular, the relationship between fear of crime and likelihood of victimisation is investigated. Many interesting findings emerged from this research, although some results are contradictory. The elderly, for example, were discovered to be generally more fearful than younger adults due to their feelings of isolation and vulnerability. However, research occasionally suggested otherwise; that the elderly were less fearful since they knew their likelihood of victimisation was lower than younger people. Ultimately, the research consulted provides little evidence to suggest that there is a link between fear of crime and the likelihood of victimisation. Fear can be induced by a variety of factors and circumstances and may not necessarily be purely a consequence of one socio-demographic variable. In other words, it is wrong to assume that all women are fearful of crime due to their gender. The impact of fear of crime on lifestyle can be both positive and negative: an individual’s likelihood of becoming a victim will be affected by a variety of factors, some of which are almost impossible to quantify. This is a challenge to be addressed in future research.
The phenomena of Black youth crime and how Black youths are portrayed in the media in the United Kingdom: Whether the portrayal can be considered exaggerated, or if the moral panic is in someway justified?
By Ndubuisi Nkem Okoronkwo, Student at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
Black youth crime and the portrayal of black youths in the media have generated considerable publicity in recent years. The recent fatal knife and gun crimes in London involving black youths were highlighted by the media which in turn produced a moral panic surrounding the issue. The intent of this study is to present an argument for or against the perception that black youths are portrayed negatively in the media and the moral panic surrounding black youth crime is exaggerated. Literature and qualitative research by way of four unstructured interviews regarding six sub factors which are, the media portrayal of black youths, negative role models amongst the black community, the underachievement of black youths in school, single parent families, social class and black culture, were analysed and discussed in order to reach a valid conclusion. Conclusions are drawn that the media do in fact portray black youths in a negative way but on the other hand, with support from statistics and relevant literature, black youth crime is a serious problem and therefore cannot be dismissed as a moral panic exacerbated by the media.
By Diane Bishop, Student at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
This dissertation examines the links between autistic spectrum disorders and offending behaviour in young people. First identified over sixty years ago, autistic spectrum disorders have remained relatively unknown until recently. Given the hidden nature of these disorders, they can be difficult for criminal justice professionals to identify, and characteristics of the conditions could be misconstrued as offending behaviour. In order to examine the possible connections between autistic spectrum disorders and offending, as well as the criminal justice system response to young offenders on the autistic spectrum, a review of the current literature was undertaken. To gain a greater insight, interviews were conducted with professionals who work with children on the autistic spectrum. In addition, a Police Community Support Officer was interviewed. Results of primary and secondary research indicated that, without labelling all children on the autistic spectrum as criminal, there are predisposing characteristics of the condition that could be linked to offending behaviour. Furthermore, the research highlighted the lack of training criminal justice professionals receive on how to recognise and appropriately deal with children on the spectrum. The dissertation concludes with recommendations for future research, and outlines the need for better intervention techniques within the criminal justice system.
By Ben Hobbs, Student at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The main aims of this dissertation were to use empirical and secondary qualitative research techniques to establish why police officers become cynical, and to investigate any dislocation between the themes elicited from police literature on the causes of cynicism, and the feelings expressed by contemporary police officers. The dissertation takes a post-modern position and rejects broad theories and typologies derived from some previous behavioural studies of police officers. The literature accessed highlighted the most prevalent causes of police cynicism to be shortfalls of management, boredom, vocation disappointment, the excessiveness of paperwork, the influence of colleagues, unity and solidarity, isolation from the public and a lack of relevant training. These themes were investigated in the methodology, which involved a semi-structured interview with the Assistant Chief Constable of ‘Westshire’ Police, a social survey of 16 police officers of which 13 were response constables and a focus group of 5 respondents.
By Louise Belcher, Student at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The purpose of this dissertation was to evaluate the effectiveness of Sex Offender Treatment Programmes (SOTPs) used in prisons. It aimed to achieve this by looking at the historical context, theoretical underpinnings, the aims and (unintended) consequences and the effectiveness of the SOTPs at fulfilling their aims. Secondary research was used in order to answer the research aims, allowing for a wide ranging analysis of the subject area. This research has found that the SOTPs were introduced as a result of the media attention, moral entrepreneurs and public anxiety surrounding sexual offenders. Due to this attention theories attempted to explain sexual offending. Research into rehabilitative approaches suggested that a cognitive-behavioural approach such as the SOTP was the most successful treatment measure for treating sex offenders. By looking into the programmes in more depth this research found that the effectiveness of the programmes was not as straight forward as had been originally perceived. By analysing the aims and (unintended) consequences of the SOTPs as well as the effectiveness of the programmes at fulfilling their aims, this research has shown that within the programmes there is evidence of positive professional practice as well as a reduction in reoffending of those who had completed the SOTP compared with offenders who had not. However, it has also found that there were many weaknesses within the measures used to assess the programmes effectiveness. Therefore, this dissertation has shown that there is a need for methods other that reconviction data to the measure the programmes effectiveness. It has also shown that more research is needed into whether the SOTP is more successful at treating certain types of sex offenders as well as research into whether targeting areas such as distorted thinking and victim empathy is effective at reducing sexual reoffending or that any other approach would be just as effective.
By Amanda Noblet, Student at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
A review of relevant literature has indicated that women are sentenced inconsistently by the criminal justice system showing differences between harsh, equal or lenient treatment. This dissertation highlights that sending women to prison, who tend not commit serious crime and drawing a prison population who have the characteristics of economic and social deprivation, is completely unnecessary. It also highlights the penal institutions to which women are sentenced, are failing to provide for the specific needs of women or to equip them with ways to improve their future prospects. Whilst it is recognised that the government is aware of such problems, through the publication of the Corston Report (2007) and their subsequent response, radical shifts in sentencing policy and practices to restrict the numbers of women sent to prison are desperately needed. Considering the secondary research findings, a number of recommendations for future policy and practice have been made in four main areas; increasing the use of non-custodial penalties, a substantial reduction in custodial remand, reform of custody and increased diversion from prosecution.
By Lewis Evenden, Student at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The intention of this dissertation was to examine the effectiveness of the prison based Sex Offender Treatment Programme (SOTP). It considered the history and content of the programme before analysing existing evaluations of the treatment to draw recommendations for future research and practice. Secondary research was used throughout the paper allowing for the difficulties in accessing sex offenders and their environment to be overcome, but also it allowed for time and cost to be kept to an absolute minimum. Home Office studies were the main focus of the dissertation as they provided the most comprehensive results, although the analysis of these was also supplemented by psychology-based evaluations. The research identified that evaluating the effectiveness of sex offender treatment programmes was not straight forward and that it was mainly methodological issues, such as a low base rate when using reconviction data, which have prevented firm conclusions being drawn about the efficacy of the programme. Despite these issues many of the evaluative studies carried out on the SOTP suggested that the programme was insufficient in dealing with high risk offenders. Interestingly this dissertation also touches on the findings that, community provisions in dealing with this category of offender also seem to be inadequate, but without an effective method of testing the efficacy of these provisions, the findings of the studies should be treated with caution. The study also identified a number of areas for further consideration, which are outside the remit of this project, and a number of recommendations to try to improve the situation with regards to demonstrating the efficacy of the programme. These included longer follow up periods and the incorporation of treatment within the follow up contact in order to improve the programmes ability to deal with high risk offenders.
By Matthew Durrant, Student at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The Internet was originally designed to provide a means of information sharing, universal networking and communication in which it has excelled. However, the unforeseen costs of the globalization of a freely accessible environment that lacks any kind of appropriate formal control has eventually succumb to those who wish to exploit its relative vulnerability and naivety as a secure community. One example of this vulnerability is the ability people from all over the world are afforded to disclose information which may prove to be harmful to others. Some well documented examples of this we have seen in recent times are online terrorist representation and the disclosure of information such as that on bomb making, the use of the Internet by white racialist groups, pages which are perceived to promote anorexia and websites which provide information on and encourage suicide.
By Katie Ware, Student at the University of Central Lancashire, UK.
This dissertation is a critical analysis of medical ‘expert’ discourses about mental illness. The author makes reference to key texts from the medical establishment as well as critical criminology texts. She takes as her criminological starting point, critical criminologist Joe Sim’s argument that medication is used in prisons as a form of control rather than a form of therapy (1990). At the root of this practice is the underlying assumption of medical experts that deviancy can be detected like an illness and treated as such, which would in turn regulate crime. Her interest in Sim is due to the argument that the happenings within the Prison Medical System (PMS) are not that different from the happenings in the outside world’s medical establishments. With reference to drugs being used as a form of control within prisons, Ware explores whether these kinds of findings are pertinent in the surgeries of general practitioners, and whether a similar theory of control applies to the use of medication in individuals, especially children and teenagers, who are perceived to act outwith the social norm.
By Ian Messenger, Student at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
British society has undergone extensive changes over the latter half of the 20th Century. The decline in social capital and sense of community has brought great challenges to state policing through an ever-expanding range of demands placed upon them by its citizens. This decline has led to many informal social controls becoming ineffective and has led to citizens forsaking the concept of ‘community’ for individualism. This has led to a balkanisation in policing needs and has created an insatiable need for security that the public police struggle to meet. The question is how do we ease this pressure? The private security sector predates and now exists alongside the public police and may provide one solution in tackling the increasing demands for policing. The validity of the use of private sector personnel in policing will be studied, specifically in relation to the psychological effects of crime, more commonly known as the ‘fear of crime’. The negative impact of private sector involvement will also be examined with questions being asked as to whether the commodification of security is ultimately harmful to what is left of the collective. The central focus of this paper will conclude if private security serves the public interest by mitigating the effects of individualism or if it merely encourages them, and in what way (if any) this is different from the public police.
By Daniella Narduzzo, Student in the Division of Criminology, Public Health and Policy Studies at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The increase in the number of people from different ethnic backgrounds and countries is one of the most significant changes in Britain. In the twenty-first century minority ethnic groups are still considered to be a problem in society, just like they have been throughout history. Subsequently, the relationship between the British police and ethnic minority communities has not been a happy one. This dissertation examines the extent to which changes in policing practices have affected criminal justice discrimination amongst British minority ethnic (BME) communities. The question of whether the police operate in a discriminatory way has recently been bought to attention since the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (1999). Using a library-based, documentary review, as a basis for critical research, this work attempts to investigate and analyse the size and scope of the problem between the police and BME communities, the changes that have occurred as a result and the difficulties faced by the police.
By Alina Haines, PhD Research Student at the University of Huddersfield, UK.
This paper discusses results from a survey of public attitudes towards juvenile crime and the treatment of juvenile offenders in Romania. The study is based on research conducted as part of an MSc in Community Safety at Leicester University. Studies examining public opinion and crime are new to Romania – indeed, this survey represents the first attempt to explore such subjects. Results show that public opinion is inconsistent, with ambivalent attitudes about juvenile crime and sentencing; people concurrently favour retribution and tougher sentences for juvenile offenders, while supporting elements of restorative justice and non custodial penalties. Explanations for such contradictory views include inaccurate knowledge about juvenile crime, prejudices and distorted media reporting.
By Mike Larsen, Department of Criminology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottowa, Canada.
This study identifies the dominant characteristics of official Canadian state discourses on national security and terrorism in the post-September 11 context, using a content analysis methodology; identifies key themes and / or areas of incongruity in these discourses, and relates these findings to a broader discussion of contemporary Canadian national security policy and practice. Major themes of interest and key terms are identified through a review of the literature, and used as the basis for an analysis of twenty (20) samples of open-source official (federal government) Canadian discourse from the post-September 11 context. It is argued that state discourses about terrorism and security are a core component of national security campaigns, and that through the construction of insecurity narratives (constellations of discourse about a particular security threat), states effectively ‘do national security’. The study finds that the current Canadian insecurity narrative is characterized by themes of exceptionality, urgency, necessity, secrecy, and crisis – and consistent references to September 11 as a mobilizing event. The nature of this narrative is such that the current national security campaign is indeterminate in length, ambiguous in purpose, and expansionary in trajectory.
By Leanne Monchuk, School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield, UK.
The aim of the following literature review is to attempt to discover whether public protection outweighs civil liberties or vice versa. The murders of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells in 2002 threw this topic into the spotlight. Ian Huntley, in 2003, was convicted of their murders and this consequently launched the instigation of the Bichard Inquiry Report. The report was commissioned as Huntley was known to Humberside Police and prior to the murders had allegations of a sexual nature made against him. Key concepts presented in the review include Beck and ‘risk society’, Foucault’s ‘carceral society’ and the Utilitarianism and deontological concepts of liberty. Legislation such as the Human Rights Act 1998, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the introduction of ViSOR are made reference to, in an attempt to discover whether Huntley should have been closely monitored and not employed in a school. No definitive answers in this arena can be provided and many cases have specific and individual circumstances surrounding them. What has emerged however, from the extensive literature that has been collated, is that members of the public do fear the risks that are posed in today’s society and are therefore in favour of the implementation of systems such as the Violent and Sex Offenders Register (ViSOR) if it ensures the prevention of incidents such as the Soham murders from occurring again, and allowing someone like Huntley to ‘slip through the net’.
By Katie Conner, Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, USA.
Little research has been conducted into the factors that impact the successful use of a not guilty by reason of insanity plea by a defendant in a murder case. This study addresses this issue by examining a number of factors including defendant, victim, and crime scene characteristics. Employing archival research, data were gathered from all murder and non-negligent homicide cases for the years 2000 and 2001 in which a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity was later entered for the defendant. Results indicate that specific factors of a defendant’s background, such as criminal and psychiatric history, are associated with impacting a successful not guilty by reason of insanity plea, as are characteristics that indicate planning and victimizing a child.
By Wee Lee Loh, Department of Statistics, Harvard University, USA.
Using panel data to study the macro-linkage between demographic and prisoner age characteristics this empirical paper investigates the relationship between age and the probability of being sentenced via an alternative framework. Fixed Effects GLS was used on both an unbalanced panel and a balanced subpanel data set. Both level and log transformed models were tested. Indeed, there is evidence that younger people are more than proportionately committed to the prisons. This result is only significant when the unbalanced panel is used. This exercise also illustrates the possible dangers of creating a balanced subpanel from an unbalanced data set.
By Don Crewe, School of Criminology Education, Sociology, and Social Work, Keele University, UK.
This paper explores the relationship between identity and agency in a Young Offenders’ Institution, through an empirical study at HMYOI Werrington in Staffordshire. It contends that ‘docility’ can be an intentional strategy; a product of the possession of agency rather than of its absence as Foucault would argue. Resistance and docility are seen as negotiated strategies in the processes of surviving imprisonment, necessitating sophisticated strategies of discretion in the application of the regime by uniformed staff. Resistant behaviour is conventionally seen as an indication of failure to internalise the regime, and docility of success. I suggest that failure to internalise the regime constitutes genuine survival, and docility the converse. Using Levi’s metaphor, the drowned are the docile, the resistant the saved.
By Mohd Kassim Bin Noor Mohamed, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
This dissertation examines the problems faced by the criminal justice system when addressing fraud committed by multinational corporations (MNCs). As the recent scandals at Enron, Worldcom et al demonstrate, when MNCs commit fraud their offences eclipse every other form of crime in terms of the money drained from and harm done to national economies. Using a library-based, documentary review, as a basis for critical research, this work attempts to investigate and analyse the size and scope of the fraud problem, the difficulties faced by the enforcement agencies and the legislative challenges that hamper prosecution. There is an effort to present and discuss the socio-legal and criminological debates around the deviance of elites and the cost to social justice if these issues are not faced.
By Don Crewe, School of Criminology Education, Sociology, and Social Work, Keele University, UK.
The paper engages with the “commonsense” notion, and that of Ezioni (1993), that fear of crime might be lower in a small relatively close-knit community. To that end it sets out to investigate people’s concerns about crime and to relate them to notions of community in The Cathedral Close in Lichfield (UK), where the researcher, serendipitously, was resident at the time of writing. The paper places fear of crime within a criminological paradigm and engages with the necessary limitations of that paradigm. It suggests that new extra-paradigmatic perspectives may be more illuminating of the concerns expressed by people about crime, and in this vein examines the perceived relationship between the concerns of the residents of The Close about crime and their perception of their place within that small community.
By Samuel Slater, Student at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The commodification of violence has occurred for centuries, even millenia. The simple fact is violence is a highly popular, entertaining and profitable commodity. Noramlly, however, various formal and informal controls regulate the amount and extremity of such violence that is consumed. With the advent of the internet, however, this has all changed. 'Bumfights', released in 2002 and only retailed online, is a poular 'underground' video that features graphic and dehumanising abuse of the homeless. This dissertation investigates the changed nature of the commodifcation of violence, with a content analysis of 166 websites containing such violence, to explore themes and trends in the online violence market.
By Glenn Took, School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Victoria University.
This thesis explores the contradictory nature of current penal practices and contends that through the implementation of drug courts based on the teachings of therapeutic jurisprudence, there has emerged within the justice system a hybrid program that sufficiently appeals to a widespread audience in the punishment milieu. In its hybridity the drug court is able to breach the apparent inertia of modern penal practices and offer a program that is therapeutically oriented but is still able to resonate with the sensibilities of the ‘tough on crime’ bandwagon. .
By Jenny Ardley, Lecturer in Criminolgy, University of Derby; Associate - Midlands Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, UK.
The aim of this dissertation is to provide a critical analysis of the issues surrounding the implementation of Electronic monitoring (EM). Curfew orders (CO) with EM have been available in Britain since July 1995, the Home Detention Curfew (HDC) since January 1999. It is vitally important that society does not accept without question new methods of punishment implemented by the government, especially when the use of sophisticated and modern technology is the main component.
By Jenny Ardley, Lecturer in Criminology, University of Derby; Associate - Midlands Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, UK.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate how HM Prison Sudbury prepares their life sentence prisoners for release with a particular consideration of risk assessment.
By Stephen Hammett, Birkbeck College, University of London.
This paper is an examination into whether claims by Christians about their beliefs regarding homosexuals & homosexuality are consistent religious beliefs or prejudice disguised as religious belief.
By Daniel Lydon, Department of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The Sicilian Mafia, The Chinese Triads and The IRA are three secret societies that have evolved from rural peasant protection groups developed to fight back against oppressive feudal regimes. Through kinship (familial and fictive), violence and symbiotic relationships with officials, each group (often many groups operating under the umbrella label) grew in size and adopted hierarchical structures with clear igureheads: The Mafia’s ‘Capo de Tutti Capi’ (‘Boss Of Bosses’,’ Godfather’, ‘Don’), The Triads ‘Dragon Head’ (‘489’), and the IRA’s ‘Brigade Commander’. All aided governments throughout history in various conflicts and at other times revolted against them. The Sicilian Mafia and the Chinese Triads have both been partly responsible for overthrowing unpopular regimes in their native countries and have been forced to emigrate in vast numbers due to economic and political oppression. Both groups evolved into profit-orientated organisations.