Conceptualising the trend in burglary in England and Wales

Hope, TJ 2007, Conceptualising the trend in burglary in England and Wales , in: Colloquium on Property Crime, Project CRIMPREV (FP6, EU), 7-8 February 2007, Brussels. (Unpublished)

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Our effort to understand crime rate change is hampered by governmental thinking about crime, and the vested interest governments have in favourable (popular) outcomes. At least as practised in the United Kingdom, thinking about burglary often assumes a ‘top-down’ approach, placing most of the drivers of crime rate change in the hands of government; while reducing private citizens to passive, isolated individuals, and civil society and its institutions to a wasteland devoid of intention, morality and purpose (Hope and Karstedt, 2003). Not surprisingly, the increasing use of crime statistics as a source for governmental performance measurement (Matrix and Hope, 2006) tends to reinforce government’s own self-image that it has (or ought to have) the dominant influence over society’s crime (Garland, 2001) 2. Because of this, governments find it difficult to come up with narratives to explain the changes in crime rates observed in their own national statistics: reluctant to take responsibility when crime goes up, at a loss to explain why it goes down. Part of their difficulty rests in failing to acknowledge sufficiently the active role played by private citizens and civil institutions within society (Hope and Karstedt, 2003). This paper, which tries to account for the trend in burglary in England and Wales since the start of the 1980s, attempts to correct the balance somewhat, weighing the governmental perspective against a more ‘market-oriented’ or ‘civil society’ perspective.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Themes: Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Refereed: No
Depositing User: Prof Tim Hope
Date Deposited: 09 May 2011 13:20
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 11:22

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