Urban Poverty

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Policing Urban Poverty

Chris Crowther

Policing Urban Poverty

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Policing Urban Poverty
Chris Crowther
Lecturer in Criminology Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College High Wycombe

Foreword by Alan Walker
Professor of Social Policy University of Sheffield

Consultant Editor: Jo Campling

First published in Great Britain 2000 by

Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS and London Companies and representatives throughout the world A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN 0–333–74858–1 First published in the United States of America 2000 by ST. MARTIN’S PRESS, INC., Scholarly and Reference Division, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010 ISBN 0–312–22846–5 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Crowther, Chris, 1968– Policing urban poverty / Chris Crowther ; foreword by Alan Walker ; consultant editor, Jo Campling. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0–312–22846–5 (cloth) 1. Urban poor. 2. Poverty. 3. Crime. I. Campling, Jo. II. Title. HV4028.C76 1999 364.4—dc21 99–40401 CIP © Chris Crowther 2000 Foreword © Alan Walker 2000 All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, or under the terms of any licence permitting limited copying issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London W1P 0LP. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. The author has asserted his right to be identified as the author of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fully managed and sustained forest sources. 10 09 9 08 8 07 7 06 6 05 5 04 4 03 3 02 2 01 1 00

Printed and bound in Great Britain by Antony Rowe Ltd, Chippenham, Wiltshire

For Mum and Dad

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Foreword by Alan Walker Acknowledgements 1 Introduction 2 Historical Perspectives on Poverty and Crime 3 Debating Poverty and Crime in the US: from Moynihan to Murray 4 Poverty and Crime in Britain 5 From Theory to Practice 6 The Police Policy Process in Modern Society 7 Policing and the Power of Public Debate 8 Policing Poor Communities 9 The Changing Nature of Crime and the Workless Society 10 Conclusion ix xi 1 19 41 64 87 107 132 157 181 203 223 224 251

Appendix Bibliography Index


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This important and timely book focuses on the policing of the urban poor and examines in painstaking detail the relationship between discourses on crime and poverty and practical issues of policy. The scope of the book is very wide – encompassing historical and contemporary analyses of the ‘underclass’, discussion of the debate on crime and poverty in the US, a rare analysis of the policy-making process in the police service, police responses to the riots in the 1980s, and recent criminaljustice policies. Chris Crowther successfully marshals this potentially overwhelming brief by building a firm theoretical foundation from sociological theory, particularly social constructionism and the analysis of power, and by addressing a consistent theme, the ‘underclass’, throughout the book. The result is an exemplary integration of social analysis and social policy and a clear demonstration that there is nothing as practical as good theory. Chris Crowther’s book is unusual in locating the discussion of crime and disorder in the context of an analysis of poverty and social exclusion. Moreover he brings the operation of the police service back within the purview of social policy, where it has...
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