'The Adult Connection' - Bill Sykes and the Fagin Factor: Adults and the Criminalisation of Youth

Mike Presdee, University of Sunderland
Keith Hayward, University of Kent

ABSTRACT
In the first six months of 2002 there was yet again an unrelenting wave of public and political anguish over the 'new' crimes and lawlessness discovered by young people that was leading the United Kingdom, deeper and deeper into the abyss of lawlessness, crime, and immorality.

Young people it seems had suddenly discovered new street crimes such as mobile phone theft and car jacking along with the up market theft of Rolex watches. Yet little thought was given to the adult connection in the motivation for such crimes and the coninuing secure and hidden position of adults, directing, organising and managing the criminal market place. This paper discusses the continuing international political pre-occupation with the blaming of young people for the crimes of adults alongside the lack of confidence in and understanding of the cultural lives of the young in contemporary post modern society, whilst considering whether the notion of a "Moral Panic' can continue to convey the intensity of the hatred and fear of youth that now exists.

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Updated 05/20/2006