Interpreting Trends in Street Crime: A New Approach?

Marian FitzGerald, London School of Economics
Chris Hale, University of Kent
Jan Stockdale, London School of Economics

Street Crime in London and other major British cities has again become a major cause of concern for politicians, the media and the criminal justice agencies. This paper will report on findings from research commissioned by the U.K. Youth Justice Board into the involvement of young people in street crime. The research was designed to further understanding of why young people get involved in street crime and what might prevent them from further offending. It looked at reasons for recent trends and focussed on differences by age, gender, ethnicity and area. It also considered the factors that heightened a young person's risk of becoming a victim of street crime. The research employed a range of research strategies and data sources, both qualitative and quantitative. As well as London wide statistical modelling of crime against local socio-demographic factors using police and other data it focussed in depth on four London boroughs that between them captured a range of experiences of young people involved in street crime. This in depth work involved interviews and focus groups with young offenders and their families, police, teachers and youth workers. This paper will present preliminary findings and draw out their wider implications.

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Updated 05/20/2006