Drawing on new research, this event will discuss why crime rose so much during the 1980s and fell so sharply from the mid-1990s. It will also discuss implications for current policy.

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About the event

From the early 1980s to the mid-1990s, crime as measured by the British Crime Survey rose inexorably. From the mid-1990s to the present day it has fallen just as sharply. It is this decline which has gained most interest amongst policy makers and researchers.

Before one can answer the question ‘why did crime fall?’, one has to reflect on the reasons why is rose so dramatically in the first place. This seminar addresses some of the reasons why crime rose so much during the 1980s.  Drawing on the findings of research supported by the Economic and Social Research Council, this event will explore why crime rose under the Thatcher and Major administrations.


This event will be of particular interest to:

  • Policy makers, parliamentarians and advisors
  • Journalists and opinion formers
  • Think tanks and those engaged in public education

Places are strictly limited for this invitation-only event. If you would like to receive an invitation please email info@crimeandjustice.org.uk to request a place.

Themes covered

This event is a unique opportunity to hear from some of the key experts on how economic and social policies influence long-term trends and patterns of crime, victimisation and fear of crime.

Among the themes covered in the event will be:

  • The long-term consequences of social and economic policies from 1979 to 1997 on crime and criminal justice.
  • How changes in crime rates have an impact on the types of criminal justice policies pursued.
  • How the era in which one grew up affects the beliefs one holds about crime and about what works in tackling it.
  • How specific social policies in one arena can create ‘spill over’ effects in criminal justice.
  • The implications for future crime trends in the context of ongoing public sector cuts and austerity.

Speakers and programme

Richard Garside, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies

Economic policies and crime
Professor Will Jennings, University of Southampton

Housing policies and crime
Professor Stephen Farrall, University of Sheffield

Social attitudes and crime
Dr Emily Gray, University of Sheffield

Implications for policy makers
David Walker, Academy of Social Sciences

A sandwich lunch will be provided.

About the research programme

The research behind this event forms part of a major ESRC-funded project: Long-term Trajectories of Crime in the UK.

Venue, time and date

September 18th, 2015 12:00 PM to  2:30 PM
Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
2 Langley Lane
London, SW8 1GB
United Kingdom
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