Austerity, deregulation and government law-breaking mean there is little chance of reducing the annual death toll from pollution in the near future argues Will McMahon
Criminologists should challenge the tendency for research carried out under the aegis of the Home Office to serve the purposes of the current government
On 14 September, 2015, the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies hosted a roundtable meeting where we heard from Dr Deborah Drake (The Open University) and Professor Reece Walters (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane).
They discussed their research into the David Nutt affair. Drawing on interviews conducted with many of the key players, they conclude that high-stakes political issues can open up unprecedented opportunities for critical voices to engage in unbridled critique and to mobilise movements of dissent.
The Independent reports on a new study published in The Lancet, which found that current air quality rules might not be enough to protect against pollution-related illnesses.
The study estimates that for every 5 micrograms per cubic metre increase in annual exposure to fine-particle pollution, the risk of dying from natural causes rises by 7 per cent.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency within the World Health Organisation, has officially classified outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic. In a report it claims air pollution from traffic and industrial fumes was a cause of lung cancer and was linked to bladder cancer.
Dr Kurt Straif of the IARC said:
'The air we breathe has become polluted with a mixture of cancer-causing substances. We now know that outdoor air pollution is not only a major risk to health in general, but also a leading environmental cause of cancer deaths'.
This briefing focuses on the human costs of air pollution and failed attempts to adequately regulate and control such harm. In his report, Professor Reece Walters highlights the fact that an estimated 24,000 British residents die prematurely every year and thousands more are hospitalised, because of air pollution. Furthermore, the European Union is currently preparing a legal case against the British government for repeatedly breaching pollution levels.
New light is shed on the challenges facing the coalition in reforming the criminal justice system, with the publication of a report by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. In a collection of essays by leading thinkers and commentators, the report Lessons for the coalition, critiques the many innovations and the numerous failings on criminal justice during Labour's period in office. It also offers pointers to the coalition government of what not to do and on what needs changing.
The government is reluctant to use the learning from critical, independent evidence based analysis and research to inform criminal justice policy making according to a new report published by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.
Tim Hope and Reece Walters argue that the government does not want learn from academics or entertain the kind of serious debate that independent academic research can generate