Steve Tombs

'Social murder' kills thousands each year

Thousands of British citizens are dying needlessly each year because of the government’s failure to tackle food poisoning, health and safety breaches and pollution, a new report from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies claims today. The report – Better Regulation: Better for whom? – by Professor Steve Tombs of The Open University, argues that lax regulation and weak enforcement has created avoidable business-generated, state-facilitated ‘social murder’.

'Better Regulation': Better for whom?

This Briefing by Professor Steve Tombs places the spotlight on the lack of effective regulation of pollution, food safety and workplace health and safety standards in the UK.

An estimated 29,000 deaths each year in the UK are attributable to the effects of airborne pollution. Some one million cases of foodborne illness in the UK each year result in 20,000 hospital admissions and 500 deaths. Around 50,000 people die each year as a result of injuries or health problems originating in the workplace.

Volkswagen: a routine case of corporate-state harm production

On 18 September, the US EPA revealed that Volkswagen (VW) had been using software and practices to cheat emissions-testing on almost 600,000 cars in US – marketed and sold as part of a major ‘clean-car’ initiative. The effect is that these cars will, on the road, emit nitrogen oxide pollutants up to 40 times above legal limits. Dubbed the ‘emissions-testing scandal’, or the ‘diesel dupe’ – but, just to be very clear, not crime – the days and weeks since the revelation have seen a classic case study of corporate crime unfold.

Book Review: Harmful societies

Steve Tombs reviews Simon Pemberton’s new book

Each year, the Office for National Statistics calculates the number of ‘excess winter deaths' – deaths from December to March compared with the average number of deaths occurring in the preceding and following four month periods in England and Wales. The figure for last winter is likely to see a significant hike up to some 36,000 – mainly of older people, not killed by the cold per se, but by illnesses brought on by lack of access to affordable heating, or suitably warm, dry accommodation, or most likely both.


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