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BSc Crime and Investigation Justice, Rights and Investigation: A Balancing Act.

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Presentation on theme: "BSc Crime and Investigation Justice, Rights and Investigation: A Balancing Act."— Presentation transcript:

1 BSc Crime and Investigation Justice, Rights and Investigation: A Balancing Act

2 Aims of session We are going to consider We are going to consider 1. the ideas of Gary Pugh, Director of Forensic Science at Scotland Yard, and new DNA spokesperson for ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) who has suggested that children of primary school age should be placed on a national DNA register if they show signs of “becoming a criminal” 1. the ideas of Gary Pugh, Director of Forensic Science at Scotland Yard, and new DNA spokesperson for ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) who has suggested that children of primary school age should be placed on a national DNA register if they show signs of “becoming a criminal”

3 Aims of session…..cont. 2. Where we get our ideas from about crime and criminality (we are going to look at two major schools of thought about criminality) 2. Where we get our ideas from about crime and criminality (we are going to look at two major schools of thought about criminality) 3.Conclusions around who criminals are and what they may look like relates to criminal justice policy 3.Conclusions around who criminals are and what they may look like relates to criminal justice policy 4.While there is a need to investigate criminal behaviour this must also be balanced with citizen rights or justice will become meaningless 4.While there is a need to investigate criminal behaviour this must also be balanced with citizen rights or justice will become meaningless

4 What is a crime? Ask the person you are sitting next to what they think. Ask the person you are sitting next to what they think. Some things have been decriminalised (1950s homosexuality) Some things have been decriminalised (1950s homosexuality) Certain things that are Certain things that are crimes now but weren’t initially crimes now but weren’t initially eg. mobile phone ban

5 DNA and 5year olds Can you tell from a group of 5 year olds which ones have a criminal tendency? Can you tell from a group of 5 year olds which ones have a criminal tendency? Is it by the way they look? Is it by the way they look? What about the way they act? What about the way they act? Are they more likely to be influenced by family and friends into crime? Are they more likely to be influenced by family and friends into crime?

6 What separates some children/ young people from others?

7 Silver Hoodies

8 The Silver Hoodies formed last September to forge links between generations but police chiefs were so impressed they invited the young at heart crew to work with them to target their own age group on security issues The Silver Hoodies formed last September to forge links between generations but police chiefs were so impressed they invited the young at heart crew to work with them to target their own age group on security issues hoodies-bid-to-fight-crime / hoodies-bid-to-fight-crime /

9 Criminological theories Where do our ideas about crime and criminals come from? Where do our ideas about crime and criminals come from? Two very distinct sets of ideas emerged which have shaped understandings of crime and criminality and we are going to have a brief look at these now Two very distinct sets of ideas emerged which have shaped understandings of crime and criminality and we are going to have a brief look at these now 1. Classicism 1. Classicism 2. Positivism 2. Positivism These different theories, and the beliefs behind them mean that they have different ideas about punishment These different theories, and the beliefs behind them mean that they have different ideas about punishment

10 The Classical School of Criminology The Classical School of Criminology Emphasises the criminal individual Emphasises the criminal individual Rational and autonomous beings Rational and autonomous beings Human nature = hedonistic Human nature = hedonistic Calculated risks Calculated risks Therefore punishment based on crime to prevent and deter Therefore punishment based on crime to prevent and deter Classicism

11 Individuals in other words, were guided by the pleasure pain principle, by which they calculated the risks and rewards they would receive for their actions. Accordingly, punishment should be suited to the offence, not to the social or physical characteristics of the criminal. Individuals in other words, were guided by the pleasure pain principle, by which they calculated the risks and rewards they would receive for their actions. Accordingly, punishment should be suited to the offence, not to the social or physical characteristics of the criminal. Classicism…..cont.

12 One of the most influential writers at this time is Cesare Beccaria (1738 – 1794) One of the most influential writers at this time is Cesare Beccaria (1738 – 1794) – In order to escape war and chaos, individuals gave up some of their liberty and establish a contractual society. This established the sovereignty of a nation and the ability of the nation to create criminal law and to punish offenders. Classicism…..cont.

13 Beccaria was not, however, the only scholar in his time to consider these issues. Jeremy Bentham ( ), an English jurist and scholar, also argued that punishment should be a deterrent and he too explained behaviour as a result of free will and “hedonistic calculus” Beccaria was not, however, the only scholar in his time to consider these issues. Jeremy Bentham ( ), an English jurist and scholar, also argued that punishment should be a deterrent and he too explained behaviour as a result of free will and “hedonistic calculus” Classicism…..cont.

14 The ideas around criminality as a free choice meant that incarceration would be the punishment Classicism…..cont.

15 Positivism Individual positivism – values the importance of factors within the individual- either from a psychological or biological approach Individual positivism – values the importance of factors within the individual- either from a psychological or biological approach Sociological positivism- places more emphasis on the environment Sociological positivism- places more emphasis on the environment

16 The central argument was that crime was determined by multiple factors. This is a clear shift away from the reasoning of Beccaria and Bentham who thought crime resulted from free will and hedonism of the individual criminal. The central argument was that crime was determined by multiple factors. This is a clear shift away from the reasoning of Beccaria and Bentham who thought crime resulted from free will and hedonism of the individual criminal. They primarily emphasised the mind and the body of the criminal, thus to some extent ignoring social factors external to the individual. They primarily emphasised the mind and the body of the criminal, thus to some extent ignoring social factors external to the individual. Positivism……cont.

17 Cesare Lombrosso (1835 –1909). Lombrosso made observations that, Criminals represent a peculiar physical type, distinctly different from non- criminal. In general terms he claimed that criminals represent a form of degeneracy which was manifested in physical characteristics reflective of earlier forms of evaluation Cesare Lombrosso (1835 –1909). Lombrosso made observations that, Criminals represent a peculiar physical type, distinctly different from non- criminal. In general terms he claimed that criminals represent a form of degeneracy which was manifested in physical characteristics reflective of earlier forms of evaluation Positivism……cont.

18 Positivism...cont. Positivism...cont. Lombroso popularized the notion of the born criminal Lombroso popularized the notion of the born criminal His biological positivism suggested that you could tell who was a criminal by looking at their physical features His biological positivism suggested that you could tell who was a criminal by looking at their physical features

19 Positivism...cont. Positivism...cont. He suggested the features to look for included: He suggested the features to look for included: Large jaws and sloping foreheads Large jaws and sloping foreheads High cheekbones High cheekbones Handle-shaped ears Handle-shaped ears Large chins Large chins Hawk-like noses and fleshy lips Hawk-like noses and fleshy lips Shifty eyes + baldness Shifty eyes + baldness Insensitivity to pain + long arms Insensitivity to pain + long arms

20 Have a look at these 2 pictures? Do you think we can tell by looking at people what they are like?

21 Young people have always got into trouble with the law. What changes over time is how society deals with its young offenders. Young people have always got into trouble with the law. What changes over time is how society deals with its young offenders. Before Victorian times no distinction was made between criminals of any age. Accordingly, young children could be sent to an adult prison. There are records of children aged 12 being hanged. Before Victorian times no distinction was made between criminals of any age. Accordingly, young children could be sent to an adult prison. There are records of children aged 12 being hanged. Victorian fears about children and crime

22 The Victorians were very worried about crime and its causes. Reformers were asking questions about how young people who had broken the law ought to be treated. The Victorians were very worried about crime and its causes. Reformers were asking questions about how young people who had broken the law ought to be treated. They could see that locking children up with adult criminals was hardly likely to make them lead honest lives in the future. They could see that locking children up with adult criminals was hardly likely to make them lead honest lives in the future. On the other hand, they believed firmly in stiff punishments. On the other hand, they believed firmly in stiff punishments. Victorian fears about children and crime

23 In 1854 Reformatory Schools were set up for offenders under 16 years old. These were very tough places, with stiff discipline enforced by frequent beatings. Young people were sent there for long sentences - usually several years. However, a young offender normally still began their sentence with a brief spell in an adult prison. In 1854 Reformatory Schools were set up for offenders under 16 years old. These were very tough places, with stiff discipline enforced by frequent beatings. Young people were sent there for long sentences - usually several years. However, a young offender normally still began their sentence with a brief spell in an adult prison.

24 William Towers In 1872 William Towers was 12 years old. He was caught stealing two rabbits — possibly for food for his family. As punishment William was sent to Wandsworth prison. He was Prisoner In 1872 William Towers was 12 years old. He was caught stealing two rabbits — possibly for food for his family. As punishment William was sent to Wandsworth prison. He was Prisoner 4099.

25 William Towers…..cont. probably just like many other Victorian working-class boys. He wore shabby, dark old clothes, held together with buttons and stitches. probably just like many other Victorian working-class boys. He wore shabby, dark old clothes, held together with buttons and stitches. To be sent to prison at such a young age must have been simply terrifying. Try to imagine how you would feel to be away from your family and in a strange place full of people you do not know. To be sent to prison at such a young age must have been simply terrifying. Try to imagine how you would feel to be away from your family and in a strange place full of people you do not know. He looks unhappy in his photo and may have been biting back the tears. The untidy, handwritten sign, held around his neck with string, shows his prison number; He looks unhappy in his photo and may have been biting back the tears. The untidy, handwritten sign, held around his neck with string, shows his prison number; 4099.

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27 William Towers Task: What do you think William Towers is thinking? Task: What do you think William Towers is thinking? How do you think he must feel? How do you think he must feel? What do you think about the kind of justice that children in Victorian England received? What do you think about the kind of justice that children in Victorian England received?

28 In reality all individuals are not free, rational and equal In reality all individuals are not free, rational and equal The system of justice cannot act rationally The system of justice cannot act rationally If all men are free, why do they need to offend? If all men are free, why do they need to offend? The poor commit more crime than the rich The poor commit more crime than the rich What about environmental and situational factors What about environmental and situational factors Men and women often act irrationally Men and women often act irrationally Imprisonment increases poverty Imprisonment increases poverty Criticisms of Classicism

29 All meaning is removed from the activity All meaning is removed from the activity Ignores human choice Ignores human choice Not only the underclass commit crime – what about corporate crime/ criminals? Not only the underclass commit crime – what about corporate crime/ criminals? Eg ex - man city owner Eg ex - man city owner Criticism of Positivism

30 Who is the criminal?

31 Top 5 crimes of children TASK: What kinds of crimes do you think children and young people are involved in most often? Write down 3. TASK: What kinds of crimes do you think children and young people are involved in most often? Write down 3. Pupils' most common crimes : Pupils' most common crimes : Fare-dodging: 46% Fare-dodging: 46% Graffiti: 34% Graffiti: 34% Shoplifting: 33% Shoplifting: 33% Criminal damage: 29% Criminal damage: 29% Possessing a weapon: 29% Possessing a weapon: 29%

32 Gary Pugh Gary Pugh seems to have some notions around the very young already somehow being criminal types (like Lombroso’s born criminal) and his ideas suggest this criminal tendency can be observed in young children’s behaviour Gary Pugh seems to have some notions around the very young already somehow being criminal types (like Lombroso’s born criminal) and his ideas suggest this criminal tendency can be observed in young children’s behaviour

33 Children and Justice Ideas such as these suggest a shift back to the fears about young people and crime that the Victorians had and also suggest a shift back towards very tough sentences for young people who engage with crime Ideas such as these suggest a shift back to the fears about young people and crime that the Victorians had and also suggest a shift back towards very tough sentences for young people who engage with crime Need to think about Children’s rights and justice Need to think about Children’s rights and justice

34 labelling With ideas about criminals at the age of 5 there is also a fear that young children are labelled and this can result in self- fulfilling prophecy With ideas about criminals at the age of 5 there is also a fear that young children are labelled and this can result in self- fulfilling prophecy Also liberty, freedom are important with the presumption innocence until proven guilty which our criminal justice system was built on Also liberty, freedom are important with the presumption innocence until proven guilty which our criminal justice system was built on

35 Thank-you for watching Thank-you for watching


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