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Law and order has become a key issue throughout the world. Crimestories saturate the mass media and politicians shrilly competewith each other in a race to be the toughest on crime. Prisons arecrammed to bursting point, and police powers and resources extendedrepeatedly. After decades of explosive increase in crime rates,these have plummeted throughout the Western world in the 1990s. Yetfear of crime and violence, and the security industries cateringfor these anxieties, grow relentlessly.

This book offers an up-to-date analysis of these contemporarytrends by providing all honest and concerned citizens with aconcise yet comprehensive survey of the sources of current problemsand anxieties about crime. It shows that the dominant tough law andorder approach to crime is based on fallacies about its nature,sources, and what works in terms of crime control. Instead itargues that the growth of crime has deep-seated causes, so thatpolicing and penal policy at best can only temporarily hold a liddown on offending.

The book is intended to inform public debate about these vitalissues through a critical deconstruction of prevailing orthodoxy.With its focus on current policies, problems and debates this bookis also an excellent introduction to criminology for the growingnumbers of students of the subject at all levels.

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