Policy responses to crime in relation to crime

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For this assignment I am going to explain how race and crime policies affect crime in the different criminal justice agencies. "Race is a distinct population of humans distinguished in some way from others, they are based on skin colour, facial features, ancestry, genetics and national origin" (Wordiq). A crime is the action of breaking the law or intending to or helping others in the process, crimes are viewed as offences against society and are punished by the country (Wordiq). I will also define and explain criminology and applied criminology which relates to race and crime. I will then go on to talk about Cesar Lombroso and how his theories influenced criminology. In addition I will give some examples of race related crime such as the Bradford riots, and how tensions between ethnic minorities and majority whites caused chaos in the city, another example I am going to describe is the murder of zahid mubarek which was racially motivated. I will finally explain the Marxist and Labelling theory, and how both the theories relate to race.

"Criminology is the study of crime, society's response to crime and prevention methods which include environmental, hereditary, or psychological causes of crime, modes of criminal investigation and convictions or rehabilitation of criminals" (Connor, 2010). Criminology focuses on the behaviour of offenders that break criminal law and finds explanations for different types of behaviours. Criminology focuses on the crime whereas Applied Criminology focuses on the criminals and victims and what happens to them. Applied criminology is not concerned about making the system more efficient and catching the easy criminals, it focuses more on the complex and detailed cases, offenders that do more harm to society than other offenders is where criminal profiling is more relevant. Criminology looks at why different types of activities are criminalised, and why and how these can change in time. Criminology is about putting forward ideas and thoughts towards different solutions. It considers various factors that could have influenced a person or a group of people to commit crimes. Criminology is trying to understand the psychology of an offender before, during and after they have committed a crime, it looks at how crime and disorder has an impact on society. Each crime that is committed has its consequences, some have an effect on the whole community whereas others affect a certain number of people (Connor, 2010). Studying and analysing the consequences on the victim, community and the offender is a part of criminology. Another part of criminology is the legal system, which includes law enforcement and crime prevention policies. Criminologists seek to find out different ways in preventing crimes from occurring, this is done by research into factors that cause the particular crime, they evaluate all punishments and try to come to a conclusion about which is a better crime deterrent (Johnson, 2010) . There are two different approaches to criminology, firstly the classicists approach is that every human has the ability to make their own decisions and are responsible for their own actions, therefore if a person decides to break the law should be responsible and punished for their actions. The classicists approach says that by "having penalties in the CJS will help keep a control on the number of crimes due to the fear of punishment" (Pelovangu, 2010). The second approach is the positivists approach, according to the positivists, "humans react to the influences that are around them, certain influences cause a person to lose control and make the wrong decisions that they would not have normally taken" (Pelovangu, 2010). Lombroso was the founder of the school of positivist criminology, Lombroso used a scientific approach and argued that criminality was inherited, and that a "born criminal" (Arjunan, 2000) could be recognized by physical characteristics. He uses physiognomy to state that criminals have certain characteristics and attributes on the face or the body that identify the criminal (large jaws, hard shifty eyes etc). Lombroso's theory relied on the idea of atavism, which meant that criminals were devolved to an earlier stage in human life, his theory then went onto the classification of criminals, and this included: born criminals, criminaloids, and insane criminals. His theory is based on the positivist philosophy that human life and human influences can be explained through science, positivist was first used in biology then it was later introduced into the field of criminology. Lombroso argued that science deals with facts and that science can make predictions which are able to justify the psychological and biological actions of human behaviour. Because science provides the answers to everything, positivists apply the principles, methods and theories to the causes of crime, and believe that by doing this will help understand the different causes of crime (Arjunan, 2000). Classicists believe that people commit crime through their own free will, whereas positivists reject the idea of free will, they argue that human behaviour is influenced by the environment/biological and individual influences. The positivist school of thought has significant policy implications, it can be drastic, severe and murderous. The holocaust was a crime which was motivated by the positivist theory in which millions of people were killed. Whereas the classicism school of thought is justified because the exercise of power by the government is reasonable and is in the public interest by maintaining justice. The classicist theory was introduced because of the barbaric system of law, justice and punishment that was being used up until 1789, its main principles were emphasised on free will and human behaviour. The classicist was not interested in studying criminals, but focusing on legislations and policies. They believed that the activity of crime was carried out by the offenders own free will and that there should be consequences for their actions, the punishments should deter them from committing crime again (Pelovangu, 2010). There are also some criticisms within the classical theory, criminological author C. Coleman pointed out that "assuming all people are equal before the law and to make equally rational choices is flawed, this is because young children, mentally ill and those people that cannot make free willed rational choices should not be treated the same as those who can make rational choices" (Hindelang, 2004).

Cesare Lombroso describes criminals as primitive in their nature, he was seen as racist in the ideas and theories he held, Lombroso argues that white males are the most advanced form of humans and that non- white female are the most primitive. He states that women have more "atavistic" (Shanaz) characteristics then men, therefore being more criminal then men. Lombroso divided northern and southern Italians into two different races, he stated that the northern Italians showed less criminal behaviour, more industrious and were a more civilised race, whereas the southern Italians were more crime prone, lazy and they were unlucky because they did not have enough Aryan blood like the northern Italians. Lombroso then went onto become more racist and offensive, blacks had no Aryan blood at all and were at the "bottom of the evolutionary ladder", their "brains were undeveloped" and they have "infantile and monkey-like manner of smiling and gesturing", he also went to state that "blacks were the root of crime", from this it shows how racist Lombroso was towards other races, and saw them as more criminals, he especially looked down upon blacks (Walsh, 2003).

Bradford riots is an example of race and crime, it was an intense period of rioting which started on 7th July 2001 in Bradford, it arose because of tension between ethnic minorities and the white majority encouraged by anti- Nazi league and far right groups such as the National front. Bradford is known as a working class city, in the 19th century many Irish people emigrated to Bradford, and during the 1940s-50s many polish and south Asian people emigrated there, at the time of the riots Bradford was the second largest population of Asians in any UK city, it had approximately 68,000 Pakistanis, 12,500 Indians, and around 5,000 Bangladeshis, but this was still a minority compared to the white people in the city, the population was 78% White and 19% Asian. Due to the influx of many ethnic minorities ethnic segregation was intensified, many middle class white people started to move away from racial suburbs and neighbourhoods to white suburbs, each suburb forming their own ghettoes within the city. There were certain actions that triggered the Bradford riots, two months before there had been riots in Oldham and Burnley, tensions rose even further when a National Front march in the city was banned, however an anti - Nazi league organised a counter march which was allowed to go ahead, during the march, rumour had spread that National front supporters were gathering at a pub in Bradford, and confrontation had occurred in which a Pakistani man was stabbed, this was the final trigger for the riot.

The riot approximately had 1000 youths, mostly of the Asian background. Firstly it started as a riot and then turned into a race related uproar, with Asians targeting businesses, cars, shops and properties. The most expensive damage was done to a BMW dealership, which later had to be demolished. A few days later, white youths counteracted by attacking police and Asian owned businesses. From the case study of the Bradford riots we can see that racial tension between Asian minority ethnics and majority whites was so heightened that the whole city was damaged and in chaos, because of the riots 300 police officers were injured and 36 arrested, there were 297 arrests in total, 187 were charged with riot offences and 45 charged with violent disorder, the total jail sentences were 604 years (World, 2004).

Another incident which relates to race related crime is the murder of Zahid Mubarek. The murder of Zahid Mubarek lead to a formal investigation and found that the prison service had broken race laws on 17 different occasions, some of the breaches include failing to tackle a racist atmosphere in jails, discriminatory treatment of staff, and punishments based on racial stereotypes. The investigation found that "prison culture meant that staff could ignore equality obligations and openly racist attitudes or behaviour had been tolerated" (BBC, 2003). Prison staffs of ethnic minority were found to be working in an atmosphere of racist taunting and would be victimised if they made complaints. Racial stereotyping was another factor, examples such as "black inmates were more likely to be targeted for drugs testing then white cellmates", and that locking a prisoner in a cell for punishment was used unreasonably towards ethnic minority prisoners (BBC, 2003). 12% of the overall prison population are foreign prisoners, they originate from many different countries, mainly Jamaica, Pakistan, India and Turkey (Prison Reform Trust, 2010).

Karl Marx was a philosopher, social scientist, and historian. His ideas and thoughts were used throughout the world and in some places still are but have been changed as time progressed. Many of the social studies that focus on injustice and inequalities have been influenced by the ideas of Karl Marx and the Marxist theory. Fundamental to Marxism was the understanding that capitalism is a system that has two classes, the capital class which owns and controls the production and the running of the country and the working class which is the majority of the population sell their hard labour and their ability to work for a wage. There was regular conflict between the two as workers tried to increase their wages and improve working conditions, and employers trying to lower wages and increase working hours, the employers always have the upper hand because the workers feared for their job. Capitalists divided black and white workers, white workers would just be identified as whites, whereas black would be identified as black workers, whites were seen as superior compared to blacks. In the criminal justice system some races are treated unfairly and disproportionately, dominant groups that have political, social and economic power such as the white race have a privileged position, the minority races, the poor and the politically neglected pose a threat, and the dominant groups use their legal power to stop them from getting power and status. Certain types of behaviour that is carried out by the smaller groups are often punished, whereas the dominant group would carry out the same act but would get away with it (Macmillan, 2008)

Howard Becket introduced the labelling theory in 1963, it is also known as the theory of deviance that views deviance as a label given to certain types of behaviours or attitudes by figures of authority, this means that a person or an action is not deviant unless made by society. This theory relates to race and crime because many people from all different races can carry out the same crime but only certain races are given a label. This theory can be used for examples such as all black people are drug dealers and that all youth walking around in "hoodies" have ASBOs, although drug dealers can be from any background, society in general has stereotyped drug dealers as always being black, and maybe there are some youth in "hoodies" who do have ASBOs, but that is not the case with all youth (Miller, 2009).


For this assignment I have explained how race and crime policies have affected crime in the different criminal justice agencies. I have then gone on to talk about Cesar Lombroso and how his theories influenced criminology. Furthermore I have given some examples of race related crime such as the Bradford riots, and how tensions between ethnic minorities and majority whites caused chaos in the city, the second example I gave was the murder of Zahid Mubarek which was racially motivated. Finally I then explain the Marxist and Labelling theory, and how both the theories are related to race.