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Race, crime and criminality in the UK: crime science?

By T Patel

Abstract

A critical consideration is given of the problematic construction of crimes as scientifically racialised, in post-MacPherson UK. It is argued that notions of ‘black criminality’ are often reworked in new ways (e.g. moral panics about terrorism, knife and gun crime, etc.) and have fed into wider policy on community cohesion and citizenship that often directly takes black and minority ethnic people as objects of State intervention, while claiming not to be racialised. This paper therefore sheds critical light on the continued utility of 'race' in what are sometimes described as 'post-race' times. The paper will consider how racialised ideas of crime and deviancy are presented to the wider public, with a particular focus on the ways in which ideologies of ‘scientific racism’ which were in the past woven into state policies on crime control in countries such as Britain, USA, South Africa and Germany, have one again resurfaced. The key issue being highlighted is that there is a revival in the problematic construction of crimes as scientifically racialised (illustrated by moves towards increased racial profiling), meaning that older notions of ‘black criminality’ and the dangerous ‘immigrant other’, undeserving of right to a place in UK space, are once again appearing. The paper highlights why this thinking and its impact on crime policy (and for example, its relationship to wider immigration policies) needs to be challenged

Topics: built_and_human_env, health_and_wellbeing, mem_text_and_place
OAI identifier: oai:usir.salford.ac.uk:18754
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