Communities, identities and crime by Basia Spalek

By Basia Spalek

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These legislative changes have, however, received extensive criticism, which will be raised in later chapters of this book. It is sufficient to highlight here that these changes can be construed as constituting a liberal response to discrimination, whereby more radical approaches involving changing broader social structures have not been pursued (Thompson, 2001). As clearly shown earlier, inequalities in relation to gender and ‘race’ were initially targeted by policy makers. Interestingly, developments taking place in the 1990s and onwards suggest that legislation is increasingly taking into account a broader range of group collectivities, including those relating to disability, sexual orientation, age and faith.

For example, in the UK, when drawing up policies on the prosecution of religiously and racially aggravated crime, as well as crimes motivated by hostility towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities and individuals with disabilities, the CPS consulted many different community groups (CPS, 2004). Illustrating the importance with which community engagement is viewed, good practice guidance on this has been produced by the CPS, and the development of a strategic and sustainable approach to community engagement features in the CPS Business Strategy 2005–08.

1994) The sociology of deviance: An obituary, Maidenhead: Open University Press. Sykes, C. (1992) A nation of victims: The decay of the American character, New York: St Martin’s Press. Sykes, G. (1958) The society of captives:A study of a maximum security prison, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Tait, G. (2004) ‘Modernity and the “failure” of crime control’, in R. Hill and G. Tait (eds), Hard lessons: Reflections on governance and crime control in late modernity, Aldershot: Ashgate, pp 18–32.

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