Property Crime in London, 1850-Present

Hardcover | June 15, 2011

byWilliam M. Meier

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This book examines London’s transformation from the mid-Victorian “miracle” of low and diminishing crime to its status as a high-crime society at the outset of the twenty-first century. It treats six different types of misdeed—burglary, shopbreaking, shoplifting, confidence schemes, robbery, and drug smuggling—as representative of distinct phases in the evolution of criminal activity and the criminal-justice system in modern Britain. This is the first book to offer an expansive analysis of twentieth-century thieves and to challenge the notion that they operated in a self-contained underworld. It argues that to understand the growth of lawbreaking we must connect sensational and mundane offenses alike to their social and economic contexts, with a particular focus on how these contexts, including experience within the penal system, shaped criminal decision-making and expanded opportunities for transgression.

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This book examines London’s transformation from the mid-Victorian “miracle” of low and diminishing crime to its status as a high-crime society at the outset of the twenty-first century. It treats six different types of misdeed—burglary, shopbreaking, shoplifting, confidence schemes, robbery, and drug smuggling—as representative of dist...

William Meier is an Assistant Professor of History at Texas Christian University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:244 pages, 8.62 × 5.65 × 0.76 inPublished:June 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230114903

ISBN - 13:9780230114906

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Table of Contents

Crime There Will Ever Be * Burglary in the Era of the “English Miracle,” 1850-1900 * “Adapting the Machine to Meet Them”: Traveling Thieves and the Transformation of Police Power, 1900-39 * Women, Work, and Shoplifting in London, c. 1890-1940  * Aristocrats of Crime: Confidence Men in the Interwar Years * Robbery and the Making of the English Criminal Class, 1945-75 * The Empire Connection: Smugglers and the Modernization of the British Drugs Market * The Ubiquity of Crime

Editorial Reviews

“The book describes property crime from the nineteenth century through to the present, a period when crime and crime control substantially ‘modernized.’ It is well written and accessible without being patronizing. It is well referenced, presents a raft of supporting arguments (from contemporary printed sources primarily), deals well with complex topics, and it has a fresh feel to it. It is also one of the few books that crosses the WWI and WWII periods, and should be applauded for that.”—Barry Godfrey, Professor, Research Institute of Law, Politics and Justice Keele University, UK