07 May 2009

Conference to assess state of crime

An assessment of the current knowledge of crime, crime prevention and deviance in Europe will be debated at CRIMPREV’s final conference at The Open University from 17-19 June 2009. The international project was launched at the end of 2006 with EU funding to investigate perceptions of crime; criminalisation; deviant behaviour; interactions between different forms of organised crime; public policies of prevention; and to establish good practice guidelines across Europe.

The International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR) at The Open University played a significant role in CRIMPREV since its inception. Clive Emsley, Director ICCCR and Professor of History, said: “It is an honour for us to be hosting this conference. The ICCCR is particularly strong in providing historical perspectives in the area of juvenile justice and policing.“

The conference will be debating the conclusions of six work packages in preparation for the final report. A short keynote by Professor Emsley will pinpoint some of the problems of understanding crime in contemporary society, notably with governments that cherry-pick research to suit ill-considered policies.

Professor Emsley believes this conference is timely to address sub-standard government spending on crime prevention. “The economic downturn poses a significant threat to the funding of crime research. Whilst the government want quick results, criminologists can’t offer guarantees that their work will begin to solve the crime problem. A conference like this will however bring us a step closer to understanding the problems and offering potential solutions.”

The conference will be webcast live. Details of the programme can be found (right).

Editor’s Notes
1. CRIMPREV is an international project funded by the EU through the Sixth Framework Programme - issues connected with the resolution of conflicts and restoration of peace and justice.

The CRIMPREV consortium is made up of 31 universities and research institutes spread across Europe from 10 European countries. The consortium will continue as a federation of institutions under the umbrella of the Groupe Européen de Recherche sur les Normativités (GERN) based in Paris. This federated body now constitutes an important Europe-wide crime control lobby with a presence at the EU table.

2. The International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR) is an Open University centre of research excellence. It was established in December 2003. It is a unique multi disciplinary and cross faculty initiative drawing on expertise from Social Sciences (social policy & criminology, psychology and sociology), Arts (history), and Health and Social Care (youth justice).

It incorporates the European Centre for the Study of Policing based in Arts and the Rethinking Criminology and Forensic Psychology Research Groups based in Social Sciences.

The ICCCR unites contemporary practice-based research and critical policy analysis in crime, policing and criminal justice with an awareness of historical, psychological and social contexts.

ICCCR has developed three substantive (but inter-related) areas of expertise:

* policing
* justice, rights and regulation
* prisons/penology

Coherence between these subject areas is maintained through a shared interest in comparative methodologies (historical and/or cross-cultural) and in a concern for processes of governance and regulation. Its research is aimed at academic, policy and practitioner audiences, and is disseminated via regular conferences, seminars and publications.

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