TX: From Wednesday 4 November, 4pm, BBC Radio 4 – 3 x 30mins
Corporate fraud and financial crimes dominate today’s front pages and in a special three-part series for the BBC Radio 4 series Thinking Allowed, Laurie Taylor goes behind the headlines to investigate white collar crime – from its late addition to the statute books, to the increasing difficulty in securing a conviction. Made in association with The Open University, the programmes look at the culture, practice and prosecution of white collar crime, with Laurie speaking to leading academic experts and professionals on both sides of the law.
Analysis by sociologists Dr David Whyte and Professor Steve Tombs – both of whom have contributed to a new OU course Crime and Justice - of the 2008 Health and Safety Executive figures showed that there are 30,000 major accidents including amputations, blindings or maimings at work every year - yet only 5% are investigated by the police. This compares with an investigation rate of over 90% for serious injuries suffered outside of the workplace. Convictions are also low for fraud cases – a crime which costs the UK at least £20 billion annually – with only a fraction of that figure recouped through successful prosecutions. City accountants are claiming fraud is now at its highest ever level and that it may treble during the recession.
Speaking to those involved with cutting edge research, Laurie Taylor asks if historic attitudes of leniency towards white collar crimes exist today; how attitudes to these crimes affect the police, judiciary and corporate world; whether the police are reluctant to engage with the corporate environment; and if status plays a role in whether people are viewed as criminal and how they experience justice.
Dr Deb Drake, a criminologist at The Open University and academic consultant to the programmes said: “Class, perception and status all seem to play a role in how criminals are treated in our judicial system. There is the notion that those of high status get shorter and easier jail sentences, and that crimes committed by people at work are not investigated by the police. This is a timely and challenging look at a very particular kind of crime – it promises to be a compelling series of programmes.”
2. NEUTRALISING THE OFFENCE
3. PROTECTING THE PUBLIC
TX details: From Wednesday 4 November, 4pm (repeated Sundays after midnight) BBC Radio 4.TX information correct at time of issue.
The OU and the BBC have been in partnership for forty years, providing educational programming to a mass audience. In recent times this partnership has evolved from late night programming for delivering courses to peak-time programmes with a broad appeal, to encourage wider participation in learning.