Crime Prevention and Community Safety

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 69–89 | Cite as

A Question of (dis)engagement? Historical Lessons in Promoting an Effective Public Interface to Address Current Crime Concerns

  • Judith Rowbotham
  • Kim Stevenson


What is lacking in the current crime control strategies is any genuine and effective debate between government, the legal world and the wider public about crime related issues. Historically, the Victorian media provided the conduit for an effective interface to address both public and official concern, but today this is absent from the media discourse. This article utilizes two case studies, focusing on the crimes of rape and burglary to demonstrate the problems that this present level of disengagement between the public and the criminal justice system can generate. It suggests ways in which the historical experience can facilitate and promote a more constructive and successful interface between the official and the popular communities. The argument is made that a more effective and influential public forum is a prerequisite to engender public confidence in the criminal justice system's ability to ensure community safety, and that a responsible media is best placed to facilitate this.


crime reporting criminal justice system rape burglary 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Arts, Communications and Culture, Nottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK
  2. 2.School of Sociology Politics and Law, University of Plymouth, Drake CircusPlymouthUK

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