In 1930, a columnist writing in The Times ruminated on the challenge of the modern ‘underworld’:

There men and women devote themselves openly to battening upon other people’s sins and vices. They form a separate nation; and the author of ‘Sybil’ never dreamed of so sharp a cleavage between two nations in one country. They live under laws of their own, not the laws of the State; and the first of their laws is the law of force. Few though they are, they seem to have little to fear from the State. They openly defy or deride or suborn it; and now and then, at any rate, the bitterest enemies among these people of the underworld will combine against the authorized powers of the dwellers aboveground.1


Criminal Justice Organise Crime Early Nineteenth Century Sessions Paper Early Eighteenth Century 
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  1. 4.
    E. Wallace (1932), When the Gangs Came to London (London: John Long), pp. 149–50.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    Mearns, Bitter Cry; G. Stedman Jones (1976), Outcast London: A Study in the Relationship Between Classes in Victorian Society (Harmondsworth: Penguin);Google Scholar
  3. J. Walkowitz (1992), City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late Victorian London (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 8.
    Meier, Property Crime, pp. 13–40; E. Moss (2011), ‘Burglary Insurance and the Culture of Fear in Britain, 1889–1930’, The Historical Journal, 54, 4, pp. 1039–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 9.
    Davies, ‘Scottish Chicago?’; Houlbrook, ‘Fashioning’; M. Roodhouse (2011), ‘In Racket Town: Gangster Chic in Austerity Britain, 1939–1953.’ Historical Journal of Film, Television and Radio, 31, 4, pp. 523–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Heather Shore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leeds Beckett UniversityUK

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