Criminal victimisation, crime control and political action
This thesis outlines the emergence of victimology as a major subdiscipline within criminology. Its growth is traced to intellectual debates and problematics in the history of criminology, and the interactions with wider political and social currents. Chapter I provides an overview of literature in victimology, its scope and areas of theory and research. Chapter II examines the context of the 'discovery of criminal victimisation' by the President's Crime Commission, 1967, and, the linking of state intervention in crime and poverty in the reformism of the Johns on Administration. Victimology' s growth is linked to the 'data revolution' in criminal justice and. the state fundine of victimisation surveys through the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. Chapter III analyses the alliance between sooial science and social democracy, and Chapter IV deals with the alliance of criminologists and social reformism in relation to the political history of crime statistics. The latter's problems are assessed in relation to the 'dark figure' of crime, and the roles of police and victims. The chapter also evaluates the claims that victimisation surveys are a superior method of counting crime. Chapter V examines the orientation towards victims. in social democratic, right-wing and radical criminologies. Chapter VI traces the intellectual and political backgrounds of the Merseyside and Islington Crime Surveys, including the debates within the Labour Party on policing and crime, and the alliance between radical v. reformists and left-realist criminologists. Chapter VII describes the design of a draft questionnaire for the Islington Crime Survey and offers a critical comparison of the questionnaires for the final Islington and Merseyside questionnaires and those used in other surveys. Chapter VIII summarizes the themes and findings of this thesis and comments upon the theoretical methodological and policy issues for the development of a radical victimology.