security, insecurity, media, paranoia, fear of crime
01 août 2009

The myth of imported violence

A tenacious myth in both common wisdom and some more cultivated circles in Europe is the importation of violence. Some communities would, according to this view, bring into Western Europe the pattern of violence they have inherited from their home country, plegued by civil wars. For example, in Switzerland or Germany, we hear a lot about people from former Yougoslavia as having brought violent habits in "peaceful" local communities. Thus, we are told, are these communities more represented in crime statistics and prison... [Lire la suite]
Posté par asheshes à 22:26 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
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07 juillet 2009

Disorganised crime

Organised crime is a catchall concept. Everybody uses it in the media, politics and private discussions. It does not mean anything at all, which is exactly the reason why it is so used and popular! Talking about organised crime is like talking about “organised tourism” or “ organised trade”. Tourism today is the biggest industry, generating the biggest turnover globally. But nobody would ever be foolish enough to think that tourism is a concept that can be reduced to a bunch of actors and a bunch of practices: it is a complex web or... [Lire la suite]
Posté par asheshes à 15:49 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
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07 juillet 2009

Police fragmentation in Italy

Walking through any Italian city, you will cross the way of one of the following forces, at least: State police, Carabinieri (Gendarmerie), Municipal police, Provincial police, Financial police, Penitentiary police, and now, even soldiers ! This seems crazy. It probably is, unless this incredible fragmentation of policing is aimed at making « organised crime groups » (if they exist – see my other article on “disorganised crime”) take the power in the police. By multiplying the forces, the risk to have a security body captured by mafia... [Lire la suite]
Posté par asheshes à 15:43 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
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09 juin 2009

CCTV, videosurveillance: paradigm shift

Everybody has as opinion on CCTV and videosurveillance. The majority of the population, when asked in surveys, is in favour, up to a proportion of 75%. As with topics discussed broadly and where each opinon is supposed to be valid, we are lost in oceans of opinions, thus we loose the real, fundamental view. The criminal law is based in our societies on a philosophical assumption: nobody is guilty until proven so. But what does happen with videosurveillance? We turn the assumption upside down and state implicitly that everybody is a... [Lire la suite]
Posté par asheshes à 10:46 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
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31 mai 2009

drug legalisation : the only efficient policy

Legalisation of the drug market is the only way to reduce risks for the consumers and the power of the criminal underworld. Legalisation does not mean liberalisation, since the State would in fact get more involved in the governance of drugs: prevention of use, distribution oversight, quality control, etc. Like for alcohol, cigarettes, medical drugs. Unfortunately, we pay the price of the rhetoric on drugs promoted by opponents of an open market approach. The « drug » has been constructed, as a concept, as the enemy, a devil’s tool.... [Lire la suite]
Posté par asheshes à 13:34 - - Commentaires [1] - Permalien [#]
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