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Why does so much crime remain invisible?

9th February 2015

A seminar at Northumbria University, Newcastle, will discuss the reasons why certain types of crime remain invisible.

The event coincides with the launch of a new book, Invisible Crimes and Social Harms, which has been edited by Northumbria academics Professor Peter Francis, Dr Pam Davies and Dr Tanya Wyatt.

Exploring some of the key themes of the book, the seminar will also welcome guest speakers Professor Nigel South, from the University of Essex, and Professor Steve Tombs, from the Open University.

Crimes that often go undetected include honour crimes, environmental crime, health and safety crime and the victimisation of older people. It is subjects such as these that will be explored in more detail, with a focus on the seven interacting features that help make crime invisible; lack of knowledge, statistics, theory, research, control, politics and panic.

The book also addresses the ‘spaces’ in which invisible crimes might take place, be it the home, the body, the street, the environment, the institution and the state.

Professor Peter Francis, co-editor and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching) at Northumbria University, said: “In examining the nature and extent of invisible crime and social harms, our approach has been to give attention to a number of acts that often seem opaque, and to provide an organising framework that challenges a number of commonly held beliefs and ways of thinking about crime, harm, victimisation, regulation and crime control.

“Nevertheless, we are mindful of the need to develop further our understanding of those events and acts that bring considerable harm and suffering to those that experience them, and the seminar will offer an opportunity to do so. It will also allow guests to engage in debate about what can be done to connect academic research with social justice, and the reasons why various injustices have become more or less visible over time”.

The event will take place on Tuesday 17 February at 5.30pm in Room 402, Business and Law Building, City Campus East. Refreshments will be available. To book a place, email by Tuesday 10 February.

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