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Crime Drop

Edwin Sutherland, sk Ruck and the Crime Drop in 1920s England

Paul Knepper, from the University of Sheffield, made a contribution to the 2012 Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, in the category “Crime and Society,” under the title “Edwin Sutherland, sk Ruck and the Crime Drop in 1920s England”. Here is the abstract: In 1929, the Bureau of Social Hygiene in New York sent Edwin Sutherland to England to study the decline in crime after the First World War. As becomes clear from materials at the Rockefeller archives, Sutherland’s conclusions drew on ‘advance work’ completed by SK Ruck in 1929 into trends in crime from 1893 to 1927. A little-known researcher, Ruck developed a remarkable explanation of crime rates entitled ‘The Movement of Crime’ which was framed around the relationship to rates of unemployment and real wages. Ruck’s explanation for the English ‘crime drop’ of the 1920s includes a discussion of the impact of education, prisons, policing, and the built environment on crime trends. In conjunction with his economic analysis, he developed an opportunity-based explanation which has been advanced for the crime drop of the 1990s. He also offered a theory he called the ‘security hypothesis’ to account for the inter-relationship between prison closures and levels of criminal activity.

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  • “Edwin Sutherland, sk Ruck and the Crime Drop in 1920s England”, by Paul Knepper (Proceedings)


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  • Article Name: Crime Drop
  • Author: Harrison Davis
  • Description: Edwin Sutherland, sk Ruck and the Crime Drop in 1920s England Paul Knepper, from the University of Sheffield, made a [...]

This entry was last updated: August 4, 2020

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