Early Career Academics Network Bulletin - January 2020 - Issue 43 - Howard League for ...

 
Early Career Academics Network Bulletin - January 2020 - Issue 43 - Howard League for ...
ECAN Bulletin, Issue 43, January 2020

Early Career Academics Network Bulletin
                       January 2020 – Issue 43
Early Career Academics Network Bulletin - January 2020 - Issue 43 - Howard League for ...
ECAN Bulletin, Issue 43, January 2020

                   Early Career Academics Network Bulletin

                                    Contents
                                                                                 Page
Introduction
Dr Keir Irwin-Rogers and Professor Jo Phoenix                                       1

Howard League International Conference 2020: Call for papers                        6

                                      Features

Challenging state-corporate harm: making an inch of difference?
Steve Tombs, The Open University                                                    8

Transforming responses to hate crime
Stevie-Jade Hardy, the University of Leicester                                     17

Supporting strategies for survival in immigration systems
Victoria Canning, the University of Bristol                                        22

Exploring sensory experience and collapsing distance in prisons
research
Kate Herrity, the University of Leicester                                          26

Increasing fairness in sentencing using quantitative research
Jose Pina-Sanchez, the University of Leeds                                         33

Making a difference in the area of sexual violence and the law:
Theoretical underpinnings
Anna Carline, the University of Liverpool                                          44

Become a Howard League Fellow                                                      51

Guidelines for submission                                                          52

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Early Career Academics Network Bulletin - January 2020 - Issue 43 - Howard League for ...
ECAN Bulletin, Issue 43, January 2020

Introduction
                                           Alternatively, they may have been
Using research to make a difference        convinced by Becker’s (1967)
                                           injunction to ‘humanise the deviant’
Many people conducting                     when he rhetorically asked, ‘whose
criminological research do so in large
part because of the perceived
shortcomings and
limitations associated
with the policies and
practices in their area of
interest. The vast
majority of the
colleagues alongside
whom we work in the
fields of crime, harm and
criminal justice believe
passionately that certain
things ought to change, and that they      side are we on’? Perhaps, however,
have a legitimate role to play in          they might have been swayed by
securing such change. To what              Gouldner’s later riposte to Becker —
extent, however, should researchers        that unless we are laying bare the
be concerned with influencing policy       structures of power that determine
and practice? And, if this is their aim,   who and under what circumstances
how best might they go about               the powerful are able to define acts
ensuring their own research has            and people as deviant, then
impact? How indeed should ‘impact’         humanising them is doing little more
be understood in the context of            than zookeeping (Gouldner 1968).
researching the various and variable
meanings of ‘crime’, ‘justice’ and         The point here is that for this
‘harm’? In short, what does it mean        generation of criminologists, making
for one’s research to have ‘impact’ or     a difference was as much about
make a difference when there is also       politicising the academy as it was
the expectation for us, as academics,      about understanding the social world.
to produce new knowledge?                  For today’s academics, the external
                                           audit of universities’ research efficacy
As the contributions to this ECAN          (the Research Excellence
bulletin demonstrate, ‘making a            Framework (REF)) has created an
difference’ or ‘impact’ can be             alternative set of priorities – that is,
interpreted in many different ways.        the imperative to measure and
Earlier generations of social              demonstrate the tangible impact that
scientists may have thought about          one’s own criminological research
the link between politics and              has had on the social world. It is
knowledge production in relation to        perhaps unsurprising that academics
Weber’s (1919) observation that            working today have taken on board
social science ought to strive for         how the REF defines research
value freedom. Or, they may have           impact given that it preoccupies the
been more persuaded by Gouldner’s          agendas of academic institutions
argument that value freedom is not         through its promise of lucrative
possible (Gouldner 1961).                  rewards. The spoils of league table
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performance and money go to those          certainly are easier to measure and
institutions whose members of staff        evidence in an impact case study.
have supposedly secured the
greatest impact through their              The hyper-competitive, resource-
research.                                  consuming, toxic climate fostered by
                                           the REF provides good grounds for
There are many problems with the           collective resistance to the entire
REF-defined impact agenda. For             process. In relation to research
instance, the complex                      impact in particular, we would like to
methodological questions of whether        see a move away from top-down,
it is possible to know the actual          prescriptive definitions of ‘research
impact of a programme of research          impact’, with, minimally, its
                                           replacement by the pursuit of ‘making
— perhaps research is widely read
                                           a difference’ in the specific context in
and acted on by government
                                           which research is produced. Perhaps
ministers in Bogotá, Columbia, yet         more ambitiously, we aim for its
the authors are completely unaware         entire displacement by a new
that it has had such an influence —        generation of academics returning to
or indeed the ethical issues of            and working through the politics of
trimming and shaping one’s research        what ‘making a difference’ has the
project with the view to creating          potential to mean. To the extent that
impact (see Carlen and Phoenix             the ‘difference’ in ‘making a
2018) which may distort how social         difference’ is defined on a case-by-
and political change is                    case basis and by people’s personal
conceptualised and pursued.                passions, concerns and priorities -
                                           we would argue that using research
One of the authors in this bulletin, for   in this way constitutes a worthy and
example, has found themselves              admirable use of academics’ time
fighting the temptation to narrow their    and energies.
ambitions for large-scale policy
change (which may or may not               In the contributions that follow,
materialise) in favour of relatively       readers will find six excellent
minor technical tweaks to policy and       examples of academics who have
practice, which would constitute           used, and continue to use, their
quick and easy wins in support of a        research to make a difference in
REF impact case study. To be clear,        different ways: some in ways that are
this is not the result of any individual   apt to be utilised by their institutions
exerting pressure on another               in the pursuit of bettering supposed
individual, but of a system that           institutional performance; others in
incentivises and/or has the potential      ways that conceptualise ‘making a
to penalise the pursuit of certain         difference’ through more abstract
kinds of impact. The direction of          lenses, such as shaping other
pressure exerted by the REF is clear:      people’s (including academics’) ways
forsake the relatively risky pursuit of    of thinking about established
difficult-to-achieve radical reform        criminological problems.
agendas in favour of more modest
and incremental changes within the         Steve Tombs provides a moving
existing system – changes that are         account of a career in teaching and
more likely to materialise and             research that has spanned over three
                                           decades. He takes readers on a
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chronological journey through his           the intersectional impacts of asylum
research and activism, describing           systems on people seeking asylum.
various and overwhelmingly joint            Victoria highlights the importance of
endeavours. These have involved             not allowing external pressures to
making a difference by, for example,        dictate the type of outputs we
shaping government regulatory policy        produce. To this end, she cites the
and influencing public opinion              examples of the book, Strategies for
through a range of public-facing            Survival, Recipes for Resistance, and
activities. Steve highlights that all       the Right to Remain Asylum
research is inherently political,           Navigation Board – a tool that helps
whether or not we choose to                 to bring those seeking asylum
recognise this explicitly, and argues       together and challenge false
against the tendency for people to          information that can hamper asylum
distinguish between activists and           applications. Victoria discusses the
academics. In this respect, his             potential for the REF to put pressure
contribution represents a politicised       on academics to produce work that
version of impact in which academics        satisfies its own internal criteria to the
have a role to play in addressing           neglect of other outputs that are most
issues around power, social                 needed by those with whom we
inequalities and (in)justice.               collaborate.

Stevie-Jade Hardy describes a               Kate Herrity describes a very
series of research projects, all of         different way of pursuing prison
which were designed with the                research – one which draws on the
purpose of bringing to light and            auditory experience, the
recognising otherwise unseen forms          ‘soundscape’ of a prison. Starting
of victimisation that, in themselves,       from personal experience about what
are political – or at the very least        it felt like to walk into a prison (being
occur in relation to other people’s         an assault on the senses), Kate
prejudices. Of equal concern in these       writes about the possibility of making
projects was the ideal of transforming      a difference by shifting the object of
official responses to hate crime.           analysis from text to sound. For Kate,
Stevie places the pursuit of a more         noise (or the soundscape) becomes
‘traditional’ definition of impact into a   part and parcel of both the harms of
less traditional context. For her, co-      imprisonment as well as a means by
design and co-production of research        which we, as academics, can
with policy makers (i.e. creating the       displace established meanings and
‘incremental changes’ referred to           understandings of the prison,
above) becomes increasingly                 proffering new ways of thinking that
important in today’s society if only to     reach beyond the academy to ‘the
counterbalance wider ‘hate-                 great unwashed’ of the everyday and
generating’ social forces. Stevie’s         ordinary people. Along the way, Kate
short piece demonstrates that even          makes a set of observations about
the more REF-inclined, narrow               the purpose of research and offers
version of ‘impact’ nevertheless            an awkward reading of impact
contains within it the seeds of potent      through which she represents an
and meaningful social change.               older tradition in which ‘making a
                                            difference’ is framed in relation to
Victoria Canning reflects on her            how people think about, see, or more
experience conducting research on
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pertinently, hear, a prison and its      The articles in this issue provide
effects.                                 readers with an insight into the
                                         various ways in which six academics
Jose Pina-Sanchez has for many           think about what it means to make a
years acted in a critical yet            difference, and how they have been
collaborative capacity alongside the     using their research to do just that.
Sentencing Council for England and       Whether their focus is state-
Wales. His research in the field of      corporate harm, hate crime, unjust
sentencing has been nothing short of     immigration systems, prisons,
trail-blazing, both responding to and    sentencing, or the links between
informing the Council’s priorities.      criminal justice and the regulation of
Jose has collaborated with numerous      gender identity, the means by which
academics along the way, producing       these academics have sought to
innovative and insightful research       achieve change is striking. For some,
across various areas of sentencing       change is hardwired into their
policy and practice. His article         research design. For others, it is part
provides readers with an archetypal      of the magic that happens when
example of how researchers might         academics collaborate with a range
seek to engage with professional         of non-academic partners in thinking
bodies inside the criminal justice       through what could be done to
system, helping them achieve their       address any specific social problem.
goals by conducting rigorous             For others still, making a difference is
research that simultaneously             about fundamentally shifting the way
supports and holds such bodies to        we (academics and non-academics)
account.                                 see and understand things.

Anna Carline gives readers an            For us as editors, one of the
insight into how she, as an academic,    unexpected outcomes of asking
connects her substantive interests (in   these six academics to write about
sexual violence, gender and the law)     their research and pursuit of impact
with her theoretical interests and her   is the distance between how
ethical stance to create collaborative   research efficacy is measured in the
and imaginative ways of ‘making a        REF and what academics actually
difference’. For Anna, her theoretical   do. We were not surprised to read
framework points her towards             that for each of our contributors, a
thinking about affect and                particular political or ethical stance
transformation in the courts and         underpinned their choice of research
across the criminal justice system.      subject, as well as how they framed
Her commitment to improving the          their impact.
experiences of women (as victims of
sexual violence) then drives             We hope that readers whose usual
imaginative, collaborative               interests diverge from these
explorations with others about what      particular subject areas will
to ‘transform’ in those specific         nevertheless enjoy reading about
interactions, and how to do so.          topics that would ordinarily fall
Whether it is ‘targeted’ or              outside of their usual scope. In
unexpected, for Anna impact and          particular, we hope that the following
making a difference are not              articles provide a source of
measured but rather are the reason       inspiration and support for those
for doing the work she does.             early career academics who are just
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beginning to lay down some                 Dr Keir Irwin-Rogers is a lecturer in
preliminary tracks for their own           criminology with The Open University.
careers, which may well go on to           His research focuses on the causes of
generate a life-time of research that      violence between young people and the
makes a difference – however they          harms of prohibitionist drug policies. Keir
                                           is lead criminologist to the on-going,
wish to define it.                         cross-party Youth Violence Commission.
                                           He is also a member of the Howard
References                                 League’s Research Advisory Group.
Becker, H. (1967) “Whose Side are We
On?”, Social Problems, vol 14, no. 3, pp   Professor Jo Phoenix is a Chair in
239-247                                    criminology at The Open University. She
                                           is interested in a wide range of
Carlen, P. and Phoenix, J. (2018)          substantive topics: youth justice;
‘Alternative Criminologies, Academic       prostitution and prostitution policy
Markets and Corporatism in Universities’   reform; child sexual exploitation; gender;
in Pat Carlen and Leandro Franca-Ayres     sex and sexualities; research ethics. She
(eds.) Alternative Criminologies, Taylor   is a member of the Howard League’s
& Francis: London                          Research Advisory Group as well as a
                                           Trustee for the Centre for Crime and
Gouldner, A. W. (1968) “The Sociologist    Justice Studies.
as Partisan: Sociology and the Welfare
State”, The American Sociologist, vol 3,
no 2, pp 103-116. Retrieved from
www.jstor.org/stable/27701326

Gouldner, A. W. (1961) "Anti-Minotaur:
The myth of a value-free sociology."
Social Problems, vol 9, no 1, pp 199-214

Weber, M. (1919) 'Science as a
profession and a vocation', in H. Bruun
and S. Whimster (Eds.), Max Weber:
Collected methodological writings,
London, Routledge, 2012.

About the editors
                                                                                    5
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                    Crime, Justice and Social Harms
                   Two-day International Conference
              31 March – 1 April 2020, Keble College Oxford

Call for papers

How social harms are understood, questioned and tackled can have a
profound effect on how communities approach crime and justice. This
conference comes at a time when communities across the world are
experiencing change and uncertainly affecting how they understand
themselves and challenges to the status quo. Coping with, responding to and
supporting such uncertainty and change brings challenges for political
institutions, criminal justice agencies and civic society in developing values,
strategies and systems. We will bring together academics, parliamentarians,
practitioners and those directly affected by the criminal justice system to
discuss, reflect on and suggest alternative strategies.

The Howard League's conference will consider the intersection of issues
relating to crime, justice and social harms. Building on the Howard League’s
Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling and the burgeoning
international concern around it, we are keen to explore the impact of problem
gambling on patterns of crime and the societal harms that link crime and
problem gambling.

The Howard League is looking for papers from academics, policy makers,
practitioners, PhD students and researchers from within the criminological and
legal disciplines, however we are also keen to include contributions from fields
of study including philosophy, geography, political science and economics.
We will consider theoretical, policy, practice-based and more innovative
contributions around a wide range of issues that encompass the broad theme
of justice and the wider conference themes. We would particularly welcome
papers on the following themes, however other topics will also be positively
considered:

      •   political instability, austerity and social change
      •   addictions as a social harm including gambling, drugs and alcohol
      •   racism as a social harm
      •   cybercrime, technology and social media
      •   policing
      •   sentencing and legal change
      •   the role of probation, prisons and the criminal justice system in
          responding to social harms
      •   community and civil society's responses to social harms
      •   relationships and responsibility of social, health and (criminal)
          justice
      •   gender, men and masculinities

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          •   equality and social justice
          •   women, gender and justice
          •   overuse of the penal system: mass imprisonment, mass supervision
              and mass surveillance
          •   poverty and criminal justice
          •   domestic violence as a social harm
          •   young people, young adults – social justice and criminal justice
          •   victims of crime in a social harm context

Abstract guidelines

Abstracts should be a maximum of 200 words and include a title and 4–5 key
words. Your submission should be submitted in English. Papers will normally be
presented in panel sessions with 3 or 4 papers presented in either slots of 20 or 15
minutes, followed by 20/30 minutes discussion. This conference is particularly
interested in and will respond positively to papers that incorporate participatory and
creative methods to discuss ideas and findings, lightning talks, panels, or
roundtables. We will ask you indicate your preferred method of delivering your
paper. Include the proposer’s name and contact details along with the job title or
role. Please submit abstracts via email to: anita.dockley@howardleague.org

The deadline for submissions is Friday 31 January 2020. Decisions will be made by
Monday 10 February 2020.

Conference fees

All conference participants, whether presenting a paper or not, are expected to pay
conference fees. Further information can be found at: www.howardleague.org/our-
events/

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                                    Features
Challenging state-corporate
harm: making an inch of
difference?

Steve Tombs

To begin at the beginning…
In December 1984, a fire and
explosion at a US-owned chemical
plant in Bhopal, India, killed thousands
instantly and has since led to tens of
thousands of deaths, and hundreds of
thousands of lives detrimentally
affected. This toxic chemical plant
abandoned within the midst of a city of      quickly to address the relationships
almost 2 million people, is still awaiting   between the deaths of thousands of
clean up some 35 years later.                Indians, injury and illnesses amongst
                                             UK workers, law, regulation and crime.
At the time, I was an MA student,            In turn this took me on an accidental
studying Marxist Political Theory. But       journey from political economy through
as someone who lived in                      sociology to criminology.
Wolverhampton for most of the period
1981-1993, the ‘Bhopal disaster’, as it      This intensely political nexus of early
quickly came to be known, was of             experiences and commitments was
enormous import. Wolverhampton had           ultimately and decisively to shape my
a very large Indian population, whilst       career and life. The work I did and
the Indian Workers Association was a         have done since was for a reason. For
very active leftist organisation in the      me, it was about a contribution to
town. So, the ‘disaster’ had a great         progressive social change, to a world
resonance for me personally, politically     which did not treat the lives of working
and - though I didn’t know it at the time    men and women as disposable, mere
- professionally. Within 18 months of        commodities of state-guaranteed
the gas leak I was enrolled as a PhD         corporate activity. And, although I
student and research assistant at the        ended up working in and around
then Wolverhampton Polytechnic,              ‘criminology’, I never trained in
studying the global dynamics of the          criminology nor defined my work in
chemical industry (‘Toxic Capitalism',       terms of that discipline - so I have
see Pearce and Tombs 1988) through           always brought my political theory,
the lenses of both Bhopal and the            political economy and ultimately
struggles of workers in British              sociology to my work, in turn, I think,
chemicals plants for safer and               reinforcing its politicised dimensions.
healthier workplaces. These formed a
prism which was to lead me very

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ECAN Bulletin, Issue 43, January 2020

1999                                        discipline, Zemiology. The latter word
Following my PhD, my work revolved          was adopted in 1998 from the Greek
around health and safety at work (or,       word for criminal harm, Zemia, during
rather, lack thereof), as well as           the Annual Conference of the
regulation and enforcement in relation      European Group for the Study of
to that (ditto). During this period, I      Deviance and Social Control on the
began to forge working relationships        Greek island of Spetses.
with the UK’s Hazards
Movement and the Institute                               Months later, in February
for Employment Rights (IER)                              1999, a conference,
- organisations which exist for                          Zemiology: Beyond
the sole purposes of making                              criminology?, was held in
a difference, seeking to                                 Dartington, England.
improve the quality of                                   Subsequently, some of
working life, not least in                               these papers, along with
relation to workers’ health                              commissioned essays,
and safety. These have been                              were published as Beyond
two of the most significant                              Criminology: Taking Harm
and I like to think mutually                             Seriously (Hillyard et al
beneficial relationships of my                           2004), a collection in
working life, relationships                              which I was centrally
which persist to this day. I’ll                          involved. Whatever the
come back to both in this                                merits or otherwise of
quasi-chronological                                      Beyond Criminology, it
autobiography, but first I will turn to a   proved to be influential within and
momentous year for me.                      around the discipline, with ‘social
                                            harm’ and ‘zemiology’ now being
In 1999, three quite disparate but          routine reference points in books,
equally crucial events came together.       journals, conferences, and, more
                                            latterly, appearing in the Quality
In the late 1990s, I was one of a group     Assurance Agency’s benchmark
of academics thinking about how a           statement for the discipline of
concept of social harm could be more        criminology (Hillyard and Tombs
progressively developed as an               2017). For me, the significance of the
alternative to ‘crime’. The motivations     development was that it had
or routes via which individuals joined      encouraged some progressive social
this conversation were various. I had       science to be done that otherwise
been pursuing the conceptual                might not have been done. And part of
struggles of Sellin, Sutherland and         that social science has thrown a
others to operationalise a concept of       critical gaze upon the activities and
crime in the areas of corporate, white-     omissions of the powerful – the
collar crime and state crime (for           corporations, senior executives and
example, Slapper and Tombs 1998)            states with whom my original interest
where a lack of definitional and legal      in the ‘beyond criminology’ venture
clarity, and indeed non-criminalisation,    had begun.
were the norm. An outcome of these
discussions was speculative                 Still in 1999, in May of that year –
consideration of a sustained focus on       although in truth the product of several
the study of social harm, or the            years of intermittent, anorak-like
development of an alternative               research – Sociological Review
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ECAN Bulletin, Issue 43, January 2020

published my article ‘Death and Work        was alongside significant
in Britain’ (Tombs 1999). This was a        developments from others, not least
version of a paper I’d given at a           the crucial subsequent work that
conference in 1998 to mark the tenth        added recorded and estimated levels
anniversary of the Piper Alpha              of death from occupational diseases to
disaster, part-organised by the truly       these fatal injuries to produce a now
inspirational convenors of the Offshore     widely-accepted estimate of 50,000
Oil Industry Liaison Committee (OILC)       deaths related to work in Britain, year-
– a trade union which had the               in, year-out (Palmer 2008, O’Neill et al.
noteworthy distinction of being banned      2007).
from the Trades Union Congress
(TUC) and by oil companies from             Finally, 1999 was also the year in
organising offshore!                        which I was part of a small group –
                                            myself, two human rights lawyers, two
The article began by taking the official    health and safety activists as well as
figure for fatal occupational injuries in   the then co-director of the charity
Britain, then providing a sustained         INQUEST – who formed the Centre for
critique of the means by which this         Corporate Accountability on the basis
‘headline figure’ was reached. It            of a charitable grant of some
addressed various anomalies and             £400,000. I became chair of its board
inconsistencies within the legally          of directors from its inception until it
constituted categories of data              entered voluntary liquidation in
collection, the effect of which was to      September 2009, a decision taken with
exclude indeterminate numbers of            the support of four of its five
occupational fatalities, not least to the   employees – although the CCA had
self-employed, to other groups of           generated approximately £1.6million
workers including thousands on the          across its ten years in active
roads, at sea or in the air and to          existence, we had simply run out of
members of the public. Further, it          money and did not have the income to
addressed some of the social                continue operating. In its relatively
processes of under-reporting whereby        short existence, however, it is fair to
occupational fatalities ended up not        say that the CCA punched above its
being recorded in official data. It          weight, and as the chair of what was a
concluded that fatal injury data is         very small charity I was intimately
grossly incomplete, requires work of        involved in most of its activities –
reconstruction, and that the actual         although the key driving force was
number of fatalities incurred through       undoubtedly our director, David
work in Britain at the end of the 1990s     Bergman, a former prominent
was a largely obscured social problem.      campaigner for justice for the victims
                                            of Bhopal, with whom I worked closely
Through numerous addresses to               for many years.
trades union audiences in the years
around and following this article being     To further our charitable purpose of
published, it made, I think, a              promoting worker and public safety,
contribution to the development of          we produced a series of key research
what Hazards, the TUC and virtually         reports - on safety law enforcement,
all constituent trades unions and the       directors’ duties, and levers for law
IER gradually became accustomed to          compliance - mostly funded by trades
presenting as the ‘real figure’ of          unions and sympathetic law firms.
occupational deaths in Britain. This        These quickly established our
                                                                                    10
ECAN Bulletin, Issue 43, January 2020

reputation as a key source of research       indicates significant social impact
and expertise on matters of                  which earned the charity the Law
occupational safety regulation. The          Society Quality Mark. Some of these
CCA was routinely engaged in formal          families’ experiences were
and informal interventions into law and      documented in the one research paper
policy, which included an ongoing            I wrote on their double victimisation, by
engagement with senior civil servants        the employer who killed their loved
and ministers. The CCA successfully          one and then the criminal justice
campaigned for numerous changes in           system which was unable or unwilling
HSE policy and practice, for example         to treat that killing as a ‘real’ crime
related to investigation of occupational     (Snell and Tombs 2011).
deaths and the maintenance and
publication of a register of such            Into the 21st century
deaths. Perhaps most notably, if             Through much of the twenty years that
ironically, the CCA was central in           followed, I have continued to plough
interventions leading to the passage of      similar furrows. One key development
the Corporate Manslaughter and               worth mentioning, perhaps, was one of
Corporate Homicide Act, which came           the (few, in my opinion) progressive
into force in April 2008. In retrospect,     reforms of the Blair governments – the
we had become so closely associated          passage of the Freedom of Information
with the struggle for that law that its      Act, in 2000. This allowed for access
passage was the beginning of the end         to data held by public bodies – and
for the flow of funds to the                 immediately opened up a mass of
organisation. A sense out there of ‘job      material on the activities of regulatory
done’ I thought. Then, with further and      agencies, including details such as
awful irony, changes in the law in its       funding, numbers of inspectors and
very final consultation period led to it     inspections, formal enforcement action
being passed in an altered form so           including prosecutions, outcomes of
that it was likely to prove to be a          these, as well as a plethora of internal
“damp squib” as described by the BBC         papers, reports, minutes, and so on.
in 2008 – a verdict which I was              This Act and the material to which it
subsequently led to endorse in a             gave access allowed me to develop,
review of its first ten years in operation   with various colleagues, and notably
(Tombs 2018a).                               David Whyte, several broad strands of
                                             work through the past couple of
Most centrally, however, the core of         decades, including the following.
the CCA’s function was our Work-
Related Death Advisory Service               First, we produced detailed empirical
(WRDAS) which provided support and           analyses that demonstrated how
free legal advice to families bereaved       Labour government policy had
from work-related death, notably             profoundly damaged workplace health
around investigation and prosecution         and safety regulation. This detailed the
issues arising from the death. We            impact of under-funding, under-
provided a unique service to a               enforcement, and the “better
marginalised, forgotten and bewildered       regulation” regime between 1997 and
group of victimised families, as they        2010. The underpinning research was
worked their way through dealings with       based on an extensive and unique
the HSE, police, the coronial system,        data set generated by a research
the CPS and the courts. The CCA’s            project which established a significant
annual case load of 40-60 cases              “regulatory surrender” on the part of
                                                                                     11
ECAN Bulletin, Issue 43, January 2020

UK health and safety regulators           35 years. This had led to an
between 1997 and 2010 (James et al.       environment – not least in the past 15
2013, Tombs and Whyte 2010).              years, through the ‘Better Regulation’
                                          initiative – in which social protection is
Second, we continued with detailed        dismantled. At best, this leaves a
policy analysis of the impact of the      system of regulation without
2010 coalition government regulatory      enforcement and so facilitates ‘social
regime. This analysis established that    murder’, a phrase which achieved
government                                                    significant salience
assessments of high                                           following the atrocity
and low risk work                                             at Grenfell Tower.
upon which targeted
intervention is based                                         The Freedom of
is flawed and likely to                                       Information Act has
significantly                                                 been significant for
exacerbate risks in                                           some critical
workplaces. In so                                             researchers.
doing, we developed                                           Crucially, for me,
a reconceptualisation                                         having the time and
of risk categories to                                         skills to collate this
support arguments                                             data, to put it
for a re-shaping of                                           together, to analyse
government                                                    it, and to provide
regulatory policy. On                                         commentary to it has
the basis of this and the longer term     really supported working with pro-
research on health and safety             regulatory organisations and victims’
protection, we co-authored the IER’s      groups. Each of the three strands of
‘Health and Safety at Work’ sections of   work highlighted above really added
their Manifesto for Labour Law, which     value to the campaigning, public
itself fed into the Labour Party’s 2017   arguments and written statements of
General Election Manifesto and the        pro-regulatory, counter-hegemonic
Hazards Campaign Manifesto for a          organisations with whom, I, along with
Health and Safety System Fit for          colleagues – notably David Whyte -
Workers.                                  worked. Each has also allowed us to
                                          directly challenge the work of
Third, I extended my research around      regulators, their relationships with the
worker safety to considerations of        companies against whom they were
public safety with a focus on food        supposed to be enforcing law, and
safety and environmental protection.      thus the increasingly insidious state-
This again used a mass of mostly          corporate relationships (Tombs 2012)
Freedom of Information generated          that have characterised the post-
quantitative data but was also            Thatcherite neo-liberalism in the UK
supplemented with considerable            from the Blair governments to the
qualitative interview data. Further,      present day. Much of this work – and
alongside analysis of trends in           my broader work on social harm which
enforcement, the research used            I continued during this period - also
discourse analysis to explore how the     proved to be of particular interest to a
very idea of regulation and               criminal justice think-tank, the Centre
enforcement have been systematically      for Crime and Justice studies, which
undermined over a period of at least      sought to highlight hidden areas of
                                                                                  12
ECAN Bulletin, Issue 43, January 2020

harm and biases in law enforcement,         most significantly, I have used publicly
and which was particularly adept at         available material – of which there is a
targeting policy makers and key             mass - to document the experiences of
influencers within political circles        the bereaved, survivors, and wider
(Dorling et al. 2008, Tombs 2016,           affected communities through the lens
Tombs and Whyte 2008).                      of social harm. In this way, I have
                                            sought to reveal the combination of
It remains to add that the past two         physical, emotional, cultural, relational,
years of my research, writing and           financial, and economic harms that
speaking has been almost entirely           have unfolded spatially and
consumed with the atrocity which killed     geographically following the fire. This
72 residents at Grenfell Tower in June      work has generated academic articles
2017, an event which has generated          and numerous blogs (see, for
unimaginable and unquantifiable             example, Tombs 2019, 2018b, 2017).
harmful effects. There is a gruesome        But more importantly, since the fire, I
irony in the fact that on the morning of    have given some 30 public lectures on
the Grenfell Tower fire, 14 June 2017,      the subject to trade unionists,
I was speaking on                                            campaign groups, the
‘The State, Social                                           general public, HE, FE
Murder and Social                                            and secondary school
Protection’ at a                                             students. Audiences
conference in                                                have ranged from 40 to
Liverpool                                                    450, right across
(‘Emotions and                                               England, Scotland and
State Power’). My                                            Wales, as well as
topic was how                                                Barcelona, Ljubljana,
regulation had                                               Paris and Turku,
become an object                                             Finland. I have taken
of hatred, facilitating                                      part in several
the dismantling of                                           documentaries around
social protection.                                           Grenfell, including the
Suddenly that was                                            OU’s film The Grenfell
a view which few                                             Tower fire and Social
wished to admit to holding – albeit for     Murder which won the Life Changing
a very short period.                        Award at the British Documentary Film
                                            Festival in 2018, and was the
My research around Grenfell has three       academic consultant for the BBC/OU
aspects. First, I have sought to detail     production The Fires that Foretold
how the processes and practices that        Grenfell – which went on to win the
produced Grenfell can only be               Learning on Screen Broadcast Award
understood within the wider                 in 2019.
tendencies of the dismantling of social
protection and therefore creating the       On activism
conditions for greater levels of social     In conclusion, then, I consider my
murder. Second, I’ve located the fire in    academic work (and here I have talked
relation to law and criminal justice, not   only about research and not teaching)
least through the realities of class-       to have been and to be a form of
based law and the failings of the           political activism, a claim and a phrase
Corporate Manslaughter and                  upon which I’d like to make several
Corporate Homicide Act. Third, and          observations.
                                                                                    13
ECAN Bulletin, Issue 43, January 2020

                                           engage in, I really regret the distinction
First, being active for me has involved    which seems to remain (and in some
a wide variety of activities. These        respects, I think is being exacerbated)
include writing – by which I mean          between activists and academics. And
books, journal articles, book chapters,    with this distinction, or dichotomy, is
pamphlets, leaflets and flyers, blogs,     an association, implicit or otherwise,
letters to newspapers, writing and         between academics and the ‘ivory
contributing to position papers,           tower’, activists and the real world.
organisational and political party         These distinctions are, ironically,
manifestos, written evidence to            highly ideological and support claims
parliamentary select committees and        on the part of the academy to be
to formal consultation processes. Note     producing disinterested, value-free
that many or most of these are not         knowledge – usually entirely
‘REF-able’, and it is certainly the case   supportive of the status quo (Tombs
that when I began my ‘career’ the          and Whyte 2003a, 2003b).
pressures on newer academics were
far less intense than they have            Third, and following from the previous
become in the era of the neo-liberal       point, I have emphasised throughout
university. Beyond writing, I’ve been      this reflective piece that from the onset
fortunate enough to be involved in         of my career I made an explicit choice
making podcasts, radio programmes,         to engage in politicised research. And I
TV documentaries, as well as               have encountered criticisms for that
appearing on live TV and radio, in         choice and that activity at times. But
every country of the UK of course but      my response has always been that all
in many others beyond. I’ve spoken at      of us have a choice to make, whether
annual conferences of the Labour           we make that explicit or even whether
Party and the TUC, as well as at           we recognise it. All academics can
national and regional conferences –        choose what they claim or believe to
taking in seaside towns across the UK      be disengaged, disinterested ‘value-
– of the STUC and virtually every          free’ research – but this in itself is as
major British trade unions, as well as     political a choice as that which I and
at demonstrations and assemblies,          many others have made to engage in
large and (usually!) small in high         explicitly politicised work.
streets, at docks and outside factory
gates, and in parliaments. Most of all,    Lastly, it has been my pleasure to do
being active has involved developing       so, and to my benefit. I have met lots
long term relationships of trust and       of fantastic people, made lifelong
reciprocity – one aspect of which is to    friends, been to places and spaces I
organise events including workshops,       otherwise would not have visited, and
debates, conferences, seminars, film       had access to data and insights I
screenings and even tours such as          would otherwise never have
that by victims of the Bhopal gas          encountered. So, my work with
disaster in 2012, when I was lucky         counter-hegemonic organisations has
enough to fund and arrange a three         not been borne out of altruism. Far
day visit to Liverpool as part of a UK     from it. At the same time, I do
tour.                                      recognise, as I think we all must, that
                                           however we are employed as
The second thing to say, then, is that,    academics, even under the most
not least in the context of the various    precarious conditions, that academic
activities I and others spend time and     work is relatively privileged. It is
                                                                                   14
ECAN Bulletin, Issue 43, January 2020

relatively well-paid, it is relatively           References
comfortable, and it carries status. This         BBC (2008) New law targets corporate
status, comfort, pay, etc – this                 killing, BBC News Online,
privilege – is highly differentially             http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7332900.st,
distributed. As a white, late-middle-            accessed 30 October 2019.
aged professor, I am at the apex of              Dorling, D., Gordon, D., Hillyard, P.,
such privilege. And I am much more               Pantazis, C., Pemberton, S. and Tombs,
privileged now than in the ‘early                S. (2008) Criminal Obsessions. Why harm
career’ years when I supplemented my             matters more than crime. Second Edition,
work as a university lecturer by                 London: Crime and Society Foundation.
working my holidays on building sites
and in butchers’ shops. So, the                  Hillyard, P., Pantazis, C., Tombs, S. and
obligation that we all have to ‘give             Gordon, D., eds. (2004) Beyond
back’ is, too, differentially distributed.       Criminology? Taking Harm Seriously,
But to be clear: for me, we all can, and         London: Pluto Press.
all should be trying to, make at least
                                                 Hillyard, P. and Tombs, S. (2017) Social
an inch of difference.1                          Harm and Zemiology, in McAra, Liebling,
                                                 A. and Maruna, S., eds., Oxford
                                                 Handbook of Criminology. 6th Edition,
                                                 Oxford: Oxford University Press, 284-305.

                                                 James, P., Tombs, S. and Whyte, D.
                                                 (2013) “An Independent Review of British
                                                 Health and Safety Regulation? From
                                                 common-sense to non-sense", Policy
                                                 Studies 34, (1), 36-52.

                                                 O’Neill, R., Pickvance, S. and Watterson,
                                                 A. (2007), ‘Burying the Evidence: how
                                                 Great Britain is prolonging the
                                                 occupational cancer epidemic’,
                                                 International Journal of Occupational and
                                                 Environmental Health, 4, 428–436.

                                                 Palmer. H. (2008), Work Related Deaths –
                                                 What is the true picture? SHP Online, 10
                                                 December,
                                                 http://www.shponline.co.uk/features-
                                                 content/full/the-whole-story, accessed 30
                                                 October 2019.

                                                 Pearce, F and Tombs, S (1998) Toxic
                                                 Capitalism: corporate crime in the
                                                 chemical industry, Aldershot: Ashgate.

                                                 Slapper, G and Tombs, S (1999)
                                                 Corporate Crime, London: Longman.

1
  My friend Joe Sim first made me aware          co-founder and editor of the 1960s
of the phrase “an inch of difference”, and       counterculture magazine Oz.
tells me its origins are with Richard Neville,
                                                                                          15
ECAN Bulletin, Issue 43, January 2020

Snell, K. and Tombs, S. (2011) ’How Do        non-enforcement of law, London: Institute
You Get Your Voice Heard When No-One          of Employment Rights.
Will Let You?’ Victimisation at work,
Criminology & Criminal Justice, 11, (3),      Tombs, S. (1999) “Death and Work in
207–223.                                      Britain”, Sociological Review, 47, (2), May
                                              345-367.
Tombs, S. (2019) Grenfell: the unfolding
dimensions of social harm, Justice, Power     Tombs, S. and Whyte, D. (2008) A Crisis
and Resistance, 3 (1), 61-88.                 of Enforcement: the decriminalisation of
                                              death and injury at work, London: Centre
Tombs, S. (2018a) The UK’s Corporate          for Crime and Justice Studies.
Killing Law: Un/fit for purpose?
Criminology & Criminal Justice, 18 (4),       Tombs, S. and Whyte, D. (2003a)
September 488-507.                            Researching the Powerful: contemporary
                                              political economy and critical social
Tombs, S. (2018b) Grenfell Tower: Mis-        science, in Tombs, S. and Whyte, D., eds.,
Trust, Contempt and the Ongoing               Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful:
Struggle to be Heard, Brave New Europe,       scrutinising states and corporations, New
12 June,                                      York: Peter Lang, 3-45.
https://braveneweurope.com/steve-tombs-
grenfell-mis-trust-contempt-and-the-          Tombs, S. and Whyte, D. (2003b)
ongoing-struggle-to-be-heard, accessed        Researching the Crimes of the Powerful:
30 October 2019.                              establishing some rules of engagement, in
                                              Tombs, S. and Whyte, D., eds., Unmasking
Tombs, S. (2017) Grenfell: unfolding          the Crimes of the Powerful: scrutinising
dimensions of harm, Harm and Evidence         states and corporations, 261-272.
Research Collaborative, 14 December,
https://oucriminology.wordpress.com/2017      About the author
/12/14/grenfell-unfolding-dimensions-of-      Steve Tombs is Professor of Criminology
harm/ accessed, 30 October 2019.              at The Open University. He has a long-
                                              standing interest in the incidence, nature
Tombs, S. (2016) ‘Better Regulation’:         and regulation of corporate and sate crime
better for whom? Centre for Crime and         and harm. His most recent publications
Justice Studies Briefing No 14, April,        are Social Protection After the Crisis:
London: Centre for Crime and Justice          regulation without enforcement (Bristol:
Studies.                                      Policy Press, 2016) and, with David
                                              Whyte, The Corporate Criminal: why
Tombs, S. (2012) State-Corporate              corporations must be abolished (London:
Symbiosis in the Production of Crime and      Routledge, 2015). He is a trustee and
Harm, State Crime, 1(2), October 170-         board member of INQUEST.
195.

Tombs, S. and Whyte, D. (2010)
Regulatory Surrender: death, injury and the

                                                                                        16
ECAN Bulletin, Issue 43, January 2020

Transforming responses to
hate crime

Stevie-Jade Hardy
 I’ve been spat on, kicked, punched,
 thrown up against a wall.

Keith was targeted on the basis of his
learning difficulties.

 In terms of verbal abuse, loads and
 loads. Like F’ing old dyke … you          faeces and fireworks shoved through
 got very used to it.                      letterboxes; spat at; tormented
                                           countless times in person and via
Nicola was targeted on the basis of her    social media; and, violently and
sexual orientation.                        sexually assaulted on the basis of their
                                           identity or perceived difference. I saw
 It makes you feel demoralised. It         first-hand the considerable damage
 makes you feel hated. It makes you        that hate crime can cause: from the
 feel isolated, unwanted.                  sense of despair; isolation and anger
                                           experienced by victims to the fear;
Ahmed was targeted on the basis of his     concern; and, anxiety which can
religion.                                  permeate wider communities.
                                           Conducting such a challenging study
 I don’t feel myself or my children        stays with you and so do the harrowing
 are safe because I know that the          accounts which I can still recall with
 group are going to attack me again.       stark clarity nearly seven years on. Of
 In my house they attacked me              particular note were the following
 twice, and then they attacked my          findings:
 wife and car and the children and
 everything has been damaged. I            • Many victims, witnesses, members
 don’t feel my children are safe if I        of the public and professionals were
 leave home and when I’m outside             unaware of what constitutes a hate
 all I think about is hoping that my         crime.
 home has not been attacked again.         • There are multiple inter-connected
                                             barriers which result in victims being
Beyani was targeted on the basis of his      reluctant or unwilling to report.
race.                                      • When victims do report they are
                                             often dissatisfied with the response
These are just four of the voices that       from frontline professionals, feeling
we heard from as part of the ESRC-           that their experiences are not taken
funded Leicester Hate Crime Project          seriously or that they are not treated
which took place between 2012-2014           empathetically.
and which became Britain’s biggest         • Many victims do not achieve
study of hate crime victimisation            a successful criminal justice or
(Chakraborti et al. 2014). During this       alternative outcome.
study I spoke to people who had been:
tipped out of their wheelchairs; had                  (Hardy and Chakraborti 2019)
                                                                                17
ECAN Bulletin, Issue 43, January 2020

When confronted with this reality, we       to hate crime in a more cohesive,
felt compelled (and to some extent we       victim-centred way.
had a responsibility) to find ways of
addressing these issues.                       It is the accessibility of the reports
Subsequently, in 2014, Professor Neil          that we particularly applaud. It is a
Chakraborti and I established the              standout piece of victim-focused
Centre for Hate Studies which was the          research containing a wealth of
first academic Centre of its kind              real-world insights into hate crime.
anywhere in the world. The aim was to          It has given a voice to those who
bridge the gap between research                are scarcely heard … The
evidence on hate crime and policy and          research has significantly
practice. Since the beginning, we have         influenced the development of our
worked with organisations across the           county hate crime strategy.
globe to improve responses to hate
crime through evidence-based training,      (Rebecca Joy, Victim Services
research, evaluation and knowledge          Delivery Manager, Victim Support)
exchange events.
                                            The key to translating these
Improving policy and practice               recommendations to concrete
Over the course of the past five years,     outcomes was to continue collaborating
we have been commissioned to                with the funders (and with many other
undertake a series of policy-focused        criminal justice agencies, local
studies, including a four-month study in    authorities, health and social care
2015 for the Equality and Human             organisations and educational
Rights Commission to explore the            institutions) during the design and
barriers faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual    implementation phases of new policies
and/or trans people in terms of             and practices. This has resulted in the
reporting to the police or to an            development of new and improved hate
alternative organisation (Chakraborti       crime strategies; changes to reporting
and Hardy, 2015); a four-month study        mechanisms to ensure that they are
in 2016 commissioned by the Office for      accessible and victim-friendly; the
the Police and Crime Commissioner           creation of new awareness-raising
(OPCC) in Hertfordshire; a six-month        campaigns which now resonate with
study in 2016-2017 on behalf of the         the target audience; and the
OPCC in the West Midlands to identify       commissioning of specialist support
hate crime victims’ support needs           services to provide an enhanced
(Hardy and Chakraborti, 2016, 2017a);       support package for hate crime victims.
and a six-month study in 2016-17 for
Amnesty International UK to identify        We have also sought to improve
shortcomings in existing policy and         frontline and organisational practices
legislative frameworks (Hardy and           through the development of evidence-
Chakraborti, 2017b). As part of these       based training which is delivered face
projects, we produced a set of              to face and through digital training.
practitioner-orientated reports which       Over the course of the last five years
contained evidence-based                    we have trained more than 2500
recommendations that were not only          professionals on how best to engage
tangible and achievable but also, if        with diversity, support victims and
implemented, had the potential to make      tackle hate. In order to assess the
a difference with respect to helping        impact of the training we administer
organisations and individuals respond       evaluative surveys at three- and six-
                                                                                        18
ECAN Bulletin, Issue 43, January 2020

monthly intervals after the training.               ways in which I communicate research
Evidence from these surveys indicates               findings with policy-makers.
that the training has contributed to a
number of significant outcomes,                      Improving public awareness
including improvements in:                           Aside from policy-focused work, as a
                                                     Centre we have invested considerable
• awareness of the nature, scale and                 effort into enhancing public recognition
   impact of hate crime victimisation;               of hate crime. Research evidence
• knowledge of hate crime policy and                 suggests that this activity is especially
   laws;                                             important because not only are many of
• identification of hate crimes and                  those who are at risk of hate crime
   incidents;                                        unfamiliar with the behaviours
• flagging or recording practices;                   associated with it, but also because
• investigative processes;                           most hate incidents take place in public
• outcomes for victims (e.g. more                    settings and yet few witnesses
   cases going to court, dispute                     intervene (Hardy and Chakraborti
   resolved); and                                    2019). To address these issues, we
• organisational practice (e.g. new                  have produced a series of award-
   assessment tools, engagement                      winning short films and animations
   approaches, infrastructure).                      which document the diverse range of
                                                     people affected by hate crimes and the
Over the course of the last five years               associated harms and highlight the
we have found that one of the most                   ways in which we can safely challenge
effective ways of influencing                        expressions of hate and support
operational responses has been                       victims. Collectively, these films have
through participating on scrutiny                    been accessed 32,100 times online
panels, expert reference groups and                  since 2014, and have been shown in
roundtables. Most recently, I have had               schools, colleges and universities, and
the opportunity to                                                used in training by criminal
shape national         The training delivered to our senior       justice practitioners,
policy through         leaders and frontline officers was         educators and health care
membership on          really effective and has certainly         professionals around the
advisory panels        made an impact in terms of people’s        world. Additionally, we have
for the Crown          knowledge and understanding of             maximised the reach of our
Prosecution            such crimes.                               research by presenting at
Service, the                                                      hundreds of regional,
                       Suzette Davenport                          national and international
Government
Equalities Office,                                                practitioner focused
                       Former Chief Constable
Her Majesty's                                                     conferences, public events,
                       Gloucestershire Constabulary
Inspectorate of                                                   and contributed to media
Constabulary and Fire and Rescue                                  articles, including television,
Services, the Office for Students and                radio and blog pieces.
Universities UK. These platforms have
provided me with much-needed
exposure to the realities and                       Renewed importance of impact-
challenges associated with policy-                  related work
making which in turn has generated                  The significance and need for impact-
new research ideas and influenced the               related work becomes all the more
                                                    evident at a time when levels of hate
                                                    and extremism are rising and when
                                                                                              19
ECAN Bulletin, Issue 43, January 2020

scepticism towards the concept of hate       (Douglas Murray’s ‘The Great Hate
crime and ignorance of the harms             Crime Hoax’ in The Daily Mail on 26
associated with it, are becoming ever        October 2019)
more palpable. The Home Office
recently published new hate crime               Britain is in the grip of an
figures which indicate that 103,379             epidemic, apparently. An epidemic
hate crimes were recorded by the                of hate. Barely a day passes
police in England and Wales in                  without some policeman or
2017/18, which was not only an                  journalist telling us about the wave
increase of 10% compared to the                 of criminal bigotry that is sweeping
previous year but it was also a                 through the country … what the
continuation of an upward trend since           BBC calls an ‘epidemic’ is a
2012/13, with recorded hate crime               product of the authorities
having more than doubled in that                redefining racism and prejudice to
timeframe (Home Office 2019). While             such an extent that almost any
this rise is likely to be the result of a       unpleasant encounter between
culmination of factors – including              people of different backgrounds
increased reporting and improved                can now be recorded as ‘hatred’
recording – ‘trigger’ events of local,          … According to one leftie online
national and international significance         magazine, Britain now evokes
have also influenced the prevalence             ‘nightmares of 1930s Germany’.
and severity of hate-fuelled violence           But this doesn’t square with the
and micro-aggressions.                          reality of our country today, and
                                                you shouldn’t believe it. The hate-
And yet, amidst a backdrop of more              crime epidemic is a self-sustaining
virulent and visible hateful sentiment          myth — a libel against the nation.
and behaviours there are those who
continue to de-value, disparage and          (Brendan O’Neill’s ‘Britain's Real Hate
deny the pervasiveness of hate crime.        Crime Scandal’ in The Spectator on 6
The examples cited below not only            August 2016)
reinforce the sense of isolation and
marginalisation felt by many hate crime      After having spent nearly a decade
victims but also seek to silence their       investigating this phenomenon and
voices and to invalidate their               hearing from thousands of hate crime
experiences.                                 victims(many of whom are scared to do
                                             their weekly shop, to drop their children
 Do you feel ten per cent more               at school or to catch a bus) I feel a
 hateful than you did this time last         sense of obligation to engage in as
 year? Do you think the British public       much impact-related work as possible
 as a whole are ten per cent more            and to show that hate crime is a very-
 unpleasant in 2019 as compared to           real, repetitive and damaging problem.
 2018? If you believe the latest ‘hate       We live in societies which are
 crimes’ stats, then you may come to         becoming increasingly disconnected
 such a ludicrous conclusion… If you         and disillusioned, and within this
 are sane and reasonable you will            context the need for meaningful action-
 realise that all of this is nonsense –      based research and knowledge
 nonsense, in fact, of the purest,           exchange activity is all the more
 most disgraceful kind: professional         pressing. But crucially, this work needs
 nonsense, cooked up to serve a              to be co-designed and co-produced
 political purpose.                          with policy-makers, practitioners, NGOs
                                                                                       20
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