Assessing New Right Criminology

Assessing New Right Criminology

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Assessing New Right Criminology

In the piece on 'How to sweep beggars from our streets' by David
Marsland, he likens them to menaces in society and an 'eye sore'
littering the streets of towns and major cities. His somewhat archaic
view in that a need to adopt a more Victorian approach to tackling the
problem of begging mirrors the right realist view on crime. John Major
in his 'law and order' debate talked about going 'back to basics' and
with a rise in crime their explanation was to blame a 'decline in
moral values' as the main factor. Marsland believed that beggars had
no moral fibre and that the problem did not stem from capitalism or
poverty but their mere existence was a 'blot on the complex but
orderly copy-book of a modern civilised society'

The right realist perspective was particularly connected to J Q Wilson
whom in the early 1970's in the US claimed that 'crime resulted from
selfish and wicked people who were undeterred by the criminal justice
system which had gone 'soft' on criminals' Wilson believed that in
order to combat crime there needed to be a remedy, he suggested that
through increased education, encouraged community organisation,
modernising poor housing and provision of counselling for young
trouble delinquents there lay the answer. Marsland takes a similar
view on combating begging. His remedy for the situation was the
toughening up of laws that were perhaps to lax and return to the
Victorian invention of work houses. Beggars needed to know the value
of hard work, self reliance and respectability. The causes of begging
in Marsland's opinion were 'The hand-out culture of the decaying welfare state' basically to
mean that the government were to quick to give out benefits and
therefore creating a society that relies on money handouts and causing
people not to want to work for a living. Secondly he states that
'turning a blind eye' and selfishness on the part of teachers and
political leaders is also a fact of why we have high rates of begging
in this country.

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Thirdly values adapted in the sixties, free love etc,
as had an impact on current thinking.

Q2. How does Field's view in Item B differ from the right realist
approach?

Field's view differs from that of Marsland, his belief being that
poverty and lack of prospects as well has poor housing the root cause
of begging. He doesn't paint the picture of the 'aggressive handling
of men, women and children' attitude that Marsland adopted but he
viewed them as clean, peaceful and almost faceless people in society.
He asked the question 'not way there are so many crimes committed in
inner-city areas; it is, rather, why aren't there more?' he is stating
that the fact that begging occurs is not a matter of deviancy and high
crime but a fact of life. With regards to right realism, Field's view
does not mirror it, rather it takes an opposite perspective
altogether. He does not believe that begging is the core reason behind
the dip in morals and there seems to be a misconception of the truth
and the reality being that these people in fact do not harass passers
by but beg in a peaceful manner. Field doesn't talk about the
underlying reasons behind begging or offers no explanation for why it
exists; he only paints a more flowery picture of

It instead.

Item B: Adapted from F. Field An Agenda for Britain, 1993, p72
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