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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

August 20, 2007: New Report on Corporate Fraud's Impact on Victims

The devastating consequences of corporate fraud on victims remain largely hidden and the lessons ignored, argues a new report published by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College London. Centre for Crime and Justice Studies

`Knowledgeable consumers? Corporate fraud and its devastating impacts' by Dr Basia Spalek of the University of Birmingham, is based on interviews with victims of corporate fraud. It shows that the harms caused are equivalent to, and often more devastating than, those usually focused on by the criminal justice system.

Victims express a range of emotional and health problems, long-term financial difficulties and other impacts that are not fully appreciated by government policy. One victim of the BCCI scandal said:

 `Street crime can involve you being physically assaulted but with white-collar crime you are physically and mentally assaulted.'

Following analysis of interviews with the victims of the scandals relating to Robert Maxwell and the closure of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) the report concludes that:

  • Victims of white-collar and corporate harms do not feature highly on victim policy agendas as they are not considered to be useful to the efficient running of the criminal justice system within the terms of current targets and objectives set by government.
  • Financial abuses impact upon victims in multiple ways, producing emotional, psychological, behavioural, physical and financial reactions that can be severe and long-lasting.
  • The harms caused by corporate fraud are equivalent to, and often more devastating than, those usually focused on by the criminal justice system.
  • Economic liberalisation since the 1980s has created many `sites of trust' that are open to crimes and abuses such as false accounting, fraud, conspiracy and the decimation of company pension schemes.
  • There is little that employees and customers of deviant or unethical companies can do to avoid being victims of a wide range of abuses.

Report author Dr Basia Spalek commented:

`The idea that consumers and employees can protect themselves from corporate fraud is a chimera. Policy discussion should be focused on the long term impact of financial harm and the appropriate regulatory responses, rather than the constant obsession with the slackening of consumer rights and company responsibilities.'

Centre for Crime and Justice Studies Director Richard Garside said:

`If the real scale of cost and impact of white-collar crime on its victims was properly documented it would raise big questions about the willingness and ability of the state to protect the population from serious harms. As it is, a significant source of social injustice remains hidden and unaddressed by government.'