'As enlightening about crime in modern society as any book I have read' The Times
'A richly researched, supremely sane discussion of the causes of and ways of preventing crime. From bobbies on the beat (they don't reduce crime), to the idea that "prison works" (it doesn't), Gash's important book may well change your attitude to criminality and the justice system' Guardian
There are two myths about crime. In one, the criminal act is a selfish choice, and tough punishment the only solution. In the other, the system is at fault, and perpetrators will change only when society reforms. Both these narratives are wrong.
Interweaving conversations and stories of crime with findings from the latest research, Tom Gash dispels the myths that inform our views of crime, from the widespread misconception that poverty causes crime, to the belief that tough sentencing reduces it. He examines the origins of criminal behaviour, the ebb and flow of crime across the last century, and the effectiveness of various government crack-downs - and in doing so reveals that crime is both less rational and much easier to reduce than many believe. Can we suspend our knee-jerk reactions, let go of cherished myths and embrace the truth about crime?
Tom Gash is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Mannheim School of Criminology at the London School of Economics. A regular contributor to debates on public policy and current affairs, he writes for the Independent, Guardian and Financial Times, and speaks frequently on television and radio advocating improvements in crime policy and wider public sector management. Tom has been an adviser to a range of crime policy reviews, including the Flanagan Review of Policing and the UK Drug Policy Commission.