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Research project

Long-term Trajectories of Crime in the UK

Project overview

This project, led by Stephen Farrall (University of Sheffield) explored trends in crime and its relationship with key social and economic processes, such as relating to housing and unemployment, and the nature of public opinion about crime. The empirical analysis focused on Britain, undertaking in-depth exploration of the economic and social policies of the Thatcher governments (1979-1990) and Major governments (1990-1997) and their consequences for crime and criminal justice. Findings from the project related to the link between economic conditions and crime, the responsiveness of public punitiveness to crime rates, and generational trends in public attitudes about crime. The project also produced a documentary, Generation Right, exploring themes from the research and interviewing key political actors from the Thatcher/Major period.


Lead researcher

Professor Will Jennings

Associate Dean Research & Enterprise

Research interests

  • Public policy
  • Public opinion
  • Polling
Connect with Will

Research outputs

Will Jennings, Emily Gray, Stephen Farrall & Colin Hay, 2016, Governance, 30(3), 463-481
Type: article
Maria Teresa Grasso, Stephen Farrall, Emily Gray, Colin Hay & Will Jennings, 2016, British Journal of Political Science, 49(1), 17-36
Type: article