Members’ Lecture - Organised Crime in the UK

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Professor Richard HobbsA lecture by Professor Richard Hobbs, Director, Essex Criminology Centre.

In his lecture, Professor Hobbs will discuss organised crime in the UK based on his book Lush Life: Constructing Organised Crime in the UK

Lush Life opens 'the box marked do not open, too difficult to deal with', in the words of one Assistant Chief Constable, to explore the contested notion of British organised crime. The first book to trace the history and policing of British organised crime, it addresses how the interlocking processes of de-industrialisation, globalisation and neo-liberalism have normalised activity that was previously the exclusive domain of professional criminals.

With both historical and sociological analyses, informed by the author's long term connection to an ethnographic site called 'Dogtown', a composite of several overlapping neighbourhoods in East London, this book critically addresses clichés such as criminal underworlds and the notion of the criminal firm. It considers the precursors to British organised crime, as well as the careers of famous crime families such as the Krays and the Richardsons, alongside the emergence of specialised law enforcement institutions to deal with this newly discovered threat. Permeating throughout is a discussion of the flexible nature of the criminal market, the constructed nature of the notion of organised crime, and the normalisation of criminality.

A sandwich lunch shall be available from 1215.

This event is open to all RUSI members. To become a member, please click here.

To attend this event, please register online using the "Book your place" button above. If you have any queries please contact Sophie Cordes, Events Manager, at

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