An educational resource at the heart of criminological teaching, debate, and research


Newsletter 9

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive


      CrimeTalk                        Newsletter 9
        15 February 2012 

Hi all and welcome to new members!

Well, February is half over and still our first e-book is not out. Finding the right printer and distributor has been a struggle - so many offers and so little suitability - and being the publisher now has shown me that they actually do a lot of work before your book gets out! Still, I think I've cracked it now and this is a solution which should last. Watch this space!

It has also been a time of reflection for me about CrimeTalk, its purpose and style. Even though it is free and offers an amazing resource, CrimeTalk seems very under-used. There are now far more resources on site than people are actually using, as far as I can tell. Do please send me any helpful thoughts you have on this to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I am struck by the sharp contrast between the constant compliments CrimeTalk gets, how many students I'm told use it as an aid to study, which it is, and our 'unique visitor' numbers, which hit record levels month after month - on the one hand - and the apparent lack of your involvement with the site on the other. So few of you make comments on articles or post or use our social network centre, CrimSoc, or write to me about anything. Indeed only 138 have registered, yet our system stats say we had just under 3,000 unique visitors last month and over 86,000 page impressions.

Our Twitter 'following' continues to grow apace, now standing at 811, and including some distinguished politicians, lawyers, campaigners, lobby groups, sociologists, probation officers, police, prisoners, novelists and journalists here and around the world. These people may not be registered with CrimeTalk but they see all my tweets advertising all new articles and often re-tweet those messages to followings of thousands. That is why it is hard to calculate our actual readership, but suffice it to say any one article could be read by at least 4,000 people on a good guess. Please compare that with the social impact of academic or other professional journals!

In coming months, I want to get you all more involved in the site. So, to start with, please note that [1] if you review a book for CrimeTalk I can get a free review copy of that book for you and [2] I need more reviews of television crime dramas and of films and novels [e-mail me atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via our CrimSoc].  

With this in mind, plus the stat that says few people spend long visiting us, reminding me how brief internet consumption is, I will be encouraging more people to register, but also let me please suggest that more of you enjoy the following:

1 Our state-of-the-art video search engine, courtesy of Blinkx. For example, you may have read Pearce & Tombs authoritative series here on Bhopal but if you hit Search Videos on the front page and then enter Bhopal in the search box on the Video page you will get a fascinating list of news items on Bhopal, many from Indian television, that brings the story so much to life. This is really an awesome facility to further one's knowledge of all kinds of criminal, judicial and moral phenomena. On CrimeTalk, researchers, students and journalists have so much data at their fingertips!

2 Our social network centre, CrimSoc, which, like Facebook, enables you to post messages and to see what's going on BUT is a lot more private. Once logged in, you can restrict your status messages to 'members only' and our internal messaging system is also private and secure. Students could form study groups here that are global and not just confined to classmates; professors and lecturers, do think about setting up student groupings!

3 The benefits of registration. Once registered and logged in, you get the full benefit of CrimSoc's list of all our recent actvities. I doubt, for example, if many of you realize how many Press Cuttings, Links and Blogs have been logged this last two months. Apart from registration, if you hit the orange RSS button on the front page and then, on the 'feed' page, bottom right, you can hit the Subscribe in Mail button to receive notification of all new articles. 'Recent activities' on CrimSoc is comprehensive though and includes everything, even comments on articles.

4 To bring our treasure trove fully to your attention, I have also made a list of Latest Links on theArchive page, which logs all our new content weblinks. The Research/websites page is constantly being added to and these take you to sites of relevant substance. This supplements theLibrary page which shows which articles have been most read on CrimeTalk so far.

5 The new Book of the Month section right at the bottom of the Home page. Buy the book from us, via Amazon and its cheap prices, by clicking on its icon and the small commission we get will help us survive and progress. Please buy books from our Bookshop. The lsit of books there is continually, selectively, updated.

From the other end of the relationship, you guys can do more. I will be setting up aRecommendations/Testimonials section within the next month, once the first few proposals have gone through the relevant university committees. If any individual feels happy to make a recommendation now, please just send me your name and, ideally, a brief line or two on why you recommend CrimeTalk and what you think it can do.

Just remember that I value and need your support and that CrimeTalk is for you! Please do what you can to bring it to your students and colleagues attention! And get involved, please. New writings, long and short, of all kinds are very welcome and the lead-time to publication will be very short in the next while. Feel free to advertise and strut your stuff or get your message across. We are read by a very broad, global, audience, and it is growing monthly.


Colin Sumner,



In January, we published 4 feature articles:

Legal crimes: jurisdiction shopping

Bhopal: criminal, immoral, or the cost of business as usual?

UIGEA and the rise and rise of gaming and gambling in the UK

Nino Part 5: family values, military culture and vendettas

and several In Brief articles:

You're not crazy. "It's the system stupid"

2012: more convulsions in authority or a reassertion of the old order?

Racism in the Met: memories from the 1980's

The Crime and Disorder Act - overlapping legislation or a forgotten philosophy?

Bronx activists defend abortion rights

There was also a widely read review of a television programme:

'Public Enemies': probation and risk management

and we linked in a lot of useful social data:

Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London's Central Criminal Court, 1674-1913

How America’s prison epidemic spread

The random horror of the death penalty

'Child soldiers' of 14 with guns on London's streets

Racist incidents, England and Wales, 2010/11

Mass Observation

Sport and desistance from crime

There was a much re-tweeted Education article:

Education from the inside out: a plea for prison education.

Finally, I added quite a few blogs to both the Blogs list, under the Comment menu, and the front-page BlogRoll; loads of new weblinks to the Archive and the Research/Websites lists; and, of course, many, many, Press Cuttings and Tweets, all listed under the Library menu. here's a brief sample of the best press cuttings:

From Kent to Texas, grandfather facing 35 years in US jail

Apple admits it has a human rights problem

Night in the cells accidentally became two years in solitary

Letters raise fears for last Briton in Guantanamo

Lightning kills an entire football team

British men forced into 'modern slavery' abroad

Capo di tutti capi plays dumb when quizzed about Murdoch mafia’s “omerta”

What price the new democracy? Goldman Sachs conquers Europe

Arizona execution-team requirements eased



Text Size