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Briefing Launch: ‘Better Regulation’ - Better for whom?

Wednesday, 27 April 2016 17:00 - 19:00

Venue: University of Liverpool, Eleanor Rathbone Building, Leslie Hearnshaw Lecture, Bedford Street South, Liverpool L69 7ZA, United Kingdom

At the launch of 'Better Regulation’: Better for Whom?, Steve Tombs, Professor of Criminology at the Open University, will introduce his new findings that place the spotlight on the lack of effective local government regulation of pollution, food safety and workplace health and safety standards in the UK.

Drawing on statistics from Freedom of Information requests and data from interviews with Environmental Officers across five Local Authorities in Merseyside, he will reveal the extent to which worker and public health is being endangered by the Better Regulation initiative coupled with the effects of cuts in funding.

He will be joined by Will McMahon, from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, Linda Boyer, Chair of the UNISON North West Local Government Service Group, and Hilda Palmer, Co-ordinator of Greater Manchester Hazards Centre and acting Chair of Hazards. The event will be chaired by Prof. David Whyte, University of Liverpool.

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*Copies of the Briefing will be available at no charge at the event.

About this event

We are taught that the greatest harms faced by citizens are crimes dealt with by the police, courts and other criminal justice agencies. This Briefing makes clear that this is far from the case.

An estimated 29,000 deaths each year in the UK are attributable to the effects of airborne pollution. Some one million cases of foodborne illness in the UK each year results in 20,000 hospital admissions and 500 deaths. Around 50,000 people die each year as a result of injuries or health problems originating in the workplace.

These staggering figures are probably underestimates. The litany of lives shortened and health impaired to which these figures bear witness are also largely avoidable. Yet the rate of inspection and enforcement actions for environmental pollution, food hygiene, and worker health and safety have all been falling.

The harm about which he writes is ‘avoidable business-generated, state facilitated violence: social murder. And, quite remarkably, it proceeds, daily – met only by academic, political and popular silence’.

About the publication

This Briefing is a contribution to breaking this silence. It reflects the Centre’s commitment to informing public understanding of the role and limitations of criminal justice processes, and to fostering a greater knowledge of the harms faced by citizens, and of how they might best be regulated and reduced.

It will be published in London on 26th April.

Published in collaboration with the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, The Open University's Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative, and UNISON, the public service union.

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