The changing nature of crime: What do current day thieves, gangsters and dealers say about their ‘business’ and how its evolved over time? How strict a division is there between the 'respectable' and the 'illicit' world? To what extent are our notions of crime rooted in Hollywood myth making about sharp suited gangsters rather than the more mundane reality? Laurie Taylor explores these questions with Richard Hobbs, Emeritus Professor of Criminology at the University of Essex and author of a new study which analyses the essence of illegal capitalism, from anonymous warehouse thieves to exalted underworld figures such as the Krays. They’re joined by Tuesday Reitano, Deputy Director of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, whose research highlights the impact on Covid 19 on the illegal economy. She finds that shortages, lockdowns and public attitudes have brought the underworld and upperworld closer together allowing criminals to taking advantage of the virus, finding new routes for illegal commodities, from narcotics to people.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

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