Vigilantism, the press and signal crimes 2006 - 2007

Warren, Ian 2009, Vigilantism, the press and signal crimes 2006 - 2007, in Australian and New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference, Monash University, Faculty of Arts, Melbourne, Vic., pp. 275-284.

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Title Vigilantism, the press and signal crimes 2006 - 2007
Author(s) Warren, Ian
Conference name Australian and New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference (3rd : 2009 : Melbourne, Vic.)
Conference location Melbourne, Vic.
Conference dates 8-9 July 2009
Title of proceedings Australian and New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference
Editor(s) Segrave, Marie
Publication date 2009
Conference series Australian and New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference
Start page 275
End page 284
Publisher Monash University, Faculty of Arts
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Summary The clear presence of vengeance as an underlying motive behind calls for self-help in the immediate aftermath of some violent homicides indicates that community protection is largely irrelevant where vigilantism is associated with these 'signal crimes'. This paper documents the characteristics of five major cases between 2006 and 2007 where the threat ofcommunity-generated vigilante activity received media coverage, the nature of that coverage, the role of police in cautioning the public to reassert their legitimacy and monopoly over the correct procedures for conducting criminal
investigations and the implications of these issues in light of the moral 'outrage' associated with the status of the victim in each case. In an era of increased community concern about crime, it appears vigilantism is an important rhetorical indicator of the level of collective insecurity prompted by fatal assaults, especially in regional areas characterised by underlying racial
tensions and cases involving vulnerable child victims. However, when viewed alongside the virtual victimhood promoted by stylised press reporting, it appears 'vigilantism' is a pertinent signifier of public anxiety over the timing, location and antecedents of some serious violent crimes, rather than a descriptor of any substantive community-generated measures aimed at promoting greater levels of public safety.

ISBN 9780980753004
Language eng
Field of Research 160206 Private Policing and Security Services
Socio Economic Objective 940401 Civil Justice
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30021489

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of History, Heritage and Society
Higher Education Research Group
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