Drugs and Crime  book cover
4th Edition

Drugs and Crime

ISBN 9780415657310
Published April 7, 2014 by Routledge
318 Pages

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Book Description

A high proportion of crimes committed in Britain are drugs-related, with many offenders having a documented history of drug use. However, the direct link between drugs and crime is often less clear than is supposed and this text attempts to achieve a better understanding of these and surrounding issues that have been marred by misunderstanding and a lack of consensus amongst experts.

This text offers a major contribution to existing debates and provides an authoritative and much-needed overview of the range of issues associated with drugs-related crime. Coverage includes:

  • a discussion on theoretical approaches to drugs and crime,
  • an overview of the legal position on drugs and drug offenders,
  • a critique of the aims and nature of treatment,
  • an examination of trafficking and laundering,
  • an analysis of the policing of drugs markets,
  • a discussion about the legalisation debates.

This new edition has been fully updated to include the latest data and recent developments in policy and particular attention is paid to changes in sentencing and treatment, as well as changes to practice in trafficking. An expanded chapter on women, drugs and crime now offers further coverage of drug-taking and prostitution.

This is the only book in Britain which centres on the links between drugs and crime, and deals with the policy implications of that link. It is a comprehensive account of the various aspects of Government policy concerning drugs, and should be particularly useful to academics and students interested in or studying this aspect of criminology.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Drugs and Crime. An overview  Chapter 2. Sentencing drug offenders  Chapter 3. Drugs and Crime. Theoretical Formulations  Chapter 4. Treatment in Criminal Justice  Chapter 5. Drug Courts and Drug Testing  Chapter 6. Trafficking, Laundering and Confiscation  Chapter 7. Drug Markets and Policing  Chapter 8. Informers and corruption  Chapter 9. Women, drugs and crime  Chapter 10 The legalisation Debate  Chapter 11. Suggestions for the way forward.

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Philip Bean is Emeritus Professor of Criminology at the University of Loughborough, and was formerly Director of the Midlands Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. He was president of the British Society of Criminology (1996 to 1999) and from 2000 to 2006 he was an Associate of the General Medical Council. His most recent books are Madness and Crime (2007) published by Willan, and Legalising Drugs (2010) published by the Policy Press.


This is a welcome and timely update of Philip Bean’s landmark book on drugs and crime. It offers an intelligent and balanced assessment of the issues, informed by a broad historical perspective.

Professor Mike Hough, Birkbeck, University of London, UK

This textbook cuts straight to the heart of the matter. Unlike most books on the subject, it is not hindered with the typical review of the various types of drugs and their effects, followed by a superficial coverage of drug use and criminality. Rather, this text addresses the key issues relevant to studying the link between crime and drugs, such as trafficking, policing, sentencing, legislation, as well as the debate regarding legalisation and decriminalisation.

Dhruba J. Bora, Ph.D., Marshall University, U.S.A

This book has been important in helping us to understand the drugs-crime debate since its first edition. This expanded and updated edition can only add to its place as essential reading for students in the social sciences in general, and criminology in particular.

Louise Sturgeon-Adams, University of Hull, UK