In July 2002 Dr Pat Mayhew, OBE, delivered the inaugural Justice Research Lecture. Dr Mayhew is currently working at the Australian Institute of Criminology, where she is a consultant criminologist. She is on secondment from the Crime and Criminal Justice Unit of the Research, Development and Statistics Directorate of the UK Home Office.
The seminar, titled ‘Falling Crime Levels: Can We Explain Them?’, examined the patterns of falling crime levels in many Western countries over recent years. Dr Mayhew considered Australasia in relation to these patterns, suggesting that explaining the more positive picture after decades of rising crime poses a serious challenge for criminologists and all those involved in the criminal justice system.