THE MAGAZINE

Economic Misery and Crime Waves: The Second Great Depression and the Coming Crime Wave, and What We Can Do About It

By Severin L. Sorensen, CPP; Reviewed by Crawford Robinson

 

***** Economic Misery and Crime Waves: The Second Great Depression and the Coming Crime Wave, and What We Can Do About It. By Severin L. Sorensen, CPP; published by Sikyur Publications, www.sikyur.com (Web); 212 pages; $17.95.
 
Occasionally a book appears and immediately captures our interest, not just because of its relevance to our profession but because of impeccable timing. Economic Misery and Crime Waves is certainly one of those books.
 
Author Severin Sorensen, CPP, introduces his text with an almost evangelistic review of lessons—some learned, some lost—from the Great Depression to the Great Recession. The review is almost entirely U.S.-centric. He shares family experiences, reviews the missteps of U.S. presidents, and offers Biblical anecdotes. This is all good stuff on the face of it; but somehow he loses the reader in the telling.
 
The author fails to provide a convincing antidote to either our economic woes or the crime wave he predicts. Educational retooling, criminal diversion techniques, and minor modifications of American economic protectionism are not new or convincing. One cannot help but sense a tone of desperation in the suggestion of placing nuclear waste on the sun as a remedy for U.S. economic woes.
 
Sorensen’s academic credentials are clear, and the book is profoundly researched and referenced throughout. It is disappointing then to find his authority and objectivity undermined by a multipli­c­ity of quotations, a shortage of empirical data, and an undertone of religious fervor.
 
The book’s best part is left for the end. In the epilogue, Sorensen adds some useful perspective, and at last, his views begin to resonate. He acknowledges the possibility of a W-shaped, “double dip” recession, and makes a convincing case that positive progress may well be outweighed by policy errors.
 
This insightful epilogue offers too little too late. This text is a lost opportunity to make a constructive contribution to businesses and society. Instead, it does little more than offer up crime prevention strategies and other activities that are well-documented elsewhere.
 

Reviewer: Crawford Robinson is global director of compliance investigations for AstraZeneca PLC. A former senior investigating officer in the U.K. police service and corporate security director, he served with numerous British government bodies as well as the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He is a member of ASIS International. This review reflects solely his views and not those of AstraZeneca.

 

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