The Howard League wants your views on Crime and Problem Gambling

We have previously reported on the Howard League’s Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling that aims to answer the following questions:

  • What are the links between crime and problem gambling?
  • What impact does this link have on communities and society?
  • What should be done?

The Howard’s League Commission is keen to receive written evidence from academics, practitioners and policy makers within the criminological, gambling industry, legal and health disciplines, and people who are “expert by experience”. It welcomes examples of international evidence examining the links between crime and problem gambling.

It has published the following on its website:

Guidance for written evidence

Written evidence should be presented as concisely as possible and should be received by Monday 30 September 2019. It should consist of the following documents:

  • A covering letter containing:
    • Name and contact details of the person or organisation submitting the evidence
    • Any request for information to remain confidential.
  • A memorandum containing:
    • An executive summary of the main points made in the submission
    • A brief introduction about you, explaining your area of expertise
    • Factual information you would like the Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling to be aware of
    • Any recommendations that you would like the Commission to consider
    • If you wish to include supplementary material with your memorandum, ensure your memorandum is nevertheless self-contained.

All evidence should be submitted as a hard copy and electronically in MS Word format. Submissions should not exceed 2,500 words.

The Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling is not obliged to accept your memorandum once it has been submitted as evidence.  Written evidence will not be published however quotes may be used and made available in the Commission briefing papers and on the Internet. Any individual or organisation can publish their own submission via their own outlets.

The Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling welcomes evidence from individuals regarding their experiences and people who are expert by experience.  However, please be aware that commissioners are unable to take up individual cases or to make referrals to other organisations.

If you wish to include private or confidential information in your submission, but do not wish your submission to be quoted or shared publicly, you must clearly say so and explain your reasons for not wishing its disclosure. The committee will take this into account in deciding whether to refer to the submission.

The evidence should be sent to:

Catryn Yousefi
Programmes Manager
The Howard League for Penal Reform
1 Ardleigh Road
LONDON N1 4HS

Tel: 020 7249 7373

Email: [email protected]

On a website posting (that can be downloaded below) the Gambling Commission has brought attention to a call by Lord Goldsmith QC, the chair of the Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling, for written evidence by 30 September 2019. That posting reads as follows:

Lord Goldsmith QC, chair of the Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling, outlines the work of the Commission and highlights a call for written evidence by 30th September 2019.

Concern about harmful gambling has been growing for some time, culminating in the publication of the new National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms by the Gambling Commission. This important document sets out two strategic priority areas of ‘prevention and education’ and ‘treatment and support’. It also makes a welcome commitment to widen the research base on gambling harms and improve the links between research and policy.

One harm which is currently little understood is that of problem gambling and its links to crime. Earlier this year, the Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling was launched by the Howard League for Penal Reform to explore the issue in detail.

I am pleased to be leading a team of 16 commissioners, bringing together academics and professionals with expertise in the criminal justice system and public health, as well as experts with knowledge of the gambling industry and lived experience of addiction.

Over the next three years, we will investigate patterns of crime linked to problem gambling, and the societal harms that connect the two, before seeking to make recommendations for government, the gambling industry, and within the criminal justice system. Crucially, the Commission will look to outline what steps could be taken to reduce crime generated by problem gambling and how to make people safer.

In order to do this, the Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling will hold evidence sessions and seminars with key stakeholders; commission research to identify gaps in our knowledge; conduct interviews with those who have offended through problem gambling; and, explore what lessons might be learned from other jurisdictions.

Whilst entirely independent of the Gambling Commission, the Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling will speak to the strategic priorities set out in the new National Strategy.

Our evidence-based and comprehensive approach is one example of how the research base on gambling harms can be strengthened, with a view to making policy recommendations that can improve lives.

At this early stage, what we really need is to know what people think and what evidence already exists of the harm we are investigating. To that end, we have launched a call for written evidence. The Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling is keen to receive written evidence from academics, practitioners and policy makers within the gambling industry; legal and health disciplines; from criminologists; as well as from people with lived experience. We also welcome examples of international evidence examining the links between crime and problem gambling.

In short, you can help us. Guidance on how to submit evidence before the deadline of 30 September 2019 can be found on the Howard League’s website. We look forward to hearing what you have to say.