In the 1980s in Britain a new school of critical criminology arose to challenge the political and philosophical idealism that characterized its critical predecessors, and to offer an alternative to the crime control policies of the 'New Right.' Arguing that by overemphasizing the crimes of the powerful, much of critical criminology had virtually ignored the impact of street crime on its victims, a 'left realism' emerged to reassert the centrality of the victim in the development of a progressive criminology. Critical realism recognizes the seriousness of street crime for those people victimized by it (particularly women), acknowledges that a consensus as to the desireability of a core group of laws does exist, and advocates various kinds of criminal justice reform and crime prevention strategies. In this respect, there are important parallels with debates in feminism concerning the role of the state in the problem of violence against women. One of the most important contributions critical realism has made to criminological research is the development of local crime surveys which attempt to measure patterns of victimization and policing and how these are perceived by the general public. Such research remains largely undeveloped in North America, and it is the purpose of this book to begin to take stock of these developments, and examine their relevance for North America. This is the first text to include a critical examination of left realism, examine its relationship to feminism, and comment on its relevance outside Britain.