By Janet Foster
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Additional resources for Villains: Crime and Community in the Inner City
In an average week in the yard: I’d say…you’d get a good eight to ten people come in…with bent gear…and ask yer whether you want somethink or the other…. ’… Car radios, televisions come in quite often, stolen cars quite often, tools and things like that, a colossal amount of tools, CBs when they was in the rage. You’ll find that it’s what’s in the rage at the time, when videos first come out then you’d be flooded with videos. Radios, things like that, clothes come in ever such a lot, boxes of ’em.
Vera and Arthur Vera and Arthur were the publicans of the Grafton. Both had lost interest in the pub as their continued applications to the brewery for money for improvements had been refused. Arthur, a thick-set man in his early 40s, had a rather dishevelled appearance. He was a heavy drinker, and was often drunk and abusive to both Vera and customers. 28 THE GRAFTON ARMS No one seemed to know anything about his background but there were rumours that he carried a ‘shooter’. Vera was slightly built and about the same age as Arthur.
Ditton argued that these activities were part of a ‘hidden economy’ where Merchandise is regularly and ‘invisibly’ stolen, covered, transported, exchanged, purchased and consumed in ways that never ‘come to light’. ’ The hidden economy is a microcosmic, wry reflection of the visible economic structure upon which it parasitically feeds…. The ‘hidden economy’, then, runs to the ‘side’ of the legitimate. (Ditton 1976:275, quoted in Henry 1978:5) Unlike Ditton, Henry (1978) maintains that hidden economy activities are not as extensive or profitable as they might first appear.