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Knowledge can be a dangerous thing. New research into the roots of criminal behaviour, based on modern psychiatry and genetics, is challenging the traditional sociological model of crime and raising awkward questions about individual liberty and the public good. In this month’s cover story, David Rose argues that we should at least take seriously the new research on “life course persistent anti-social behaviour.” We already know that a huge proportion of serious crime is committed by a tiny proportion of the male population. We also know that many people from abusive and deprived backgrounds grow up to lead normal, non-criminal…

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