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(linked to the International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research)

Past Events

The Centre has hosted a large number of events since its foundation. On this page, you can find a record of the conferences and workshops organised or co-hosted by members as well as a list of past one-day seminars from the year 2000 onwards. For details of forthcoming events, please see the forthcoming events page. To subscribe to the event mailing list, please go to further information.

Conferences and Workshops

Crime and Punishment Collections Network: Annual General Meeting
28 October 2011
Hosted by the ICHPCJ at The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes

In 2011, the International Centre for the History of Crime, Policing, and Justice hosted the AGM of the Crime and Punishment Collections Network.

The day started with the annual general meeting, during which members discussed the business of the network. This was followed by a training session after lunch on the mechanics and various uses of oral history projects. The afternoon presentations included:

  • Colin Hyde, from the East Midlands Oral History Archive, on putting together museum-based oral history projects;
  • Len Woodley on his project to record the history of ex-members of Buckinghamshire Constabulary and its constituent forces; and
  • Chris Alderman on the lessons learned from the oral history project carried out by the Friends of the Metropolitan Police Historical Collection, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Crime & Punishment Collections Network: Representing collections of crime & punishment, sharing knowledge, collections and insight into the subject. With over 30 members the network offers direct access to truly unique resources including newsletters, training and events

Third GERN-(Post)colonial policing workshop
Policing, surveillance and political transformations in the (former) Dutch and Belgium Empires
16-17 September 2010
KITLV, Leiden, The Netherlands

This workshop focused on the organization, methods and effects of policing, surveillance and incarceration in the (former) Dutch and Belgium empires, in the context of (post)colonial state formation, local political transformations and international security politics.

This was the third of a series of workshops that, over a period of two years, will look at aspects of policing in the European empires during the nineteenth and twentieth century. The conference will begin with a summary of the previous one in Paris.

Organising committee: Georgina Sinclair (Open University, Milton Keynes, UK), Chris Williams (Open University, Milton Keynes, UK), Emmanuel Blanchard
(GERN, Paris, France)

ICCCR Annual Conference
Ethnicity, Crime and Justice: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives
8-9 June 2010
The Open University, Milton Keynes

This two day conference on 'Ethnicity, Crime and Justice; Contemporary and Historical Perspectives' brought historians and  criminologists together around common themes. The conference partly came out of a recent ESRC-funded research project on ethnicity, crime and justice in England in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and the desire of Peter King and John Carter Wood, who are writing a book out of this research.

The conference began with overview papers - by two speakers who have recently written general texts in the area of research -one an historian and the other a criminologist. This was followed by sessions on a range of topics - policing, prisons, hate crime etc and by sessions looking more specifically at the treatment of black offenders/victims and at Irish and Jewish minorities and their experience of the criminal justice system in the past.

Speakers included Rene Levy, Martin Wiener, Coretta Phillips, Panikos Panayi, Colin Webster, Peter King, Paul Iganski, and John Carter Wood.


Policing and the Policed in the Postcolonial State
29-30 April 2010
Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London

The study of colonial and postcolonial policing has become an important issue within imperial and commonwealth, police and social history; criminology; sociology and political science. The key aim of this interdisciplinary workshop was to bring together academic as well as policy practitioners and implementers with a shared interest in the policing of the postcolonial state and its legacy upon the policing of Commonwealth countries.

Crime and Policing in Scottish Society
26 September 2009
Hosted by The Open University in Scotland (Stirling Management Centre, University of Stirling)

This conference explored the themes of crime and policing in Scottish society from the sixteenth to the twentieth century.

Speakers included: Elizabeth Ewan, Rab Houston, Bill Knox, Peter King, Alison Brown, Tim Siddons, Suki Haider, Louise Jackson, Angela Bartie, David Smale, Alan Wilson, and Stuart MacKenzie.

Policing the British Empire in the 19th and 20th Centuries
16-17 September 2009
The Open University, Milton Keynes

Organised by Georgina Sinclair (The Open University) and Chris Williams (The Open University).

This is the first in the series of four workshops examining imperial policing within a European context. These workshops are being held in collaboration with the GERN.


CRIMPREV Final Conference: Deviance, Crime and Prevention in a Punitive Age
17-19 June 2009
The Open University, Milton Keynes

As part of a consortium from 10 European countries the ICCCR hosted the final in a series of conferences on Deviance, Crime and Prevention in Europe.

The aim of CRIMPREV was, over the course of three years, to provide an overall assessment of the current knowledge of crime, crime prevention and deviance in Europe. The CRIMPREV consortium was made up of 31 universities and research institutes spread across Europe from 10 European countries. The Open University's ICCCR (International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research) was one of four British university-based research groups in the consortium.


The Metropolis on Trial: An International Conference to Launch the Old Bailey Online, 1674-1913
10-12 July 2008
The Open University, Milton Keynes

Keynote Speakers: Carolyn Conley, Peter King, Allyson N. May, Robert Shoemaker, Martin Wiener, His Honour Judge Patrick Curran QC, and His Honour Judge Bruce Houlder QC

This conference was held to mark the launch of the complete online Proceedings of the Old Bailey and Central Criminal Court from 1674 to 1913, which will be available online from April/May 2008. This represents a major extension of the highly successful Old Bailey Proceedings 1674-1834. The new site contains fully searchable records of almost 200,000 trials held at London’s foremost criminal court between the 17th and 20th centuries, from the aftermath of the Great Fire to the eve of the Great War. The Proceedings are an unrivalled source of information about the lives and experiences of ordinary and extraordinary Londoners over two and a half centuries of the city’s history, for social, local and legal historians, genealogists, students and teachers, and all those simply interested in London’s past. The conference covered a varied range of historical subjects encompassed in the Proceedings, and will also include panels focusing on using the Proceedings as a teaching resource and on the creation and implications of digital history.

Organised by: Clive Emsley (The Open University), Tim Hitchcock (University of Hertfordshire) and Robert Shoemaker (University of Sheffield).


Heritage and History of the UK Criminal Justice System
18 June 2004
The Open University, Milton Keynes

Organiser: Chris A Williams
Speakers included: Clive Emsley (Open University), Hugh Forrester (Curator, The Police Museum, Belfast), Martyn Lockwood (Essex Police Museum), Kelvin Smith (National Archives, Kew), Alice Stewart (Records Manager, Strathclyde Police), Guy Purdey (South East Museums, Libraries and Archives Council), Bev Baker (Galleries of Justice, Nottingham)

The ‘bobby’ has long been extolled as one of Britain's crowning glories, yet many police and criminal justice institutions in the UK are surprisingly negligent with their heritage. Museums such as the award-winning Galleries of Justice in Nottingham have demonstrated that there is a market for criminal justice history. Around the country are many fine police and prison museums, but most suffer from having very little committed long-term support.

This one-day conference at the Open University in Milton Keynes provided an opportunity to discuss a wide variety of issues in this field. Rather than focus on the findings of academic research, it was intended to be of practical use to those working in the field, including museum curators, archivists, police record management officers, academics researching in the area, and interested members of the public.

The proceedings of this conference were published as Chris A. Williams, ed. Giving the past a future: preserving the heritage of the UK's Criminal Justice System. (London, Francis Boutle, 2004).


Seminars (by year, in decesending order)


23 March 2012: Military Justice
10:30am, Rooms 1, 2, 3, Wilson A, Walton Hall.

This themed seminar explored the links between criminal justice history and military history.

Terry Patton (Open University) ‘Corporal Punishment in the Royal Navy, 1784-1812’

Nick Hiley (University of Kent) ‘”The Fellowship of the Four Winds”: British Conscientious Objectors on the run during the First World War’

Barry Sheehan (Open University) ‘Replacing the Civilian Courts: Martial Law and the British Army in Ireland, 1919-1921’

Clive Emsley (Open University) ‘”Why ‘Crucify’ Tommy?” Punishment and the British Army during the First World War’


28 November 2011: 'Work in Progress' Seminar

David Lemmings, 'Henry Fielding, moralist, justice and journalist: narratives of panic, authority and emotion in English newspaper crime and justice reportage, 1748-52'

13 May 2011: 'Work in Progress' at ICHPCJ

Simon Devereaux (University of Victoria, BC), 'Hanging and Pardon at the Old Bailey, 1714-1837: A broad statistical analysis'

Andrea McKenzie (University of Victoria, BC), 'Biting the Biter: Sex, scatology and satiric inversion in Augustan Highwayman "Lives"'

Neil Pye (University of Huddersfield), 'Chartism and the development of Policing in the West Riding, c.1838-1848'

Sascha Auerbach (University of Northern British Columbia/ King's College London), ' "Handymen of the Courts": The Advent of Probation and the Role of Missionaries in the London Police Courts, 1876-1918'

18 February 2011: Criminal Book History

This themed seminar explored the links between histories of crime and the history of print in the nineteenth century. Crime and its punishment has long been a topic which has attracted readers and filled the coffers of publishers. However, from the turn of the nineteenth century, developments in printing technology, the emergence of cheap publications and rising literacy levels meant that interactions between crime and print culture flourished. The four papers at this seminar explored the ways in which crime shaped forms of writing, publishing, print distribution and reading.

Kirsty Reid (University of Bristol) ‘Writing the Voyage: Convict ship newspapers and the journey to Australia’

Alice Smalley (Open University) ‘Illustrating Crime: Visual representations of crime in the late nineteenth century newspaper’

Rosalind Crone (Open University) ‘”The prison and myself are becoming quite a show”: Elizabeth Fry’s prison project revisited’


12 November 2010: 'Work in Progress' at ICHPCJ

Eloise Moss , ‘"The Burglar's Busy Period": Burglary Insurance, Fear of Crime and Contractual Nit-picking in Interwar Britain'

Songtao Yang (British Academy Visiting Scholar), ‘Local policing in China during the eighteenth century'

Guy Woolnough , ‘Practical Policing at Brough Hill Fair: how the Cumbrian Police identified and dealt with problems at the fair'

21 July 2010: 'Work in Progress' at ICHPCJ

David Churchill, ‘Enter Policeman, Exit Victim: the historiography of policing and criminal justice in nineteenth-century England’

Rachael Griffin, ‘Early Victorian Detectives: The Detective Department of the Metropolitan Police, 1842-1878’

Quentin Deluermoz, ‘Uniformed police in Big Cities : circulation, connexion and comparison in the 19th century’

Chris Williams, ‘The Met and Information Technology, 1829-1939’

26 February 2010: Policing, Media and Civil Liberties in Interwar Britain

John Carter Wood, The Open University
The 'Third Degree': The cultural history of an American phrase in early twentieth-century Britain

Huw Clayton, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Bailing Out the Police: The Cases of Richard Sheppard and Bell Murray Compared

Janet Clark, The Open University
Policemen, Protesters and Libertarians: Politics and the Public Order Act 1936

Heather Shore, Leeds Metropolitan University
‘“Constable Dances with Instructress”: The Press, the Police and the Queen of Nightclubs in Inter-War London


4 December 2009: Homicide: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives

Manuel Eisner, University of Cambridge
Killing Kings: Patterns of Regicide in Europe, 600 -1800 AD

Peter King, The Open University
Space, Crime & Time. The Geography of Homicide in Scotland 1805-14 and 1836-56

Fiona Brookman, University of Glamorgan
Homicide: Contemporary Issues & Problems

Louise Westmarland, The Open University
Snitches get Stitches: The Problem of Solving Homicide in Washington DC

Drew Grey, University of Northampton
The Whitechapel Murders in Historical Context

27 February 2009: History of Crime: Numbers and Theories

Special Guest: Frederic Vesentini

Speakers: Peter King (The Open University) and Paul Lawrence (The Open University)




12 December 2007: Histories of Crime and the Media

Andrea Mackenzie, University of Victoria
An ‘incoherent magazine of Trash and Scandal’?  Crime reporting and the Ordinary of Newgate’s Account 1676-1772

Rosalind Crone, The Open University
From Jemmy Catnach to Edward Lloyd: Changing methods of reporting violent crime for lower-class readers in mid-nineteenth century London

Robert Shoemaker, University of Sheffield
Representations of Crime and Criminal Justice in the Old Bailey Sessions Proceedings 1720-1780

Randall McGowen, University of Oregon
The newspapers and gallows in late eighteenth century England

Simon Devereaux, University of Victoria
Execution lost and found: Using London newspapers to track the punishment of crime 1790-1837

Esther Snell, University of Southampton Solent
Crimes and misdemeanours: Newspaper reporting on petty offences

Peter King, The Open University
Plenary Discussion

16 February 2007: Policing and Violence After and Between the Wars

Clive Emsley, The Open University
The ‘Brutalized Veteran’ and Violence in Europe after the Great War

Stefan Nyzell, University of Malmö
Contentious Violence and Identity among Swedish Policemen in the 1920s and 1930s

Louise Jackson, University of Edinburgh
Good Time Girl: a movie, a murder and a ‘moral panic’

John Carter Wood, Open University
A Study in Interwar Victimisation: Police, Press, Public and the 'Tragic Widow of Coleford'


1 December 2006: Moral Panics, News Media and the Law in Eighteenth-Century England

Speaker: David Lemmings (All Soul's College, Oxford)

19 October 2006: Duelling, the Press anf the Law in Late Eighteenth Century England

Speaker: Donna Andrew (University of Guelph, Toronto)

10 April 2006: Juvenile Rescue and Reform: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

Peter King, The Open University
From Refuge to Reformatory. The Evolution of Britain’s First State-funded Juvenile Reformatory – the London Refuge for the Destitute 1805-1830

Abi Wills, Oxford University
Strategies of Resistance within English Residential Institutions for Juvenile Delinquents 1950-1970

Pam Cox, Essex University
Girls and the Politics of Protection: Historical and Contemporary Comparisons

Plenary Discussion with input from
Heather Shore, Leeds Metropolitan University

10 February 2006: Policing and Punishment in Inter-War Europe

Professor Clive Emsley, The Open University
Controlling and Punishing in the Inter-War Years

Followed by an open discussion led by Francis Dodsworth and Paul Lawrence, The Open University

Michael Hassett, The Open University
The Use of Deportation Against British-based Irish Nationalists, 1920 – 1974

Stef Slater, Royal Holloway College
Policing Prostitution in London’s West End


21 October 2005: Perspectives on the history of Crime and Policing

Shane Sullivan
The newspaper apology as a secular penance 1768-1820: The Kentish Gazette as a forum for the informal resolution of legal disputes

Chris Williams
Film - October 1968

Graeme Dunstall
The "invited guest" comes to stay: Maori and the New Zealand criminal justice system in the first half of the twentieth century

15 July 2005: Prevention v. Detection

Francis Dodsworth
Crime and its Prevention after 1750: Vice, Temptation and the Corruption of the Body Politic

Dave Cox
Prevention or detection – a comparative study of the provincial and metropolitan employment of Bow Street Principal Officers 1792-1834

Bruce Smith
Metal Theft and the Law in London, 1750-1850

Bob Morris
Investigating Criminal Investigation

18 March 2005: Themes in the History of Crime, Justice and Policing in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Britain

Jim Sharpe (York University)
Cheshire Coroners Inquests in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries; Some Preliminary Thoughts

Sharon Howard (University of Wales at Aberystwyth)
Abuses of Authority? Local Communities, Law Officers and the Courts in North-East Wales 1660-1720

John Beattie (University of Toronto)
John Fielding and the Bow Street magistrates' court

Esther Snell (Christchurch Canterbury)
Representations of Crime in the eighteenth-Century Newspaper: The Construction of Crime Reportage in the Kentish Post

25 February 2005: Criminal Justice History in Ireland and Scotland

Richard McMahon
The prosecution of homicide in Ireland 1801-50

David Smale
The development of the new police in the Scottish Border counties circa 1830-60

David Barrie
From Epoch-Making Beginnings to Lingering Death: The Rise and Fall of the Glasgow Police Commission 1779-1846

Mark Theodorson
Policing and Borders in Northern Ireland between 1921 and the present


15 October 2004: Crime and Policing in Europe

Michael Rowe
Napoleonic policing in the départements réunis

Anja Johansen
Legitimate and non-legitimate police violence: French and German police instructions and political debates c. 1900-1914

Daniel Vyleta
Re-writing criminality: Austro-German criminalistics and its critique of Fin-de-Siècle criminology

18 June 2004: Heritage and History of the UK Criminal Justice System

This one-day conference at the Open University in Milton Keynes provided an opportunity for academics and practitioners to discuss a wide variety of intellectual and policy issues pertaining to the preservation of police records and their communication to the public.

The conference proceedings - Giving the Past a Future - have been published, with many presentations available in an expanded version, and are available for purchase via the publisher – Francis Boutle.

5 April 2004: The Policing of Vice – 1890-1939

Susan Mumm
Policing the White Slave Trade, 1870-1920

Stefan Slater
The Policing of Foreign Prostitutes in London during the 1930s

Mara Keire
Managing Urban Morality: Reformers, the Police, and Red-Light Districts in the USA, 1890-1917


28 November 2003: Nineteenth-Century Detective Policing

Bob Morris
‘Crime does not pay’: Nineteenth-Century London Detectives

Clive Emsley
‘From ex-con to ex-pert’: French Police Detectives in the Nineteenth Century

Randall McGowen
The Bank of England and the Policing of Forgery, 1797-1821

30 and 31 May 2003: Conflict and Legality: Policing Mid-Twentieth Century Europe

Jonathan Dunnage
The Policing of an Italian province during the Fascist Period

Gerald Blaney
The Civil Guard and the Spanish Second Republic

Christoph Jahr
Policing Anti-Semitic crime in Weimar Germany

Nadine Rossol
The Anti-Semitic Policy of Cologne’s police in the Nazi Period

Philip Blood
Kurt Daleuge and the Militarization of the Ordnungpolizei

Nick Terry
Enforcing German Rule in Russia, 1941-1944: Policing the Occupation

Mark Roodhouse
The 'Ghost Squad': Undercover Policing in London, 1945-49

Cyrille Finjaut and Jos Smeets
Wrestling with the past in the Netherlands: the realization of the Police Law 1957

7 March 2003: Perspectives on Crime and Policing

Shane Ewen
The Politics of Police Play: Training, Discipline and Civic Culture in the twentieth-century city

Sean O’Connell
The History of Joyriding

Roger Swift
Policing Chartism, 1839-1848: The Role of the Specials' Reconsidered

Prashant Kidambi
Police, Public Safety and Public Order in Bombay, 1890-1912


18 October 2002: Perspectives on Crime and Policing

James Whitfield
Metropolitan Police Culture, Alienation and West Indian Immigrants, 1950-1970

Stephanie Cronin
The Iranian Gendarmerie in 1920s

Clive Emsley
'Get up and fight like a man' violence and the English bobby

1 July 2002: Early Modern Crime and Policing

Drew Gray
A 'well constructed and efficient system of police'? Constables, substitutes and the watching systems in the City of London c.1750-1839

Dave Cox
'Straining with bodie and braine': The provincial use of Bow Street Runners 1792-1839

Jens Chr V. Johansen
From Town Reeve to Chief Constable

Julie Gammon
Rape prosecutions and the burden of proof in England, c.1640-1828

19 April 2002: Legal Memoirs and Autobiographies

Paul Lawrence
Fact or Fiction? The Autobiographies of the French and English Police.

Chris Williams
Policing, and self-policing: George Bakewell, the ex-constable

Donna Loftus
Advocates and autobiography: the life writing of barristers in the late nineteenth century

22 February 2002: Perspectives on Crime and Policing

Bob Morris
Public Accountability and the Metropolitan Police, 1829 - 1929

Mark Roodhouse
Policing the petrol black market in Britain, 1939-50

Barry Godfrey
Sentencing, Theatre, Audience and Communication - The Victorian and Edwardian magistrates' courts and their message


19 October 2001: Comparative Perspectives on Policing

David Welsh
Policing Prostitution in Hull during the mid-nineteenth century

Fewtrell Clements
A Divided Empire: Policing in Wales between 1839 and 1856

Peter King
Gender and Recorded Crime. The long term impact of female offenders on the prosecution statistics 1700 - 1900

18 May 2001: Comparative Perspectives on Policing

Georgina Sinclair
Get into a Crack Force and earn £20 a month. The influence of the Palestine Police upon Colonial Policing

Gerald Blaney
Old Guard, New Regime: The Civil Guard and the Second Spanish Republic, 1931-1936

Francis Dodsworth
Re-assessing the New Police: Governmental Culture in London and Manchester, c.1750-1850

2 March 2001: Policing Juveniles: Protection or Control?

Alyson Brown
Child Prostitution and Child Abuse, a Police Issue in Inter-war England?

Louise Jackson
Women Police and Child Welfare in Inter-war Britain: Protection or Control?

Heather Shore
Policing Juveniles in Early Nineteenth-Century London


27 October 2000: The Police and Violence, 1850-1950

Clive Emsley
'Kicking your wife to death': Violence and English Society, 1900-1950

Chris A. Williams
Brian Rix, Thurso Boy, and the Rhino Whip

John Archer
Police Violence in North-West England, 1850-1900

10 April 2000: Perspectives on Policing

Gerry Oram
'A serious example is necessary': The British Army and the Death Penalty 1900-1918

Victor Bailey
The Shadow of the Gallows: The Death Penalty and the British Labour Government, 1945-51

Wilbur Miller
Are the English Police Becoming More American? - or were they always that way?


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