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Work in progress

Police Control Systems in Britain, 1775-1975

This book by Chris Williams will be published by Manchester University Press in February 2014. It explores the ways that police organisations have changed in the long term - from artisan parish constable, through a proletarianised new policeman, followed by increasing professionalisation of the job of policing, and the adoption of real-time control, culminating in the large-scale introduction of computers. Among other things, it is the first history of the UK’s Police National Computer.

UK Policing and the International Agenda: The emergence of ‘UK Police PLC'

By Graham Ellison & Georgina Sinclair

The book maps out the terrain of contemporary (post 1989) UK international policing by considering both the police personnel deployed to various missions and the kinds of activities they engage in. The fractured terrain of late-modern policing has been fundamentally restructured by new auspices and providers that range from state personnel (police and military) through to the corporate security sector that includes significant numbers of recently retired police officers who work as security consultants and advisors. Charting the inter-relationships between this myriad of actors, how they frame the practices of international policing, and how they perceive the ultimate ‘end product’ is at the core of the book.  Another key theme is the analysis of the ‘UK Police PLC’ brand both conceptually and practically within an overseas market. We use a number of using a number of case studies including policing missions to Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Timor- Leste, Iraq and Afghanistan as well as a range of bilateral missions (1995-2012) to explore the UK policing brand

Ethnicity, Crime and Justice: Prejudice and Practice in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries

Peter King and John Carter Wood are currently working on a book provisionally entitled, 'Ethnicity, Crime and Justice: Prejudice and Practice in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries'. This book constitutes the first attempt to systematically analyse the impact of ethnicity on patterns of prosecution, victimisation and judicial decision-making for the pre-Victorian period. Although modern criminological research has established that race and ethnicity have a deep impact on the workings of the criminal justice system, no substantial historical work has yet been done on this subject for pre-1830 England. By using a wide range of court archives, and by analysing the decisions and the speeches made in  court, as well as the ways they were reported in the newspapers, this book aims to contribute a new dimension into current debates on attitudes to race, attitudes to core non-British groups (Irish and Jews) and attitudes to different subgroups among those who were British ( Welsh and Scots) and to create a history of attitudes toward ethnic groups when seen ‘from below’. An initial approach to Oxford University Press has indicated that they are interested in the idea but a full submission is not expected to take place until mid 2010 when final drafts of several core chapters will have been completed.

Policeman photo

Contact us

Please direct enquiries about the Centre, including its facilities and access to its resources, to Dr Rosalind Crone:

Department of History
Faculty of Arts
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

Telephone: +44 (0)1908 652477
Fax: +44 (0)1908 653750