January 28, 2017

Thursday Group reading on police

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/history/students/modules/hi398/timetable/seminar2/

Please could you read the following:

James - Banks

Yetunde - Godfrey

Zoe - McMullen (1996)

Izzy - Phillips

Amie - Steedman

Louisa - Taylor

Abi - Swift

Aksana - Paley

Aleemat - Zedner

Oliver R-J - Storch

Mikka - Philips and Storch

Charlotte - McMullen (1998)

Blessing - Shpayer-Makov

Oliver B - Cohen


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  1. Blessing Park

    From menace to celebrity: the English police detective and the press, c.1842–1914’ – Haia Shpayer-Makov

    The image of the Detective in the Press – Introduction/Context:
    → ‘Few occupations in the Victorian and Edwardian periods were as influenced by public image as were the police, for gaining legitimacy and the confidence of the public was essential to the adequate functioning of this new institution.’ – pg. 672
    → Few occupations were exposed to such a high level of public scrutiny either
    → As a result, there is a large body of literature on police image in England
    → Argues that there is a lack of research examining the way police detectives were viewed by the public after the first modern detective department was established within the Metropolitan police of London in 1842.
    → The reputation of the detective was crucial to the functioning of the police (as it was for uniformed officers) but perceptions of detectives different from perceptions of uniformed policemen at the time and need separate treatment.
    → An examination of the modern police detective from their inception in the mid-19th Century to its formative in the later 19th and early 20th century is essential to an understanding of how the system of crime control was viewed at the time.
    ○ The detective was integral to this system, so therefore references to detectives expressed general attitudes to the system of crime control as a whole
    → Public perception of detectives revolved mainly around what was known about the detective department of the Metropolitan police of London
    ○ An assumption is made here that they are representative of police detectives outside of London as well.
    → Because the Metropolitan police (unlike other police forces in the country) operated under the authority of the Home Secretary, they were seen as agents of the state so their image was significant to the stability of established order as a whole.

    Changing patterns of perception:
    → Undercover policing was not accepted at the time of the Met. Police force’s establishment in 1829 but in the period just before WW1 detectives held almost heroic status as ‘super sleuths’, particularly the detectives of the central office of Scotland Yard.
    → What caused this fundamental change in their image?
    ○ The conduct of the police helped foster this image. As the public encountered detectives and accounts circulated local communities these encounters influenced public opinion,
    ○ The press provided the major source of information as the public didn’t always have frequent direct contact with detectives.
    § The world of fiction (even before Sherlock Holmes) had many detective figures which no doubt influenced public perception of detectives but the press was nonetheless the ‘central agent in the dissemination of knowledge’
    ○ The press was the important source of narratives of crime and law enforcement in the eighteenth century but in the nineteenth century there were many more newspapers and periodicals apeparing with skyrocketing circulation in the latter decades of the century
    § The prestige of the journalist rose as the public increasingly accepted the view that he was ‘the guardian of the guardians’ and therefore a credible source
    § There was some distrust, but it was generally accepted that the press communicated reality through its coverage of ongoing events
    § The press, in all its manifestations, assumed such significance during the Victorian period that it became ‘the context within which people lived and worked and thought, and from which they derived their . . . sense of the outside world’ (pg. 673)
    → Because the press reported extensively about all aspects of crime, it is appropriate and obvious a source to use in order to gauge the evolution of attitudes towards detectives (law enforcement in general)

    30 Jan 2017, 10:45

  2. Blessing Park

    Establishment of London Metropolitan Police and the Detective (inc. Scotland Yard):
    → ‘The creation of the London Metropolitan Police, the first reformed force in the country, had been preceded by a long period of public controversy over the need to set up a new machinery of law enforcement.’ (pg. 674)
    → Reactions to the proposals for reform were mixed.
    ○ Whilst recent scholarly literature emphasises a widespread desire to improve various aspects of the criminal justice system, there were many voices who spoke out against changes in policing structure, especially radical change)
    ○ Opposition worked so well that it wasn’t until 1829 that Robert Peel (as Home Secretary) was able to establish the Metropolitan Police which replaced most of London’s police organizations with a single, centralized force under the direct authority of the Home Office. The City of London remained independent. for
    ○ Opposition to police reform mainly stemmed from fear the police would threaten the liberties of the people.
    § Quotation from the Report of the Select Committee on the Police of the Metropolis (1822): ‘It is difficult to reconcile an effective system of police, with that perfect freedom of action and exemption from interference, which are the great privileges and blessings of society in this country.’
    ○ Opposition was also borne out of resistance to placing more power in the hands of the government.
    § Radicals feared encroachment on political activity
    § Other interested institutions (police magistrates and justices of the peace, the local parishes and the City of London) whose authority was liable to be curtailed by the proposed arrangements for centrally controlled police force.
    § Critics were wart of the potential expansion of state power and that such a police force could become ‘the active tool of a despotic government.’
    ○ The figure of the spy was epitomized as a threat to freeborn Englishmen
    § There was a fear that a unified/highly coordinated police force accountable to the government would become an espionage network engaging itself in the all-pervading surveillance of citizens from every rank of society and meddle in political and private affairs
    § The French police were seen as operating in this manner

    30 Jan 2017, 10:46

  3. Blessing Park

    → The changes in policing within the metropolis introduced from the mid-18th century onwards helped with the prevention and detection of crime but did also increase state power. The Met. Police’s establishment was the culmination of this trend.
    ○ As part of dispelling fears about a French model of spying, the Met. Police was made up of a wholly uniformed force bar a small number of top level officials and police clerks
    ○ Before 1829 a large number of police functions had been undertaken by men without uniform or obvious indications of authority but now the uniform marked the men as law enforces.
    ○ Although police reform was done with the aim of preventing and detecting crime, there was also a firm belief that the presence of police patrols in the streets would
    § deter people from committing crimes and offences
    § Make officers open to constant public and supervisory scrutiny
    § Offer better protection
    § Be more acceptable to society
    ○ Uniform did evoke fears of a French military style but it reassured the public that it would not end up being an organised army of spies and informers in the service of the government/powerful.
    → The desire to not have the police associated with secrecy/disguise/anything devious held back the establishment of clear detective departments in London and throughout the country
    → Detective functions were performed in other ways:
    ○ Police occasionally used plain clothes officers to pursue offenders and to spy on political dissidents
    ○ The Bow Street Runners (a semi-official detective force formed by the novelist Henry Fielding) also functioned until 1839.
    → The obvious need to enhance the skills of official crime fighters following several significant and public failures in detection as well as the lack of any detective unit in London following the end of the Bow Street Runners that encouraged the pressure that led the foundation of the famous department at Scotland Yard
    → The small size of the force then and in the following decades reflected the attitude of police leadership in the captain towards detective work. Outside of London the formation of detective units was even more slow.
    → The issue amongst the political elite and officials was not the function of detection itself
    ○ The Bow Street Runners (the closest thing London had to a detective department before 1847) had a good reputation. (So public understood and supported the need to pursue offenders and investigate crime).
    ○ It was the association of detection with covert crime control and the devices used by spies
    ○ There were also fears of corruption that could stem from working so close to the ‘underworld’ (as was the case with traditional thief-takers)
    → Police relations with the press were influenced by awareness of the potential negative impact of such prevalent images
    ○ Because at this time respectable opinion was becoming a powerful force the establishment worked at getting its support

    30 Jan 2017, 10:47

  4. Blessing Park

    The Press – Functions in Victorian England and coverage of detectives:
    → The press had always taken a central role in the polemics surrounding crime in general
    → The public view of the new department was naturally affected by distrustful attitudes towards the police as a whole
    BUT 13 years after the Metropolitan Police was established large swathes of the upper/middle classes felt that the new police protected their interests
    → This change of attitude had an effect upon how detectives were received by the public.
    → There were still widespread concerns over secret methods
    ○ A significant article in The Times insisted that it was the business of uniformed and plain-clothes policemen: to be about, and to have their eyes about them – to hang about popular meetings and suspicious corners – to collect rumours, and recollect misdemeanours – to watch and store up random words and unintended disclosures – to find out what they were never intended to know, and to make instant communication, and, if necessary, use of it.
    ○ These criticisms in the press warned against methods used in other regimes (like France) which, by implication, were much inferior to British culture and norms.
    ○ Disguise for detectives wasn’t necessary clothing but hiding one’s identity as a police officer.
    § But for some members of the public, not wearing a uniform in order to operate and observe unsuspected was akin to spying
    § Wearing plain clothes after the establishment of a uniformed Metropolitan Police was viewed as an indication of pretence and fakery and was a threat to not only criminals but also ordinary citizens
    → Masses of people (particularly those of the working class) saw the uniformed police as an enemy. There was ridicule at the expense of uniformed officers in the general and comic press and in music halls.
    → Detectives may have been subjected to less ridicule, but couldn’t have escaped the negative associations of the police as they were part of the same organization.
    ○ Police brutality/any sort of interference was resented by many and distinctions were rarely made between plain clothes and uniformed officers
    → Despite the growing interest, detectives did not receive that wide attention in the early stages of their force.
    ○ References were made in articles and the daily press but few articles discussed detectives apart from the rest of the police.
    ○ Overtime however the increasing number of journals of public opinion began to discuss detective work in its own right with Scotland Yard becoming a prime object of attention
    ○ Periodicals became forums for contesting views about detection
    → There were an array of opinions within the periodical press but there was a consistency in the view of the emerging detective departments in London (and outside) as being essentially to the management of law and order.
    ○ Article in the (tory) Quarterly Review described detectives as ‘those human moles who work without casting up the earth lest their course should be discovered’ and regarded them as a necessary ‘wheel in the constabulary machinery’.
    ○ View that the everyday police was not as skilled at the detectives at uncovering serious/complex offences

    30 Jan 2017, 10:47

  5. Blessing Park

    → Shift in the views regarding the use of disguise were a good indicator of the changing attitudes towards detective departments (generally)
    ○ Despite attacks on the use of disguise continuing there was still a growing body of opinion that held it as a necessary tool for detectives.
    § Leisure Hour – was v. impressed with the ability of detectives to conceal their identity and saw it as instrumental to their success.
    § ‘A detective may be a gentleman to-day, a rustic to-morrow, next day an artisan out of work, a groom out of place, or a pater-familias in search of a domicile for his family. They mingle in all companies, and permeate the very lowest resorts; and even if recognised, which they rarely are when they choose to be unknown, such is the terror of their authority, the villainy shrinks appalled at the sight of them, and is seen at times, like the fascinated victim of the python, to submit unresistingly to their will.’
    ○ A number of journals took pains to attempt to modify the negative image perpetuated of the police and their detectives in order to begin a rigorous defence.
    § Some journals attributed the decline in crime in the third quarter of the century to the police system.
    § Tory papers took blame from the detective branch in events of failure by blaming the criminal justice system for being too liberal and allowing criminals/perpetrators to avoid punishment and enjoy freedom.
    □ The Quartley Review
    ○ Where the police did not immediately apprehend a robber for example, or were seen to not be as present or functioning in their skills there were public outcries of “Where are the police?”
    § Led to a dynamic form of textual exchange in the press between defenders and critics of police detectives
    → The relationship between reporters and detectives was tense on account of the police’s reluctance to give members of the press special privileges and to provide them with details of ongoing investigations
    ○ Central to the spotlighting of the work of detectives and shifting public opinion to a more accepted position were journalists who had personal relationships with detectives
    ○ Charles Dickens was one example. He used his position to enhance the image of police detectives. As editor of Household Words in the 1850s he invited detectives to his offices, accompanied them on investigations and reported his experiences in his journal
    ○ Dickens’ descriptions were very positive in favour of the police
    → Detectives’ habit of accepting requests by journalists to lead them in exploratory tours of London Slums also helped foster a more positive image of detectives in the press.
    ○ Detectives seen as ‘all-seeing’ and ‘all-knowing’, highly skilled and perfectly qualified for their occupation
    ○ This trend must have been influential for as early as 1870 an article in the Quarterly Review pointed to a significant improvement in the image of the police, whether in plain clothes or uniformed, in ‘the respectable organs of the press’.

    30 Jan 2017, 10:47

  6. Blessing Park

    Changes in reception and reputation in the Press – 1870s onwards:
    → There were still concerns regarding detectives in the 1860s/70s
    ○ Such opinions were most likely reflective of a diversity in opinion towards detectives
    ○ There was a striking absence of significant accusations of corruption against detectives at Scotland Yard in the first 35 years of its existence – even amongst newspapers who didn’t have particularly positive opinions
    → However, in 1877 there were widespread reports that most of the senior officers in the detective department of SY were suspected of corruption.
    ○ The recurrent messages of the papers (who gave detailed accounts of those on trial for nearly a month) shattered any growing confidence in the detectives and reversed the positive trend (newspapers were seen by many as the guardians of society)
    § In the words of the liberal Daily News, the detectives had ‘flagrantly abused the trust committed to them’
    § Punch nicknamed the detective department at Scotland
    Yard ‘The Defective Department’ or ‘The Criminal Instigation Department’
    → The reputation of police deceives improved little in the early 1880s
    ○ Reports of detective corruption of similar magnitude were not reported, nonetheless the rationale behind establishing further detective branches in other police forces was questioned
    → But growing disapproval of detectives stemmed from their unwillingness to adopt methods that could better police performance
    ○ Disappointing results of detectives in the 1880s led to widespread criticism across the daily press.
    ○ The bombs exploded by Irish terrorists in major sites in London in the first half of the decade – including the local government board offices, two underground stations, Victoria rail terminus, London Bridge, the Tower of London and the House of Commons – exposed the limited ability of the police to carry out their task of safeguarding society.
    ○ The explosion within the SY building itself in May 1884 was especially embarrassing since the explosives were put under the Irish Special Branch’s room (set up the previous year to specifically combat Irish terrorism)
    ○ ‘The uniformed police now seemed the better branch again. In an article in the liberal Spectator titled ‘The work of the London police’, an anonymous writer complimented the preventative police as ‘the most successful in the world’, while asserting that ‘it is in detective work that the London Police shows least efficiency’.
    → Events in the second half of the eighteen-eighties continued to elicit dissatisfaction. If the crisis over the Fenian bombing outrages had abated, the mishandling of demonstrations by radicals, socialists and the unemployed in London during 1885–7 again drew heavy fire directed at the London police.
    ○ The focus of demonstrations and clashes with the police wasn’t crime or criminal investigation but the maintenance of order so detectives didn’t take the majority of the negative press. But through association with their uniformed colleagues they were also subject to accusations of police brutality and insufficient action.

    30 Jan 2017, 10:48

  7. Blessing Park

    → Jack Rippers’ series of murders encouraged more negative press reaction than any other event.
    ○ ‘The fact that they were prostitutes, and the brutal and gruesome manner in which they were murdered, combined to escalate the killings into a national event, perceived as an outrage against both private life and the entire social fabric.’
    ○ The police failed to apprehend the murderer but also to inform the public of who it was. It was also apparent that they failed to gather any significant evidence.
    ○ By being denied the ‘calm of closure’ the public remained in fear of more murders.
    ○ The nature of the crime as well as the failure of the police occupied press attention and this boosted circulation to unprecedented levels.
    ○ Whilst the press did not distinguish between the unformed/non-uniformed branches of the police in their reports, the detectives’ principal function as investigators of crime meant that they faced the majority of the criticism.
    § They had never before been the focus of such sustained and intensive coverage.
    ○ Each police move was covered in detail but detectives did not benefit from this exposure.
    ○ The press responded to the lack of success in different ways.
    § L. Perry Curtis, Jr. – Liberal/radical press were very critical of the police and government for their failings and tory papers tended to provide more defence of the police and government
    § Tory Saturday Review criticised anti-police journals for assisting the perpetrator with escaping and going undetected and hindering the detectives’ work more than they would like to admit
    § The Review – acknowledging its negative coverage of the Metropolitan Police’s defects, it attributed said issues to those responsible for the small numbers of detectives (parliament/the home office) and guarded police interests by recommending a pay rise
    → Scotland Yard was praised for its handling of the ‘anarchist plot’ in 1892
    ○ Used covert methods including a French/Irish spy Agent Provocateur
    ○ Press generally accepting of use of covert methods by 1894 (but not like those used on the continent)
    → Towards early 1890s there were more frequent articles explicitly championing the Press
    → Interest in detectives appears to have relaxed following the later 1890s but in the period immediately preceding WW1 this interest piqued again.
    ○ Because of ‘renewal of social tensions in various walks of life’
    → Press with its expanding readership looked to the detective to provide drama that people wanted to read
    ○ Detectives abroad
    ○ Individual detectives turned into celebrities

    30 Jan 2017, 10:48

  8. Oliver Baldwin

    Policing the Working Class City – Phil Cohen

    • For those that supported the state control and the practices of policing, the police were accountable to democratic institutions and played a part in the larger transformation of the state. For those on the left, the police were a repressive arm of the state that represented the ruling class and must be challenged and exposed at every opportunity.

    • The police became the first branch of the British Victorian state that played a repressive and ideological function simultaneously. It protected private property whilst also enforcing norms within society.

    • The police went from segregating the ruling and the working and lower classes to regulating the social spaces of the communities in which they served.

    • Henry Mayhew commented that costermongers were at the tip of resistance against the police. They were seen as local heroes and martyrs and when they came out of prison the community helped them return to stability. The main reason for this was the police moving them on and affecting the economy of the community as well as personal livelihoods.

    • Casual labour and drift migration became targets for policing in areas that fell between the middle and working classes.

    • In Islington there were reports of collective resistance and defence. When police came to make arrests they were often attacked by the community and often those who were in custody were released for fear of escalation in local violence.

    • Cohen discusses how the police became a dependant on what he calls the educational state system. The system which educates people about the state and the legal conditions on society and how it operates. The police were a channel by which the working classes became educated about the states operation.

    • The police force was an agency of the state and therefore had to reach into the center of society to be effective and have popular consent. However, it also represents the state’s power and ability to coerce and manipulate society.

    • For the communities that were seen as economically backward, the police were used as a tool to introduce industrial discipline and the newly emerging social norms which often clashed with traditional culture.

    • Those in charge of the police began to define what were acceptable curfews and actions within the community. For example, a group of women talking on a street corner in the day were seen to be gossiping housewives. At nigh this same group were seen to be prostitutes.

    01 Feb 2017, 17:27

  9. Isabel Lock

    D. Philips, ‘A New Engine of Power and Authority: The Institutionalisation of Law Enforcement in England, 1750-1830’, in V. A. C. Gattrell, B. Lenman and G. Parker (eds), Crime and the Law: the Social History of Crime in Western Europe since 1500

    • Police were considered a new science in which their powers lead to punishment.
    • The police were seen as instruments of the Executive
    • Changes during the industrial revolution: changes in the system of policing from old parish constable to the first full-time, paid, uniformed ‘New Police’s force in the Metropolitan police force of 1829 which led to compulsory borough and county forces in all areas in the 1856 County and Borough Police Act.
    • The creation of the first salaried magistrates for London in 1792 and subsequently for other larger towns and industrial areas.
    • Prosecution made easier: Peel’s Criminal Justice Act of 1826, made the cost of prosecution much more bearable. Increase of powers of the magistrates in the 1820s to try offences summarily instead of on indictment.
    • Campaign to reform the criminal law: removal of capital punishment as penalty for most offences. E.g. 1800 = over 200 offences punishable by capital punishment. 1841 = 8 offences punishable by death, only really carried out for murder.
    • Changes in the nature of secondary punishments: Long term custodial sentences in new prisons and penitentiaries. This provoked more emphasis on the importance of changing the individual offender. Turned towards reforming the prisoner rather than deterring them.

    01 Feb 2017, 18:08

  10. Isabel Lock

    David Philips and Robert Storch, Policing provincial England, 1829-56

    • The book analyses the extent to which Britain was governed by the Whitehall departments of state by the middle of the nineteenth century.
    • 1856 passing of a bill requiring all the English counties to establish police forces paid for out of locally raised taxation (the rates) – an almost inevitable assumption of responsibility by central government.
    • Early 1820s England and Wales were “policed” by constables recruited increasingly from the labouring and artisan classes who, although they were appointed by parish and other local government bodies, were remunerated chiefly by the victims of crime – apparently ineffective London.
    • 1829 Wellington’s government established paid police under Home Office supervision in the metropolis, Peel arguing that the fears of the country gentlemen that a centrally-controlled police force threatened individual liberties and local autonomy had to give way to the probability that it was the only way of protecting the essentials of their liberty (life and property) from ever increasing crime.
    • Large scale of socio-economic change that the experiment of paid police acting under Home Office supervision would be extended to the rest of the country. This swept away the autonomy of the myriad of local authorities and the landed elites which largely ran them.
    • In 1836-39 a Royal Commission which was dominated by Chadwick, reported in favour of such a system.
    • Melbourne’s government produced two acts in 1839 and 1840 which permitted counties to establish paid police forces but did not oblige them to do so. These were therefore half-hearted measures which served only to delay the inevitable—which came with the act of 1856.
    • Extensive and imaginative research destroys such an interpretation and demonstrates how complex and unpredictable the process of change actually was.
    • Although the social status of parish constables had declined significantly by the 1820s, there were many who were much more effective in carrying out their responsibilities than some contemporary detractors alleged.
    • Four forms of policing established from 1820s: The establishment of paid police under the terms of local acts of Parliament; their appointment under the terms of the general Lighting and Watching Act sponsored by Joseph Hume in 1833; those appointed and paid for by voluntary subscriptions on the part of local property owners; and those appointed by parish authorities and paid for out of the poor rates.
    • There was a growth of support for a new rural police amongst MPs of all parties and, more significantly, amongst a substantial proportion of the provincial gentry.
    • A substantial number of magistrates and gentry adopted the “gospel of (crime) prevention” which the new metropolitan police seemed to herald in response to the collapse of paternalism and the growth of disorder in the countryside.
    • The process of change in early nineteenth-century Britain was strongly influenced by a tradition of “trial and error” legislation: of taking a legislative initiative, seeing how it worked and then amending or building upon it. The acts prior to the compulsory system established in 1956 can therefore be regarded as essential foundations.
    • Reasons why some counties established police forces under the acts and others did not were varied and complex – the location of the county and its socio-economic structure were crucial factors in this decision.

    01 Feb 2017, 18:09

  11. Zoe Zbrzezniak

    Article analyses the ‘monied police’ system in mid to late 18th C London. Monied police meaning police who used money as bribes, blackmailing etc in cases for their own profit.
    A detailed examination of private policing in the mid-eighteenth century suggests that there were between 30 and 40 active thief-takers in London. They were drawn largely from the ranks of skilled artisans or those with jobs that formally associated them with the forces of law and order (as prison turnkeys, constables, bailiffs, or minor court officer
    The monied police profited from others’ crimes as well. They often relieved their prisoners of money and stolen goods, and made more income by accepting hush money, giving perjured evidence, swearing false oaths, blackmailing the innocent, the vulnerable, and the guilty, and operating extortion rackets.
    Used violence- possessed a high degree of physical strength, went armed, and were prepared to maim or kill in order to gain their objectives. Mitchell and Holderness, two well-known thief-takers, went armed ‘with pistols and cutlasses’
    Paley: ‘the everyday business of the London thief-taker amounted to nothing less than a systematic manipulation of the administration of the criminal law for personal gain.’
    Paley: ‘the reason the thief-takers were tolerated for so long was that to make any move against them was to risk exposing the corruption of the whole system of the administration of criminal law in the metropolis.’
    renovation: Henry and John Fielding, Suanders Welch. Henry Fielding’s new improved police were the equivalent of bounty hunters, who still relied for their principal income on private and public capital. Under Sir John Fielding, the scope of the policing reforms were extended to cover the approach roads leading into London. Fielding experimented with horse patrols, and with foot patrols on an intermittent basis, paying his officers subsidies for their work.
    All about surveillance: , information about unsolved crimes and offenders fled from justice was gathered, recorded, and then disseminated to the public in the form of circulars, handbills, and advertisements in select newspapers, asking for identification and further information. To encourage law officials and the public to make reports to Bow Street, either in person or by post, the Fielding brothers publicized the services encouraging newspapers to report their work as examining magistrates at Bow Street
    The gist of this scheme was ‘to centralize and to bring within Fielding’s domain the process by which citizens advertised for the return of stolen goods’, and to link the crime advertising system to a cooperative pawnbrokerage industry
    admin reform: An essential feature in Fielding’s and Welch’s schemes for crime control was that the Bow Street office should become the administrative nerve centre for policing the whole of Westminster and Middlesex and later of adjoining areas in Kent, Surrey, and thereabouts
    emphasises that surveillance was all about prevention, rather than crime detection. The Fieldings laid some of the groundwork for universalizing stipendiary magistrates and preventative policing in the metropolis

    01 Feb 2017, 19:07

  12. Aksana Khan

    Lucy Bland, ‘Purifying the World: Feminist Vigilantes in Victorian England’, Women’s History Review, 1992

    What does policing mean in this article?
    1. As a network between state and non-state organisations. Particularly focuses on the role of the National Vigilance Association.
    2. Does not look into the professionalisation of the male police force, but the role of middle-class women who believed that true change would happen with state intervention. They worked alongside local government and police bodies. These were women who worked with Josephine Butler but went further in seeking to eradicate prostitution. What seems distasteful to us now is the fact that they demonised the prostitute but not her clients.
    3. ‘Moral’ policing – the feminists of this period engaged in ‘repressive politics’/’social purity’ movement following the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Act. The NVA enforced the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 which emphasised the suppression of brothels in an attempt to clear the streets of prostitution.

    ‘Feminists’ in this article refers to women’s empowerment by civilising, or ‘purifying’ the public and private sphere. This meant greater policing and state intervention over a woman’s body.

    01 Feb 2017, 22:40

  13. Aksana Khan

    This article’s key arguments
    1. Seeks to contextualise what made the feminists engaged in repressive politics of lC19-eC20, feminist. This is because much of the historiography frames them as ‘prying prudes’ or ‘interfering busibodies’ (pg. 410). When in fact they were feminist in the sense that they believed that women’s safety was a civil right. They sought to increase female agency in the public sphere, this was by seeking to increase women’s involvement in government and cracking down on male alcoholism (hence the temperance movement) and by default, sexual violence as well.

    Moreover, even though their ‘religious’ intentions harmed the working-class woman, ‘many nineteenth-century feminists drew on Christian moral precepts to challenge the amorality of secular capitalist and male-dominated society. The Evangelical emphasis on personal morality and a moralising role for women within the home, gave women a language and a voice with which to demand moral behaviour from those within that home, including their husbands. While ideologically contributing further to women’s domestic confinement, this emphasis simultaneously gave women a sense of mission and spiritual worth, and thereby a strong incentive to engage in philanthropy to enter the homes of others in the pursuit of greater morality.’ (pg. 403)

    2. To the modern eye, these feminists do not seem as feminist because of the counterproductive consequences of their actions.
    a) Suppression of brothels increased homelessness for women. This is because the Amendment Act included measures against landlords as well as the prostitute and brothel-keeper. This meant that homeless women were subject to imprisonment due to vagrancy, and thereby subjected to forced medical examination (which was what the repealers campaigned against).
    b) Using the prostitute’s body to frame class and racial prejudices. This demonised female sexuality and entrenched class and racial prejudices. For example, the NVA who worked with the London County council, saw to the violent suppression of prostitution in between 1901-06. Women were convicted without proof of ‘annoyance’, which meant that the women were convicted by the policeman’s word alone. Moreover, this entrenched racial prejudice as the NVA and councils saw prostitutes and brothel-keepers as foreign – hence their support for the 1905 Aliens Act. (pg. 403)

    3) Female sexuality = ‘most Butlerites and repressive moralists shared an attitude…that had ‘protective surveillance’ within its logic. They saw women as ‘’pure’’ inherently modest, and barely sexual unless they had the misfortune to ’‘fall’’.’ (pg.407) This perceived passivity of women jars with the concept of female agency. Especially because ‘The term ‘’public woman’’ was used interchangeably with the terms prostitute, street-walker and actress; they all implied that the public world excluded ‘respectable’ women, and was reserved for men and those women who ‘immorally’ serviced them. Indeed women were literally excluded from many male public preserves, such as mens’ clubs and public houses. Yet ‘respectable’ women in this period were increasingly entering the public domain; they were there in various guises as philanthropists, missionaries, Poor Law guardians, clerical workers, civil servants, teachers.’ (408)

    01 Feb 2017, 22:41

  14. Louisa Helliker

    David Taylor, ‘POLICING THE VICTORIAN TOWN: The Development of the Police in Middlesbrough, c.1840-1914’
    • Two important studies frame current understanding of Victorian policing, David Philips’ Crime and Authority in Victorian England, which refutes previous studies that relied too heavily on Dickens for their understanding (p. 1), as well as David Jones’s Crime, Protest, Community and Police in Nineteenth-Century Britain which examined rural and urban contexts. Both considered the interrelationships between criminals, police and the community. (p. 2)
    • This study will focus on Middlesbrough as a ‘new’ town in the 1820’s that grew to 120,000 by WW1, and how although in the long-term the creation of a police system had a hand in ‘civilising’ the ‘frontier’ town, it was a long, slow, and turbulent process marred by continuous violence. (p. 2)
    • Both positives and negatives to the urbanisation and industrial revolution taking place in the north. On one hand ‘urban life was associated with wealth and culture. The town embodied the human triumph over nature’. However many were concerned that towns represented ‘major threats to order’. Described as ‘physical and moral sewers’, the policeman came to embody civility and order. (p. 3)
    • While some migration was short distance and many had family in the towns they emigrated to, migration was not smooth. There was often resentment between ‘natives’ and ‘comers-in’, exacerbated by overcrowding and stretched resources. (p. 4)
    • New towns with less social cohesiveness brought new values in terms of acceptable behaviour.
    o Firstly, there was ‘less tolerance of interpersonal violence and growing criticism of boisterous and disruptive group behaviour’, meaning traditional forms of protests were met with harsh defences. Even traditional recreational activities such as football were stigmatised.
    o Second, intolerance towards violence was linked to a reconstruction of masculinity, there was a greater emphasis towards gallantry, and protecting the weak.
    o Thirdly, there was increasing demand to ‘suppress vice and reform morals’, and to bring order and decorum to Britain’s streets.
    o Finally there was an economic link to the desire for decorum, in that it was thought this produced better factory workers, creating a new work discipline. (p. 5)
    • It was a difficult transition for Middlesbrough, ‘urban growth was not ordered and the new community was not orderly’. (p. 7) An Improvement Act was passed in 1841 to better the community but this had no guarantee of success.
    • 1840’s represented instability, the police force were founded at this point amongst a wave of moral anxiety and a reputation for violence. Concerns mostly buried by the late 19th and early 20th century. (p. 8)

    01 Feb 2017, 22:55

  15. Louisa Helliker

    David Taylor (cont.)
    Difficulties when looking at statistics, ‘recorded crime is not a record of actual crime and changes in the level of recorded crime cannot be assumed to reflect changes in the true incidence of crime’. Top down methodological approach, looks at minutes of the meetings of the Improvement committee. (p. 9)
    • Holland-Taylor challenges British crime statistics, said underfunded police who had little incentive to prosecute led to a ‘conspiracy that created a fraudulent ‘English miracle’ of declining Victorian crime rates’. Taylor disagrees, says Holland-Taylor’s claims are unsubstantiated, police would not have been able to allow crime to flourish while there was such moral panic. Argues decline in crime stats was actually ‘real change and was not a confidence trick played on a gullible public’. (p. 10)
    • In official records the voice of the police officer is not heard, he is more frequently represented for breach of regulations than for his successes. (p. 11)
    • Difficult to determine what an ordinary policeman thought of his job, ‘indirectly he expressed his dissatisfaction by demanding more pay… indirectly he expressed his commitment by making a career of policing’. (p. 11)
    • Attitudes to police were not necessarily divided along class lines, ‘there were persistent complaints about the conduct of the police expressed by middle-class critics on behalf of working-class victims of police insensitivities and brutality’. Likewise, the working class were not uniformly hostile to police. (p. 12)
    • Victorian police can be easily caricatured, but the author is defensive over their contribution, arguing they were a ‘less than perfect group but one increasingly characterised by a willingness and ability to contribute to the development of the town as a community’. Defines these men as being part of the ‘British Ballarat’. (p. 13)

    01 Feb 2017, 22:55

  16. Yetunde Abdou

    Emelyne Godfrey, ‘Urban Heroes versus Folk Devils: Civilian Self Defence in London’, Crime, History & Society, 14 (2010
    • Response to the problem of street violence NOT by the police but by middle class male pedestrians
    • Publication of ACD’S the Adventure of the Empty House coincided with the increasing movement against the use of weapons and the dev of martial arts in the UK
    • Literature is useful for studying c19 crime – Martin Weiner – ‘the cultural imagination of great crimes offers historians rich texts for interpretation’
    • Sherlock Holmes reflects and is inspired by contemporary crimes and methods of detection and also influenced by trends of self-defence - all shows attitudes the limits of violence and the acceptable methods of self defence
    • Wiener – Men of Blood – civilising offensive – masculine response to violence
    • Violent crimes more harshly punished than property ones
    • The growing interest in personal protection from the Late-Victorian era onwards coincided curiously with what Clive Emsley has observed as a downturn in the reported cases of violence and theft, most notably homicide, from the 1850s until well into the twentieth century
    • But there remains an apprehension of violence
    • Tension between CIVILISATION and AGGRESSION manifested in the fin de siècle cultural obsession + the gentleman villain (darker side of the civilised exterior let go of the exclusive linkages between crime and class)
    MAN OF BLOOD DICHTOMY – constituted c19 manliness in several forms: the villain gentleman/ reasonable man averse to violence who was able to exercise greater restraint = useful for interpreting the public imagination BUT this does not take into account other masculinities (including the assertive model)

    01 Feb 2017, 23:23

  17. Yetunde Abdou

    CRIME AND THE CITY
    • A s the parameters of the city expanded, so did the perceptions of the ‘self’ and informed attitudes towards physical threat (density)
    • Commuters must achieve an ‘intellectualism of existence’ = supressing your emotion in order to comprehend our surroundings; no room for individuality, only reserve; this facade also masked anxiety
    • Therefore, ‘The daily commute was represented as a potentially perilous journey in which ‘all the murderers, forgers, embezzlers, and assaulters whose crimes escape[d] detection altogether… [elbowed respectable passers-by] about in the streets of this and other towns every day of [their] lives’ – potentially a very dangerous space
    • Garrotting panic of the 1850s and 1860s – culmination of fears over personal security in an urban context >>> ‘fear of violence was woven into the structure of the city’ (Richard Sennett)
    • Some parts of London remained mysterious to the middle classes (e.g. East End)
    • Whitechapel murders disrupted the assumption that the country was becoming more civilised with lower murder rates; limits to how fast the police could react in the streets – were generally slow;
    • And so the Start decreed to the citizens: ‘Up, citizens, then, and do your police work!’ – inspired the formation of local watch groups (e.g. Toynbee Hall volunteers in the East End) who intended to protect residents and catch killers

    01 Feb 2017, 23:23

  18. Yetunde Abdou

    FIREARMS AT THE FIN DE SIECLE
    • Fear of exposure (horror of injury) leads to a militarised conception of everyday experience where attack and defence is part of everyday life (Sennett); links to c19 ‘body armour’ (civilians who protected others form violent attackers)
    • More burglaries meant that weapons were also being used as fashion accessories; by the second half of the c19 guns were accessible to nearly everybody as they were not truly regulated
    • This practice was opposed; 1895 Pistols Bill which ultimately floundered; displays of masculine violence were condemned
    • Firearms linked to terrorism and burglary – pistols were a component of bombs (from individual to mass violence); gave firearms bad press
    • Question over whether the police should carry firearms; ill-equipped to deal with violence
    • Prior to the AEH Holmes story, Holmes did use firearms – reader made to think that this is perfectly normal and legal via Watson; infrequent and always suitable to the threat
    ACD used the stories to criticise the use of dum dum bullets by the British Army during the Boer War (used by the imperial antagonist in the story [AEH])
    ACD expressed support for rifle corps, intended to defend Gb interests abroad; although the Hound of the Baskervilles warns against the use of firearms for self defence
    • SH represents the assertive Englishman who is ready to fight using his body and intellect

    01 Feb 2017, 23:24

  19. Yetunde Abdou

    HOOLIGANS AND URBAN GLADITATORS
    • Fascination with urban defence goes back to the 1790s (London Monster panic); Peirce Egan writings on self-defence in the mid c19
    • 1890s – rapid growth of more ‘exotic’ methods of SD with minimal force
    • Urban crime and hooliganism stimulated a culture of SD which aimed to tackle street crime and converge the ‘man of blood’ with the ‘reasonable man’
    • Bartitsu – how the higher classes of society could protect themselves from attacks from hooligans around the world / influential martial art founded by an engineer named Edward William Barton- Wright
    • ‘savagery brought clarity to the civilised identity’ – expression of gentlemaness in response to violence of the lower classes / turned the culture of SD away from the firearm/ represented masc energy during concern over the Empire and the effects of ‘civilisation’ over the nation’s health
    • Respectability leads to weakness and domestication
    • ‘middle class capability’ – men were expected to defend themselves when needed / did not actually shine in terms of physical ability
    ACD included Bartitisu in an effort to make martial arts better known to the public
    • Bartitsu was an amalgamation of English boxing and jujitsu; created to harmonise with the British ‘fight ethic’ (handy with fists – knives were ‘un-English’)
    • Bartitsuka has a special uniform in order to cultivate an image
    • New chivalry; homosocial relationships; Victorian flight from domesticity
    • The founder is also credited with bringing women’s self-defence classes to Britain

    01 Feb 2017, 23:24

  20. Yetunde Abdou

    THE INFLUENCE OF BARTITSU
    • Part of a growing obsession with Japan; articles on the strangeness and majesty of the culture; military power (Russo-Japanese War) captured the public imagination
    • Popularity of Japanese PA’s of Barton Wright
    • Link between both cultures
    SELF DEFENCE: RECONFIGURING SPATIAL ORDER
    • Avenues for masculine self-expression along accepted cultural lines
    • Walking with a cane: self-defence; masculinity; material consumption; vanquishing of cultural fears; elegance; performance of chivalry fused with romantic notions of duelling
    • Link between walking and language

    01 Feb 2017, 23:24

  21. Aleemat Salami

    Lucia Zedner, Policing Before and After the Police
    • Around the “criminological debate about the extent and nature of contemporary changes in the delivery, practice and orientation of policing”
    • Identifies discontinuities that she feels are significant “between the modern criminal justice system and that which is now emerging”
    o “It suggests that they are better seen as displaying significant links with an earlier era before ‘the police’ in the sense that we have come to use the term. It explores the possibility that current developments recall the historical process whereby state responsibility for crime control grew out of individual responsibility, communal self-help and private provision. In so doing, it contends that contemporary trends in policing signify less a departure from historical practice than those who proclaim the arrival of a new epoch acknowledge”
    • Periodization
    o Allows the exploration of whether and to what degree the criminal justice state stands unscathed by changes occuring now, enables us to interpret the nature and import of changes
    • The Bases of Normative Enquiry
    o Although there has been sociological inquiry into policing, there as been less focus on normative quections
    • Who ought to have responsibility for policing?
    • What ethical issues arise where policing is pursued by agents outside the criminal justice state?
    • What are the political ramifications of changes in the orientation and goals of the state police?
    • What is the nature of the goods pursued respectively by public and private police?
    • Is policing an irredeemably public good and, if so, how best can it be protected?
    • As delivery of policing shifts increasingly into private hands, do we need a new language to talk about what is on offer, to whom, and at what cost?
    • It is plausible that private providers can fulfil the larger purposes of policing?
    o Answers to these questions, she feels will depend on conceptions of the good society and the proper role of policing in society

    01 Feb 2017, 23:30

  22. Aleemat Salami

    • Notes on Nomenclature
    o “The police”: she is referring to the “constables in the employ of the state, whose task it is to deliver up criminals to the criminal justice system”
    o “Policing”: “those organized forms of order-maintenance, peacekeeping, rule or law enforcement, crime investigation and prevention and other forms of investigation and information-brokering”
    • Goes through various historical juxstapositions
    o Thief-takers to the global security market
    o Classical economics to rational choice theory
    o Social prophylaxis to situational crime prevention
    o Pre- and post- Keynesian prudentialism
    o The spirit of self-help to responsibilization
    o Prosecution associations to the clubbing of security
    • The Demand for Protection, entrepeneurs , and the Role of the State
    o “In the late eighteenth century, the sense of the ungovernability of urban society became all the more strongly felt in the aftermath of the Gordon Riots that shook London in 1780. In the face of the palpable failure of government, the need for self-help was pressing”
    o “The activities of communal and private entrepreneurs tend to stimulate demand for new forms of social control and, paradoxically, to fuel state activity so that, as Feeley observes, although ‘privatization is promoted as a way of reducing the scope of government activities, yet privatized penal policies have had precisely the opposite effect. When successful, private efforts have increased not decreased the reach of government. In the long run they have expanded, not contracted public social control. This perhaps unexpected consequence arises from the fact that entrepreneurial energies foster innovation and, with it, new forms of social control, responsibility for which is, typically, then assumed by the state. Feeley thus shows that, historically, private entrepreneurship has been ‘the single most important source of innovation”

    01 Feb 2017, 23:30

  23. Aleemat Salami

    • The Path to Anomia?
    o “Modern trends in policing take place in the shadow of the modern state and in the altered context of increasingly globalized social and economic relations, mass media and extraordinary technological development”
    o “We may be returning to a market in policing but the remarkable bifurcation in the size and scale of security operations creates a much more differentiated market than that which pertained two centuries ago. Although an overarching normative framework is highly desirable, it is questionable whether a single regulatory apparatus could effectively be applied to such divergent operations”
    o “Most grievously, the freedom of the market so triumphantly promoted by neo-liberalism has worrisome implications for the maintenance of norms”
    o When security services are increasingly provided by private, commercial organizations and through communal and voluntary endeavor, reasserting policing as a public good becomes no more than an attempt “trying to put the genie back in the bottle”

    01 Feb 2017, 23:31

  24. Oliver Rea-Jayson

    The Policeman as Domestic Missionary: Urban Discipline and Popular Culture in Northern England, 1850-1880

    o Riots and strikes, race courses, wakes, and popular fetes was a daily function of the “new police”
    o Engels observed that “every week in Manchester policemen are beaten,” a fact of Victorian life by no means restricted to either Manchester or to the 1840s
    o Upon their introduction in the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1857, county police instantly made themselves obnoxious by imposing a more efficient supervision of pubs and beer houses
    o Their firm insistence that pubs close during hours of divine service on Sunday created great bitterness among working men in the out townships of Leeds and Huddersfield
    o At West Ardsley the police cracked down on foot racing and near Bradford on cockfighting
    o In the wake of these novel interventions assaults on the West Riding police began. The appearance of the police at Middlestown feast resulted in a massive confrontation with local colliers and a considerable riot
    o Another random example at Skelman Thorpe near Barnsley two constables were on duty at 01:30 A.M. when suddenly a large crowd materialised and attacked them with stones
    o The very look of the new police seemed to give offense. They were described near Coventry in 1840 as “well clothed, with a pair of white gloves… and a great coat for bad weather. They go shrutting about… armed with bludgeon. With 18s per week… while the labourer toils from morning till night for 10s.”
    o The police were at first resented in working-class districts because they were felt to be parasites
    o Many of the terms used to describe the police in the popular press – “blue plagues,” “blue drones,” ‘blue idlers,” “blue locusts” – were synonyms for persons who do not really work for a living
    o Most obnoxious to the polices perhaps was the imposition of the “move-on system.” The practice of breaking up congregations of men on the streets and in front of the pubs was considered novel and humiliating
    o Part of the background of a near antipolice riot at Ashton under Lyne in May 1839 was to be found in working-class outrage at being moved-on
    o The coming of the police produced what was perceived as an attack upon a traditionally sanctioned freedom – freedom of assembly in the streets – and a keenly felt sense of humiliation
    o Outside of London the police were much less independent of local control than in the metropolis
    o Police can be seen in northern industrial towns to impose new standards of urban discipline
    o A series of local acts over the next three decades closed chinks in the law which inhibited the functioning of the police in these areas: the Leeds Improvement Act 1842 gave them power to enter unlicensed theatres and arrest those within, to prosecute publications who managed houses where cocks, dogs, or other animals were fought, and to fine hawker of indecent songs and ballards and those who performed them in the streets
    o Complaints appeared frequently in the press lamenting the large numbers of “men and women [reeling] about the streets… but no policeman to take them into custody.”
    o In the discharge of their “domestic mission,” then, the police were placed at the point of a larger attempt to transform popular culture
    o Police authorities themselves often drew a direct parallel between popular leisure and crime and believed a close surveillance of key neighbourhood recreation centers was essential to both the preservation of good order and the prevention of crime. The monitoring of working-class drinking places was taken quite seriously by the police
    o The police carried out their mission as “domestic missionary” in the largest cities not by pursuing a policy of overt suppression at every opportunity, but rather through the pressure of a constant surveillance of all key institutions of working-class neighbourhood and recreational life

    02 Feb 2017, 00:38

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    09 Feb 2017, 09:04


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