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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 167393 Find in a Library
Title: Best Police in the World: An Oral History of English Policing
Author(s): B Weinberger
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 224
Sponsoring Agency: Scolar Press
Aldershot, Hants GU11 3HR, England
Publication Number: ISBN 1-85928-223-7
Sale Source: Scolar Press
Gower House, Croft Road
Aldershot, Hants GU11 3HR,
United Kingdom
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Based on interviews with British police officers who served between the 1930's and the 1960's, supplemented by information from archival and other sources, this book contrasts the traditional view of British policing during this period with the actual performance and circumstances of policing.
Abstract: The study shows that British policing between the 1930's and the 1960's, which is generally perceived to be a model for maintaining public order and preventing crime, was in fact a time racked by depression and high rates of unemployment, by the threat of Fascism and war, by the ravages of the war itself, and by the shortage and deprivations that followed as the country began reconstruction from a much reduced base. The police were not immune from the negative effects of these events and conditions. They were sometimes violent and often corrupt. Police attitudes toward themselves and the public attitudes toward police were rooted in prevailing concepts of masculinity and respectability and of the standards of acceptable and expected behavior for members of the social class from which the police were mostly drawn. The former high degree of consensus over the dominant morality and canons of propriety has evaporated. As the social order slowly began to crumble after the war, so did the appropriateness of the style of policing described in this history. The behavior and expectations of the young, of women, of gays, and blacks moved away from the mold and the model into which they had been cast by the police and to which they had hitherto largely conformed. Police of the previous age valued having unchallenged authority and a perception that the public valued their image and performance. The regret of the police officers of that time that such is no longer the case is understandable. Appended supplementary information, a 140-item bibliography, and a subject index
Main Term(s): Foreign police
Index Term(s): History of policing; Police attitudes; Public Opinion of the Police; Role perception; Work attitudes
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