1st Edition

Police and Government The Status and Accountability of the English Constable

By Geoffrey Marshall Copyright 1965

    Despite the recent outcrop of controversy about the police and their accountability in the 1960s, there was no work dealing in detail with the problems discussed in this book. Originally published in 1965, it examines an unresolved issue, namely the position of the police in the constitutional framework and the extent to which police activities are subject to control by the electorate and their representatives in local authorities and in Parliament. The book attacks the well-known doctrine and the ‘independence’ of the police which had been widely accepted at the time.

    Topics dealt with include the legal status of constables and chief constables; pre- and post-war controversies about accountability for police operations; relations between local police authorities and the Home Secretary; the Royal Commission of 1962; the new Judges’ Rules for police questioning; and the Police Act, 1964.

    This work is an informed analysis of the problems being discussed at the time about police powers and activities. Relevant to courses in Government, Local Government and Constitutional Law, today it can be read and enjoyed in its historical context.

    Preface.  1. Police Accountability: the Problem  2. The Office of Constable  3. Fisher v. Oldham and the Independence of Constables  4. Local and Parliamentary Responsibility for Police Before the 1964 Act  5. The Evidence to the Royal Commission  6. The Commission’s Report  7. The Police Act, 1964  8. Police Accountability: Some Conclusions.  Appendix A: Judges’ Rules and Administrative Directions to the Police, 1964.  Appendix B: The Police Act, 1964 (Extract of Main Sections).  Appendix C: A National Police Force: Two Views.  Bibliography.  Index of Cases.  General Index.


    Geoffrey Marshall