1st Edition

The Official History of Criminal Justice in England and Wales Volume V: Policing Post-war Britain: Plus ça change

By Tim Newburn Copyright 2025
    664 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This is the fifth and final volume in the Official History of Criminal Justice in England and Wales.

    This volume covers the uneven and often irresolute evolution of policing from the late 1940s to the end of the 1990s, concentrating on the impact of a succession of scandals on the reputation and regulation of the police; and the fluctuating relations between central government, local authorities and police forces in shaping the control of police funding, policy and organisation, particularly in response to a growth in the scale and intensity of social protest, and, above all, on the shifting sands of the policing of public order illustrated in the prolonged miners’ strike and urban unrest of the 1980s. It is a complement to earlier volumes in the series that focused on the liberalisation of the laws on capital punishment, abortion and homosexual relations between adult men in the 1960s; the founding of the Crown Court in 1971 and the Crown Prosecution Service in 1985; transformations in penal policy, and the politics of law and order.

    It will be of much interest to students of British political history, criminology and sociology.

    Introduction  Part I: The Police in an Age of Optimism  1. Misconduct, Scandal and Growing Scrutiny  2. The Royal Commission  3. Towards the Police Act  Part II: Controlling the Constable  4. Conduct and Complaints  5. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act  6. Malpractice and another Royal Commission  Part III: As Optimism Fades: Changes in organisation and practice  7. Early Organisational Change  8. The Rise and Fall of Unit Beat Policing  9. Community Policing  10. Crime Prevention  Part IV: Changing Police Culture?  11. Race, Racism and Policing  12. Women and Policing  Part V: Maintaining Order  13. The Tide Turns  14. Urban Unrest  15. Enter Lord Scarman  16. The Miners’ Strike  17. Rioting Returns  18. Policing Under the Spotlight  Part VI: Finance, Function and the Future of Policing  19. A Changing Political Context  20. Police Finance and Efficiency  21. The Rise of Managerialism and Consumerism  22. Reform Attempts Gather Pace  23. The Limits of Fundamental Reform  Conclusion  Bibliography


    Tim Newburn is Professor of Criminology and Social Policy at the London School of Economics, UK, and a former President of the British Society of Criminology.