Police and community in Twentieth-Century Scotland: the uses of social history

Davidson, N., Fleming, L., Jackson, L., Smale, D. and Sparks, R. (2017) Police and community in Twentieth-Century Scotland: the uses of social history. British Journal of Criminology, 57(1), pp. 18-39. (doi:10.1093/bjc/azv097)

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Abstract

Drawing on archival research and oral history interviews, this article compares the characteristics of the relationships between police officers and communities in the Glasgow conurbation with those in the highlands and islands of Scotland in the period c. 1900–70. Rejecting the uniform or linear narrative suggested by existing historiography, it argues that these relationships were diverse, complex and shaped by local cultural, social and economic factors. By analysing the grassroots or everyday policing delivered by the urban beat officer and village constable, it reconstructs a social history of policing in twentieth-century Scotland. Moreover, the article identifies key constitutive elements that enabled or disrupted the forging of trust and legitimacy in Glasgow and the highlands in an era still associated by some with a ‘golden age of policing’. The article focuses in particular on the capacity of discretion, ‘insider’ status and embeddedness within local settlements to deliver effective policing, enhancing conclusions about best practice that have been drawn from studies of more recently formalized ‘community policing’ initiatives.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Leverhulme Trust (grant number RPG-387).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fleming, Dr Linda
Authors: Davidson, N., Fleming, L., Jackson, L., Smale, D., and Sparks, R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:British Journal of Criminology
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0007-0955
ISSN (Online):1464-3529
Published Online:16 September 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in British Journal of Criminology 57(1): 18-39
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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