Policing since 1945

Authored by: Tim Newburn

Handbook of Policing

Print publication date:  August  2008
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9781843925002
eBook ISBN: 9780203118238
Adobe ISBN: 9781136308529


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‘Never has a Government inherited a more disciplined nation than did the incoming Labour ministers in 1945, nor, almost certainly, a more united one’ (Hennessy 1992: 89). According to Bottoms and Stevenson (1992: 10), ‘all things considered … the omens for the criminal justice policy-maker in 1945 looked good’. However, as they document, and is noted by many commentators, ‘the years which followed the war were jaundiced by disappointed hopes' (Critchley 1967: 237). The reasons for this are complex, but certainly include the continual growth of recorded crime and the practical and political consequences it set in train, the emergence of research questioning the efficacy of elements of the criminal justice system and a series of ‘scandals’, or at least incidents, that served to illustrate some of the problems with policing and to challenge previously held public views about its character and purpose.

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