Wednesday, 3 February 2016

New Cataloguing Project at Hull History Centre: Introducing ACPO

Hello, I’m Alex and I’ve just taken up a position as a Project Archivist at Hull History Centre. Over the next few months I will be working with the papers of the now defunct national body, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).
This is me, Alex!
ACPO formed in 1948 from the combination of County Chief Constable’s Club and the Chief Constable’s Association of England and Wales and was a critical component in the development of policing and police forces. The association sought to ensure policing operations and services were coordinated at a national level, and also provide a united professional voice for the police service. An independent review of ACPO was commissioned by the recently introduced Association of Police and Crime Commissioners in 2013. Following publication of the resulting report, the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) was established to replace ACPO. This took effect on the first of April 2015.
Selection of items from the ACPO collection
During their existence ACPO influenced not just the creation of police policy, but also successfully lobbied Parliament, as a result influencing the creation of national legislation. Although I’ve only just started to look at the collection of ACPO records here at Hull it’s already clear that they span from the 1940s right up until at least 2003. The period of history in which ACPO operated was a turbulent one for the police in England and Wales, with public attitudes towards them shifting dramatically. It also saw vast changes in the social and cultural landscape. A quick peek in the boxes promises records which reflect these shifts. In addition to reports of inquiries into high profile police scandals such as the murder of Stephen Lawrence and the response to the miners’ strike of 1984-1985, there are also investigations into the use of video technology (now itself outdated) and the use of DNA databases (now well established).
ACPO logo
I’m really looking forward to ensuring that the records of this highly influential and sometimes controversial organisation are fully accessible to any researcher. I’ve already taken the first step by writing a brief overview of the collection for our online catalogue. Follow this link to take a look. I hope that both this blog and the initial entry in our catalogue give an idea of what to expect from the collection and also encourage you to come and find out more once the project is complete and the records available to consult in our search room. I’ll be writing more entries for the blog as we progress through the project, so do keep an eye out.

Alex, Project Archivist, Hull History Centre

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