Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Police Leadership, Then and Now


Cataloguing of the ACPO papers is now over 95% complete, and in order to celebrate and promote the collection last Friday the History Centre hosted a small conference in conjunction with the University of Hull’s Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCCJ). 

The day started with Clive Emsley, Professor of History at the Open University and author of many books on the history of the police, talking about the first hundred years of police leadership. He touched on some characters who will be appearing in his new book, Exporting British Policing During the Second World War: Policing Soldiers and Civilians. Doctor Sarah Charman, from the University of Portsmouth spoke about her past research into the emergence of the ‘senior police voice’ during the late twentieth century illustrated by the transition from private, to public through to a persuasive phase. 

After lunch Professor David Wall of Leeds University, author of The Chief Constables of England and Wales: The socio-legal history of a criminal justice elite (1998) spoke about the recruitment of police leaders, and shifting expectations into the late twentieth century.


The day ended with a lively panel discussion, chaired by Doctor Simon Green of CCCJ, and featuring Claire Davis whose PhD research is concerned with senior police officers’ understanding of police leadership, Doctor Chris Williams of the Open University, an expert in police history and the long-term evolution of policing practice, Doctor Mark Littler of CCCJ whose research interests focus on extremism, radicalisation, counter-terrorism policy and trust in the criminal justice system.

At least ten different Universities were represented by delegates at the event, and the interest in the collection was great to see. Delegates also had a chance to look at a display of material from the ACPO archive and many promising to make a return visit to Hull once the cataloguing is completed and the collection publically available.

It also marked my final day at the History Centre, and felt like a fitting end to the project. It’s been a real privilege working with the collection, and I look forward to the catalogue going live in the new year. 

A piece about the ACPO archive was also written for the Archives Hub blog

Alex Healey
ACPO Project Archivist

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