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Crime, Policing and the Second World War

When Oct 25, 2017
from 05:30 PM to 07:00 PM
Where B3, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge
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On 25 October 2017, the Violence Research Centre at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, will host Professor Clive Emsley and Dr Mark Roodhouse for a discussion on ‘Crime, Policing and the Second World War’.

The concept of modern policing has its roots in pre-Victorian England, when the British home secretary Sir Robert Peel oversaw the creation of the Metropolitan Police in 1829. The term ‘bobby’ comes from his name and generations that followed came to regard the English police as ‘the best in the world’.

Under the title ‘Bobbies and Mafiosi: When ‘the best police in the world’ went to war’ Professor Clive Emsley, a distinguished historian and academic criminologist, will give an account of British police officers serving in the Army but acting in police roles particularly in Austria and Italy.

In 'Britain's Bootleggers: Black markets and organised crime in Austerity Britain' Dr Mark Roodhouse questions histories that liken the effect the Second World War had on British crime to that of Prohibition in the US. Did a wartime boom in gambling, prostitution and black marketeering lead to syndication on American lines as criminologists and true crime writers suggest?

Professor Clive Emsley is Emeritus Professor of History at the Open University. He was educated at the Universities of York and Cambridge and has taught and held fellowships at universities in Australia, Canada, France and New Zealand. For ten years he was president of the International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice. His publications include ‘Crime and Society in England 1750-1900’ (1987), ‘Gendarmes and the State in Nineteenth-Century Europe’ (1999), ‘The Great British Bobby’ (2009) and most recently ‘Exporting British Policing during the Second World War’ (2017).

Dr Mark Roodhouse is a Senior Lecturer in Modern British History at the University of York. He is currently working on his second book about organised crime in mid-twentieth-century Britain. Oxford University Press published his first book ‘Black Market Britain: 1939-1955’ in 2013.

This event will be held on Wednesday, 25 October from 5.30-7pm with a drinks reception afterwards. The venue is Room B3, Institute of Criminology, Sidgwick Avenue, University of Cambridge.

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The Violence Research Centre (VRC) conducts research to promote the understanding of the causes, the consequences, and the prevention of interpersonal violence. The VRC takes a strong interest in advancing quantitative methodologies for the study of violence and conducts longitudinal studies, experimental studies, programme evaluations, epidemiological surveys, and cross-national comparative studies. The research is done in close cooperation with leading experts from academia, policy-making institutions and civil society organizations.

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