A Culture of Policing

The Metropolitan Police and Street Crime in London Between the Wars

From the post-war police strikes (1918 and 1919), to the plans of petty criminals for the coronation of King George VI (1937), there was always a good story in crime. Crime sold books, filled copy in newspapers, was discussed by politicians and demanded the attention of sociologists, criminologists, voluntary societies and other busybodies. Les mer
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From the post-war police strikes (1918 and 1919), to the plans of petty criminals for the coronation of King George VI (1937), there was always a good story in crime. Crime sold books, filled copy in newspapers, was discussed by politicians and demanded the attention of sociologists, criminologists, voluntary societies and other busybodies. What excited these varying audiences was an idea of crime, an underworld of professional criminals hiding in the haunts of London's many slums.


A Culture of Policing is one of the first book-length projects to explore crime and policing in early-to-mid twentieth century Britain. This anthropology of street crime takes the reader through the high and low life of Westminster, to the grimy environs of Paddington and Waterloo, with significant stops in poorer Poplar, Stepney and Shoreditch. It examines the roles of pimps and prostitutes, beggars and street bookmakers, costermongers, drunks and corrupt policemen.


This book will be of interest to researchers and students in the fields of criminology and the history of crime, as well as the general reader.

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