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Invisible MenThe Secret Lives of Police Constables in Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham, 1900-1939$
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Joanne Klein

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781846312359

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846316104

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Police Unions and Federations

Police Unions and Federations

(p.132) 5 Police Unions and Federations
Invisible Men
Liverpool University Press

In the nineteenth century, policing in Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool had been considered an unskilled working-class job similar to unskilled agricultural labourers. Seventy-five per cent of police constables left with less than five years of service, and only fifteen per cent made it to retirement age. Few of the policemen patrolling the streets were experienced. While policemen began to see their work as a career requiring special skills, rather than simply regular wages, watch committees continued to treat them as unskilled labour. This could be attributed in part to a failure to recognise that policing was evolving into a more complex and demanding occupation. At the turn of the century, as unionism was spreading through many working-class occupations, policemen struggled to find a voice within the police force. This chapter focuses on the rise of police unions and federations in the three cities during the early twentieth century and the police strikes of 1919.

Keywords:   Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, strikes, police unions, federations, policing, wages, unionism, police constables

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