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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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The Police and the Public: Animosity

The Police and the Public: Animosity

Chapter:
(p.167) 6 The Police and the Public: Animosity
Source:
Invisible Men
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846316104.007

In the early twentienth century, animosity existed between policemen and the public in Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool. Much of this animosity was reflected in ‘incivility’, when both sides hurled insults against each other, and even escalated into physical conflicts. Disputes typically arose due to differences in perceptions of appropriate behaviour. Police constables exercised discretion in law enforcement, while civilians often believed that they were overreacting when dealing with minor offences. Both sides usually claimed that their actions had been entirely justified in the circumstances. In the final analysis, however, policemen were expected to prevent conflicts, rather than take part in them.

Keywords:   Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, animosity, policemen, public, police constables, law enforcement, civilians

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