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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: Fraternizing

The Police and the Public: Fraternizing

(p.197) 7 The Police and the Public: Fraternizing
Invisible Men
Liverpool University Press

In the early twentienth century, police constables in Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool interacted with many levels of society. These interactions could be antagonistic and violent, but outside of traffic infractions, encounters were prosaic and civil. Policemen mostly came in contact with the working class, who, by virtue of living in crowded cities, were more susceptible to theft and violence. It thus made practical sense to become friendly with local constables, not only to solicit their help but also to persuade them to look the other way. Constables used their status to help civilians in a variety of ways, whether through small courtesies or charities. The most basic encounters between constables and the public came in the form of conversations, which included gossiping and fraternising.

Keywords:   Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, police constables, civilians, public, gossiping, fraternising, working class, policemen

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