Cultures and Crimes: Policing in Four Nations by Norman & ERDOS, George DENNIS

By Norman & ERDOS, George DENNIS

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One of the men has, say, sworn in the presence of a woman or a child. The state might regard this as a legitimate part of the rough and ready machinery of local social control. But here, too, the state can withdraw its implicit delegation, perhaps because cultural changes on various grounds of perceived fact and value have led to an obliteration of the distinction between private force used to uphold community standards, and private force used for selfish and anti-social purposes. But when these informal controls are banned, the risks attendant upon attempts even to admonish what a person regards as the bad behaviour of others in public—swearing, littering, spitting, insulting, speeding, making a row—become excessive.

21 Reviewing its history from 1868 to 1968, the British Trade Union Congress (TUC) included among its first illustrations a drawing by the nineteenth-century cartoonist George Cruikshank, whose work appeared in such critical journals as the Scourge and the Satirist. Cruikshank’s ‘British Beehive’, dated 1867, was the symbol of the Beehive, a labour journal. It showed the ‘British Beehive’ with the army, the navy and volunteers at its base, supporting the rest of society, not at the apex dominating it.

14 The worst and most famous massacre to occur in England in modern times followed a peaceful and well-organised demonstration held on St Peter’s Fields, Manchester, in August 1819. Eleven people were killed and hundreds injured by the swords of the mounted volunteers of the Manchester Yeomanry. This massacre, the Battle of Peterloo, provoked an immediate revulsion of feeling throughout England. There were numerous meetings in many parts of the country, strongly supported not only by the working-class, but by middle-class and aristocratic protesters.

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