This third volume in the series continues the stories of policing in the 1960s and 1970s. There is humour and nostalgia. This is the period when British policing began to experience major change. As a social history and an account of historic policing, this is a book not to miss.
NAME: What’s Tha Up To This Time, More Memories of a Sheffield Bobby
AUTHOR: Martyn Johnson
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Policing, Bobbies, Bobby, Sheffield, Northern England, 1960s, 1970s, community policing, beat patrol, truncheon
DESCRIPTION: This third volume in the series continues the stories of policing in the 1960s and 1970s. There is humour and nostalgia. This is the period when British policing began to experience major change. As a social history and an account of historic policing, this is a book not to miss.
The British policing system had changed remarkably little since the first formal police forces were set up in the early Victorian period. The Beat Bobby, immortalized in the Dixon of Dock Green television series, was assigned a beat or area to police. He was on foot and frequently on his own. He could summon assistance by blowing his police whistle and all those neighbouring beat bobbies who heard him ran to the sound of the whistle. Criminals rarely carried guns and the Bobbie was armed only with his truncheon, his common sense, and his whits. Police officers came from the same areas and sections of society that the criminals came from, the local population had great respect for ‘their’ Bobbie, and information was supplied by the local community.
This began to change rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s. The Police Phone Box began to vanish, replaced by the personal radio-telephone and the panda car. To fund the new technologies, the beat bobbies were gradually withdrawn from the streets and replaced by police in cars, controlled by radio from the local headquarters. Information was progressively lost as the policemen were isolated from the people they served. That process has continued and the police are frequently regarded as the enemy rather than the friend, violence has escalated and the gun is now not only the common tool of criminals, but also of the police.
The author has authentically captured the realities of 60s and 70s policing in Britain. This makes a fascinating and endearing book, full of character and nostalgia.