This 2-year project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, examined the relationship between police officers and the diverse urban and rural communities they have served in Scotland from 1900 until around 1971, assessing to what extent they were shaped by consent and co-operation as well as points of tension or conflict.
An interdisciplinary collaboration between the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and the School of Law (both at the University of Edinburgh), the project involved archival research on historical source materials and interviews with former serving officers. It focused specifically on areas in the west and north of Scotland covered most recently by Strathclyde Police and Northern Constabulary.
The researchers hope to produce a social history of policing in twentieth-century Scotland, about which surprisingly little has been published to date. It is hoped that this will enable better understandings of the dynamics shaping police-community relations today.
The team consists of historian Dr Louise Jackson and criminologist Professor Richard Sparks, who were joined by research fellows, Dr Neil Davidson, Dr Linda Fleming and Dr Davie Smale. The project started in July 2012.