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"The Coffee Club Menace": Policing Youth, Leisure and Sexuality in Post-war Manchester

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-308
Number of pages20
JournalCultural and Social History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008


This article examines the strategies and tactics of surveillance that were used by Manchester City Police in relation to anxieties about gender, sexuality, juvenile delinquency and drugs misuse in post-war England. In the early 1960s the members-only 'coffee beat club' became a target of police activity, resulting in a series of raids, minor prosecutions and the intensification of the licensing laws. Commenting on the relationship between police culture and youth culture, including the leisure practices of adolescent girls, this article argues that the targeting of the 'coffee beat club' became a motif for the defence of an older imagined social order.

    Research areas

  • police , sexuality , youth , manchester, clubs

ID: 109970