Police violence and judicial bias in the age of mass democracy: Glasgow, 1933–1935



Davies, AM ORCID: 0000-0002-7143-547X
(2019) Police violence and judicial bias in the age of mass democracy: Glasgow, 1933–1935. Social History, 44 (1). 57 - 85.

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Abstract

Using the example of an impoverished, so-called‘slum’dis-trict in Glasgow, this article argues that poorer, working-class people were subjected to aggressive and frequentlyviolent policing along with systematic hostility from thejudiciary and the press in Britain during the 1930s. InGlasgow, attempts to challenge police methods and policeofficers’courtroom testimonies met with a highly punitiveresponse from the city’s legal establishment. Despite enjoy-ing the rights of citizenship, working-class people found itdifficult tofind politicians to take up their complaints aboutpolice incivility and brutality, embodied in the conduct ofa police constable known locally as‘Hitler’. Those few poli-ticians willing to do so, whether in Glasgow Corporation orin the House of Commons, found themselves marginalizedas mainstream politicians of all parties refused to acceptthat the British police were capable of inflicting‘terror’oncivilians. Press sympathy extended only to those working-class women jailed for perjury and separated from theirchildren in the wake of trials of‘rioters’at Glasgow SheriffCourt. Human-interest coverage of the plight of theirfamilies gave working-class people a voice as victims ofmisfortune. They were not permitted to speak as victims ofmiscarriages of justice.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: police, community, judiciary, violence, press
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2019 09:05
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2022 07:10
DOI: 10.1080/03071022.2019.1545363
Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/03071022.2019.1545363
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3032277

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