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Members and visiting fellows of the centre have published widely on the history of crime, policing and justice.  


Books published by current and former members of the Centre include:

Rosalind Crone, Illiterate Inmates: Educating Criminals in Nineteenth-Century England (Oxford University Press, 2022)

Caroline Derry, Lesbianism and the Criminal Law: Three Centuries of Regulation in England and Wales (Palgrave, 2020)

Rosalind Crone, with Lesley Hoskins and Rebecca Preston, Guide to the Criminal Prisons of Nineteenth-Century England (London Publishing Partnership, 2018)

Clive Emsley, Exporting British Policing During the Second World War (Bloomsbury, 2017)

Chris A. Williams, Police Control Systems in Britain, 1775-1975: From Parish Constable to National Computer (Manchester University Press, 2014)

Clive Emsley, Soldier, Sailor, Beggarman, Thief: Crime and the British Armed Services since 1914 (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Rosalind Crone, Violent Victorians: Popular Entertainment in Nineteenth-Century England (Manchester University Press, 2012)

John Carter Wood, The Most Remarkable Woman in England: Poison, Celebrity and the Trials of Beatrice Pace (Manchester University Press, 2012)

Georgina Sinclair, At the End of the Line: Colonial Policing and the Imperial Endgame, 1945-1980 (Manchester University Press, 2010)

Barry Godfrey, Paul Lawrence and Chris A. Williams, History and Crime (Sage, 2007)

Clive Emlsey, Hard Men: Violence in England Since 1750 (Hambledon Continuum, 2005)

Barry Godfrey and Paul Lawrence, Crime and Justice, 1750-1950 (Willan, 2005)


Edited Collections

Members of the Centre have been involved in the production of several, multi-volume collections on the history of policing.

Paul Lawrence served as general editor for ​The Making of the Modern Police, 1780-1914, a six-volume collection of primary sources (with notes and commentaries) published by Pickering & Chatto in 2014. Volumes included: Reforming the Police, edited by Robert M. Morris; Policing the Poor, edited by Paul Lawrence; Policing Entertainment, edited by Rosalind Crone; and Policing Public Order and Politics, edited by Janet Clark.

Clive Emsley served as general editor for The History of Policing, a four volume collection each of which contains essays from leading criminal justice historians. Published by Ashgate in 2011, volumes included: Theories and Origins of the Modern Police, edited by Clive Emsley; The New Police in the Nineteenth Century, edited by Paul Lawrence; Police and Policing in the Twentieth Century, edited by Chris A. Williams; and Globalising British Policing, edited by Georgina Sinclair.

Other edited collections include:

Chris A. Williams, ed. Giving the Past a Future: Preserving the Heritage of the UK's Criminal Justice System (Francis Bootle, 2004)


Other Recent Publications

Paul Lawrence, 'Historical Criminology and the Explanatory Power of the Past', Criminology and Criminal Justice, 19 (4) (2019), pp. 493-511.

Rosalind Crone, 'Educating the labouring poor in nineteenth-century Suffolk', Social History, 43 (2) (2018), pp. 161-185.

Paul Lawrence, 'The Vagrancy Act (1824) and the Persistence of Pre-emptive Policing in England since 1750', British Journal of Criminology, 57 (3) (2017), pp. 513-531.


For lists of further publications produced by current and former individual members of the centre, including books, articles and chapters, use the following links to access profiles on Open Research Online:


Policeman photo

Contact us

Please direct enquiries about the Centre, including its facilities and access to its resources, to Dr Chris A. Williams:

Department of History
Faculty of Arts
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

Telephone: +44 (0)1908 652477
Fax: +44 (0)1908 653750