Policing the Factory: Theft, Private Policing and the Law in Modern England

Front Cover
A&C Black, Feb 28, 2013 - History - 208 pages
0 Reviews
Policing the Factory describes the operation of the Bank of England police, the Post Office police, and various other private policing agencies, employed to track down and prosecute workplace offenders. The authors focus in particular on the Worsted Committee and their Inspectors, who, between 1777 and 1968, prosecuted thousands of workers in the north of England for taking home workplace scraps, or wasting their employer's time. Most of the workers prosecuted spent a month in prison upon conviction, and many more were dismissed from employment without any formal legal action taking place.

This book explores how, and under what legislative basis, the criminal law could be brought into private spaces in this period and goes on suggest that the activities of the Inspectorate inhibited the development of public policing in Yorkshire. The book presents case studies, newspaper comment, memoirs, and statistics based on detailed archival analysis of court records, to create a richly textured story which will inform and challenge contemporary debates on policing and police history.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Customary Rights and Workplace Theft
Motivation and Method
Methods by which Employers Attempted to Combat Workplace Appropriation
Chapter 5 Private Policing in the Industrial Age
Chapter 6 Policing without the Inspectorate? The Changing Role of the Worsted Committee 18531968
Chapter 7 Sentencing and Punishment in Worstedopolis
Chapter 8 Changing Notions of Customary Right Morality and Control in the Factory System
Chapter 9 Conclusion
Glossary of Technical Terms

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2013)

Barry Godfrey is Professor of Social Justice at the University of Liverpool, UK.

David J. Cox is Research Fellow at Keele University, UK.

Bibliographic information