What I’m Reading/Have Read

This page will contain links to books and academic journals that I have read. I will try and provide reviews where I can.

The Ideology of the Madding Crowd

This short article in Occupied Times provides an insight into academic theories of the crowd and contrasts them with the political theories espoused for the cause of the riots. It concludes that is is impossible to explain the disorder without relating the social context and the interaction between the players, including the police.

The Rules of Engagement; A Review of the August 2011Disorders

This report from HMIC looks at the police response to the August Disorder and recommends changes to ensure a more rapid and directed response in the future. These changes are in the pipeline and I recently attended an NPIA briefing about them. I will blog about the use of force section in the near future. The report is available on the HMIC website.

Civil Unrest Rioting in our Cities

This is part of the Guardian Shirts serious available from Amazon. It gives journalistic accounts of civil disorder from riots in Notting Hill, through riots in Watts, Detroit, Brixton and L.A. to the August disorders.

I was somewhat disappointed that there was a tendency to frame Civil Disorder in terms of racial conflict by only including riots that were very much black v white, ignoring unrest such as the Poll Tax riots.

From John Smeaton to #hurricanebawbag

This blog by Carolyne Mitchell (@Cal444) summarises her MSc dissertation, available here, it includes a link to the full dissertation. It is well written and provides an excellent examination of the journey taken by Category 1 (Emergency) Responders in using Social Media and maps the journey still to be travelled. Well worth a read.

The Bonds have been Broken …. The August 2011 Riots

This is a special issue of Criminal Justice Matters where numerous subject experts examine the causes and reaction to the English disorder in 2011. It is available through Taylor and Francis or from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. I am currently reading the articles in this journal. If you wish to read it and don’t have access to academic journals I recommend joining the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies which gives very reasonable access to this and other journals.

Urban Disorder and Gangs

This short article examines the Gang Narrative that developed following the disorder in England in August 2011 and questions the value of importing gang reduction tactics from the US. It is explicitly left-wing in its perspective.

The article can be downloaded here

The Utility of Force

General Sir Rupert Smith shares his thoughts on the use of force and shifting military/political paradigms since Napoleon. It is available here. I would go as far as to suggest that the conclusion of this book should be required reading for all police commanders in a public order environment.


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