I promised an update about how my conferences went, so here it is! The British Society of Criminology Conference (BSC),
Northumbria University, was a really enjoyable event, not least because there were many interesting policing panels included in the conference programme, as well as the first meeting of the newly established BSC Policing Network. The conference began with Professor Robert Reiner being presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award with many deservedly kind words being said about him. One such comment was that he knows a good thing when he sees it, which filled me with trepidation about what he might say as one of the ‘critics’ of my book. I need not have worried …well, not too much! He and the two other ‘critics’ in my ‘author meets critics panel – Professor David Dixon and Dr Megan O’Neill - were thoughtful and considered, yet probing in their comments. Newcastle
In sum, the book was described as making “a significant contribution to the field”, particularly in terms of its insightfulness in the comparisons drawn between police custody and prisons. It was also described as “theoretically sophisticated” and that the drawing together of theories about governance and legitimacy were beneficial. However, my ‘critics’ would have liked a more sociological than socio-legal account, with more time being also being devoted to explaining my research methods, as well as to researching the police investigation. The comments of the reviewers should hopefully appear in book reviews in the not to distant future, including in Criminology and Criminal Justice.
After the BSC, I dashed straight off to a stop and search workshop organised by Professor Ben Bowling (KCL) and Dr Leanne Weber (
). This was a truly wonderful and intellectually stimulating event which reminded me of why I am an academic. Speakers from around the world – from Canada, the USA, Japan, The Netherlands, India, South Africa and Australia to name a few - were invited to speak about stop and search practices, linking these micro-level practices to macro-level global trends such as populist punitiveness and the criminalisation of immigrants. The organisers created a truly collegiate and collaborative atmosphere, which prompted a terrific amount of thought-provoking discussion. Look out for the papers from this workshop in a special issue of Policing and Society, which is due out in a few months time. Monash University