Southampton’s Lucky Jim: A County Borough Copper in the 50s and 60s


A personal account of policing Southampton in the 1950’s and 1960’s

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Jim Brown joined Southampton County Borough Police in 1952 and served as a beat officer, police motor-cyclist, detective, and one of the first scenes of crime officers. This is a story about crime fighting in a bygone age. He has given an accurate factual account, warts and all, of how Southampton was policed in the 1950/60s. The behaviour of officers in this period, both supervising and subordinate, reflected the age. It was a different post-war world with vastly differing standards. Modern officers do not behave in this way; they are governed by different criteria and Jim’s account makes this clear. The reader will appreciate the strengths of the old fashioned policing methods, as well as the weaknesses, and be surprised at the vast differences. Eg. Serving officers will be staggered by the absence of technology. Zero tolerance was the norm and the protection of the law-abiding public the overriding concern of every officer, but their behaviour when carrying this out would often be completely unacceptable today.