The People's Force: A History of the Victoria Police
The Victoria Police Force has traditionally been composed of ordinary people—mostly men drawn from the working classes—and has been shaped by those people who make up the mosaic of interest groups that is the Victorian community. Because the work spans such a long period it, like the history of the force itself, is interwoven with elements of general Victorian social and political history: the maritime strike, the Clunes riot, Berry's Black Wednesday, General Blamey's confrontation with the Labor Party, and the protest activities directed against conscription and the Vietnam war. Other specific events discussed with reference to their influence on police development include the gold rushes, the Kelly outbreak, the police strike, the coming of the motor car, and both world wars. As well as appealing to serving and retired policemen, and researchers, the book has an immediate impact on ordinary readers who simply want to know more about the police force throughout the history of Victoria. It does expose vested interests, failure and cover-ups. Over and over again the Victoria Police Force is shown as being moulded, for good or for ill, by its political masters, its own members, and the general public—or sections of it. Some members of the police force may think at first that their history is too critical, but they—and everyone else—should soon realize that it is notably even-handed and unflinchingly honest.