Dr Iain Channing

Dr Iain Channing

Lecturer in Criminology

School of Law, Criminology and Government (Faculty of Arts and Humanities)


Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies


PhD Law, 'Blackshirts and White Wigs: Reflections on Public Order Law and the Political Activism of the British Union of Fascists' (2014) Plymouth University.

MRes History, 'Poverty and the poor law in Plymouth, 1900-1930: Guardians of the poor or guardians of the ratepayers?' (2009) Plymouth University. 

Professional membership

Secretary of British Society of Criminology (South West Branch)
Membership Secretary of SOLON: Promoting Interdisciplinary Studies in Law, Crime and History

Teaching interests

Module leader:
CCJS 3164 History of Crime and Punishment
CCJS 1110 Introduction to the Criminal Justice Process in England and Wales (stage 1) with Dr Sharon Beckett
CCJS 1113 Criminal Investigations and the Criminal Process (stage 1)

Also teaches on: 

CCJS 3137 Criminology/Police and Criminal Justice Studies Dissertation (stage 3)
CCJS 2121 Policing and Community Safety (stage 2)
CCJS 1109 Crime in Context (stage 1)

Research interests

My principal research interest is the history of crime and policing in Britain from the nineteenth century to the present day. More specifically, this incorporates aspects of public order law in its historical and contemporary form and its continuous relationship with public protest and political activism. Of particular interest are the varied uses of police discretion which have had both positive and negative outcomes in public order scenarios. This decision making process is important as it effects the way activists (and society more generally) regard and relate to the police and how the media represent them. 

My PhD thesis reflects these interests as it was an interdisciplinary research project which combined Criminology, Law and History in an examination of the legal responses to the political extremism of the British Union of Fascists in the interwar period. My monograph, The Police and the Expansion of Public Order Law in Britain, 1829-2013, expands on these themes by placing legal developments within their social and political historical context which also included an examination of the activism and policing of the Chartists, the Salvation Army, the Suffragettes, the Communist Party of Great Britain and the English Defence League.


Stevenson, K., Cox, D. and Channing, I. (eds) (2017) Leading the Police: A history of Chief Constables 1835-2017, Routledge.

Channing, I. (2015) The Police and the Expansion of Public Order Law in Britain, 1829-2012, Routledge .


Channing, I. (2018) 'Policing Extreme Political Protest: A Historical Evaluation of Police of Prejudice', Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, Advance access.

Channing, I. and Ward, J. (2017) 'Homophobia, Brexit and Constitutional Change', Safer Communities, 16: 4, 166-175.

Channing, I. (2011) ‘Freedom of Expression from the Age of Extremes to the Age of Terror: Reflections on Public Order Law and the Legal Responses to Political and Religious Extremism in 1930s Britain and the Post 9/11 Era’, Law, Crime and History, vol.1 issue 2.  Available Online

Book Chapters

Channing, I. (2017) 'Chief Constables and Public Order: Tensions between discretion and consistency' in Stevenson, Cox and Channing (eds) Leading the Police: A History of Chief Constables 1835-2017, Routledge.

Conference Papers

'Policing political activism since the nineteenth century: Historical research and contemporary perspectives' Presented at the British Society of Criminology Conference, 4-7 July at Sheffield Hallam University.

Round Table: 'Rediscovering the narratives of everyday crime' presented with Judith Rowbotham, Daniel Grey, David Cox, Craig Newbery-Jones, Rob Giles and Kim Stevenson at Lives, Trials and Executions: Perspectives on Crime 1700-1900, 24 May 2017, at Liverpool John Moores University. 

'Homophobia, Constitutional change and the (expected) Bill of Rights' (With Jonathan Ward) Presented at Brexit Criminology: Crime, Justice and Society, 5 April 2017 at Plymouth University. 

'Quis Custodiet? Police discipline in the Three Towns' Presented at A Time of Judgement: The operation and representation of judgement in nineteenth-century cultures, 23-24 June 2016 at Plymouth University. 

'Crimes Against Fashion: A brief history of the prohibition of political uniforms' presented at the British Society of Criminology Conference, 1-3 July 2015 at Plymouth University

‘“I’m going on a march, cos I want Britain to be about British!” A comparison of Legal Responses to the Public Processions of the British Union of Fascists and the English Defence League’ presented at Modern Activism, SOLON and Centre for Contemporary British History, 27-30 June 2012 at Liverpool.

‘Human Rights from the Age of Extremes to the Age of Terror’ presented at From School Exclusion Orders to Anti Terror Laws: Human Rights and the Use of Law in the Modern State, SOLON, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the Human Rights Consortium, 22 October 2010.  

‘Sacrificing Liberty: The Legal and Political response to British Fascism’ presented at Plymouth Postgraduate Symposium on 19 May 2010.

Other Academic Contributions

Iain Channing is a contributor to the legal encyclopedia Westlaw UK Insight

Reports & invited lectures

Invited to facilitate a one day 'Public Order' workshop with East Midlands Operational Support Services. 12 November 2015.