Witness Seminar 1: Post-PACE: Police and Policing in the South West

  • Co-Ordinator: Professor Kim Stevenson
  • Chair: Professor Judith Rowbotham
  • Consultant: Michael Kandiah, Kings College London


to collect details of the experiences, anecdotes and memories of former serving police officers and legal professionals to provide insights into the impact and effect of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 on local policing, police-community relations and policing practices in the south west.


As part of a research project led by the University of Plymouth into Everyday Offending in Plymouth, past and present this witness seminar comprised two separate panels:

  • Morning Panel: The Influence of PACE on Policing Practices and Institutional Culture
  • Afternoon Panel: PACE and the Shape of Community Interactions with the Police

Panel Witnesses included:

  • Chief Inspector Brendan Brookshaw (serving officer Devon and Cornwall Police)
  • Chief Inspector Melanie Simmonds (serving officer Devon and Cornwall Police)
  • Judge William Taylor (retired Circuit Judge, Plymouth Crown Court)
  • Stephen Pearce (retired Deputy Chief Constable, Devon and Cornwall Police)
  • Tom Savery (retired practising solicitor in criminal law)

Additional Contextual Material

Dr Iain Channing produced a Post-PACE Timeline listing the respective Chief Constables of Devon and Cornwall 1982-2016 and tracking developments in national policing policy with significant events in Devon and Cornwall from 1972 to 2016 which was distributed during the seminar.

Subsequently, Professor Judith Rowbotham presented a paper at the Institute of Historical Research October 2018 Policing the Police: Origins and Local Dimensions to PACE, c1964-1994 drawing on material from the witness seminar and also from the 50 Years 50 Voices project also available in the Contemporary Oral History Archive.

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