Cleaning up the Dirty Squad: using the Obscene Publications Act as a weapon of social control

Bleakley, Paul ORCID logoORCID: (2019) Cleaning up the Dirty Squad: using the Obscene Publications Act as a weapon of social control. State Crime Journal, 8 (1) . pp. 19-38. ISSN 2046-6056 [Article] (doi:10.13169/statecrime.8.1.0019)

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Formed as a result of the introduction of the Obscene Publications Act 1959, the Obscene Publications Squad–known colloquially as the “Dirty Squad”–controlled a web of corruption and managed the proliferation of pornography in the Central London district of Soho. Although its reputation for corruption was the primary reason for the vice unit’s notoriety, their role in applying social control also had a profound impact on London society during the 1960s and 1970s. During this period, the Dirty Squad mounted a campaign against the underground press and their influence on the counterculture. It is suggested that these investigations were designed to provide a cover for the vice squad’s inaction against pornographers; by focusing attention on more radical elements of the city’s counterculture, the Dirty Squad gave the impression that they were taking action whilst simultaneously allowing their corrupt partners in the …

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 27882
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Depositing User: Paul Bleakley
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 14:58
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2019 14:58

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