Piracy and Plymouth

Dr Dave Cox, Reader in Criminal Justice History, and member of the Law Research Centre, swapped his computer for a cutlass when he took part in an ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Festival of Social Science event held in Plymouth city centre on Saturday 12 November.  

Dr Dave Cox dresses as a pirate as part of social science festival

The week-long Festival consisted of over 270 free events throughout the country, and was designed to engage the general public in Social Sciences and associated academic disciplines.  As part of the festival, a family-friendly event entitled Piracy and Plymouth, privateering, profiting and policing was brilliantly co-organised by Professor Kim Stevenson and Associate Professor Jason Lowther (both of Plymouth University Law School). The event was a tremendous success, attracting around 150 visitors, each of whom could take part in a pirate treasure hunt, experience a completely convincing 3D virtual reality interactive pirate ship (thanks to technical whizz Rob Giles), enter a colouring competition, and talk to the numerous academic staff (all of whom dressed as pirates) about their respective poster presentations, which dealt with all aspects of piracy, both ancient and modern. 

Dr Cox (who assumed the alias Long John C for the event), presented two posters entitled The Bow Street Runners and the Revenue Men – how the government tackled smuggling in the early nineteenth century and The Bow Street Runners and the plundering of wrecks – land-based piracy?, has close associations with Plymouth University, having previously been a Research Fellow there and he is also currently a member of the research team on a project entitled Everyday Offending in Plymouth: Managing Everyday Offending in the Three Towns 1850-1920.