• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe law and order in London in the late nineteenth century.

Extracts from this document...


Question 1. Describe law and order in London in the late nineteenth century. In the nineteenth century, London had many problems with crime; there was a major increase in murders and street crimes. By 1840, criminal offences had risen from 5000 to 20000 in just 40 years; this became increasingly difficult for the newly found Metropolitan Police Force, which was set up in 1829 by home secretary sir Robert Peel. Before the Metropolitan Police Force was set up, crime was often kept down by watchmen and parish constables, who patrolled the streets of the towns and cities, this was probably successful as they were locals and knew the area and people well. Police work had started to improve by the nineteenth century and that had brought the crime rate down, during this period, the roles of the police had started to transform as they were not just there to deter crime, but also there to solve crime. During the 19th century the police were not very liked as they had a very bad reputation for handling protests and riots. Punishment was also changed during this period, capital punishment was abolished for most crimes, but still stood there for murder and treason but other than that, other means of punishment were introduced. On the whole, the police force changed dramatically in the way crime was handled, punishment for criminally and the jobs of the police. The 'Metropolitan Police Force' when first formed was divided into 17 divisions, each division had a superintendent, 4 inspectors and 144 constables, they was to carry out the roles of the watchmen and constables, their duty was to guard the streets to prevent crime and tackle major disturbances. Each officer was to be of good health, between the ages of 18-35, at least 5"5 tall and had to be literate. It took the public some time to get used to the police force and their reputation went up and down. ...read more.


She suffered from a haemorrhage cause by severance of the artery. The ripper's fourth victim was Catherine Eddowes; she was also murdered on the same day as Elizabeth Stride. She was never married but had 3 children; she was 43 years of ages at death. When found, her face was totally mutilated. Her throat and neck was severed and was cut open from the neck to the groin. The last known victim of the ripper was Mary Jane Kelly; she was approximately 25 years old when she died. Little is known about her, only information given by people she knew. The surface of her abdomen and thighs were removed, many parts of her body were removed and placed next to her and face was totally mutilated. The natures of these murders were very gruesome and unpleasant. The murderer wasn't after sex, or after money, he just wanted to kill these women in the most gruesome way. This then lead to ideas that the serial murders were all a conspiracy to get rid of the prostitutes on the street. During these murders, the police received many letters claiming to be written by the serial murderer. The majority of the letters received were regarded as being fraudulent written by newspaper people to try start stories or people who was trying to provoke even more commotion. Most people believe that the letters sent were all a ruse to get the police frightened but others believe that a select few are genuinely from the murderer himself. On one occasion, the police force received a letter and also part of a kidney supposedly taken from one of the ripper's victims. The newspaper followed the activities of the ripper; this issue had a lot of press coverage and the results of the actions and inquiries taken by the police were also reported. People were now scared of leaving their house in occurrence that they may encounter the ripper, this was a result of the lies made up in the newspapers about the ripper. ...read more.


The police were only experienced in preventing crime and not solving crime, this meant that they did not know what to do and what not to do. When the police found out that there was a killer on the loose, more men were sent out to prevent them but then realised that they should try to solve the murders rather then trying to prevent them. During the hunt for the killer, the police forces made handbills to give to every house in Whitechapel, this made sure that everyone could try and help with the tracking of the murderer. The handbills did not help; this was because there was not any relevant information given to the people as to how the suspect he looked or a description etc. The people of Whitechapel had no idea of who they were supposed to be keeping an eye out for. Jack the ripper was never caught, this was because the police force were very amateur and in their infancy. The police force was just developing at the time of the murders. They did not have the scientific knowledge or methods they have today. The killer was very sly and smart. He left very little evidence at the crime scene with no leads for the police to follow up. The police wasted a lot of time chasing up hoax letters made up by the public and the local newspapers. They had very little help from doctors and witnesses as their evidence contradicted each other. The killer was very skilled and quiet; he was very smart in turning the two police forces against each other. Because the two police forces were in competition with each other, they kept things from one another and they did not help one another in the search. With the forensic sciences and modern technology there is today, the ripper would have had a better chance at getting caught. Whitechapel was just unlucky that this serial murderer was in the time period where the police forces were amateur and forensic sciences had not yet been discovered. Tien Chau Nguyen Jack the ripper coursework 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Describe Law And Order In London In The Late 19th Century.

    This type of violent crime usually took place in dark back alleys or very late at night when no one was around. The Metropolitan could not arrest anybody for this crime, unless the attackers were caught in the act. This is because the police in the late 19th century had not yet realised the importance of evidence.

  2. Punishment and Prisons. This essay shall describe the changes in the methods of punishment ...

    This initiative, (which seems like quite a good idea) was mentioned in Noel Smith`s autobiography; he wrote that this legislation actually made drugs 'more' of a problem in prisons. While cannabis, (a sort of 'currency' in prison) did become less used, heroin (arguably a much worse drug) became more popular.

  1. Describe law and order in London in the late 19th century

    These were the most common types of crime the police had to deal with: Crimes against the person - murder, manslaughter, garrotting and sexual crimes Crimes against the authority - treason, rebellion, protest and rioting Crimes against the property - theft and pick pocketing There were also many types of

  2. This paper attempts to analyse Bacceria's (1764) "On Crimes and Punishment" article. In order ...

    Beccaria's ideas served to "highlight the barbarity of the late-18th century criminal justice system (Hazlehurst 1996:17)". According to Vold et al (1998), Beccaria sought to change excessive and cruel punishments by applying the rationalist, social contract ideas to crime and criminal justice.

  1. The media and its approach to the sensitive issue of law and order has ...

    A recent study published in the journal Science notes that forensic evidence testing errors are the second leading cause of wrongful convictions, and that 63% of wrongful convictions can be attributed to such errors (Saks and Koehler 2005). According to this same study, 27% of wrongful convictions result from "false/misleading testimony by forensic scientists" (Saks & Koehler 2005, p.

  2. Compare and Contrast the intended Crimes, Victims and Villains in the short stories "A ...

    They are seduction, manslaughter and intended murder. The intended crimes in 'The Landlady' is uncertain and not spelt out in the story. The reader is forced to draw his own conclusions throughout the story from the information the writer gives.

  1. What institutional problems and social concerns were associated with the establishment and rise of ...

    London, and this is why the history of policing starts in London. London grew astronomically, (Maguire et al 2002), "It was the largest city in Europe, comprising both the cities of London and Westminster, and spreading out into the counties of Middlesex, Surrey and Kent.

  2. Tacking crimes involving in juvenile

    the system is a worthwhile means of addressing problems and they argue that a handful of violent juvenile who have committed serious offences should not lead the public to believe that the system does not provide ways changing behaviour. In fact to that the teenagers may feel stigmatised by a

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work