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Describe law and order in the late 19th century.

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Whitechapel coursework Describe law and order in the late 19th century. The idea of the police force was invented in the nineteenth century. In 1800 there were two police forces in Britain. The first one is the bow street runners, which had been invented in 1749, the other was the Thames River police, which was just two years old. Then the Metropolitan Police force was set up in 1829. This still exists today. This police force was created to carry out the functions of both the watchmen and the special constables. They were to patrol the streets in order to keep order and deter crime. They were also used to tackle major disturbances such as riots. They were used to stop disorderly behaviour. They had to deal with drunkenness, beggars, vagrants and prostitutes. They were 'not meant to solve crime'; there concentration was to prevent crime. Detective work was in its infancy and there were few officers on the 'beat' in London. Before 1829 watchmen and parish constables patrolled the streets of many British towns and cities. They were probably quite effective, because they new the local area and local troublemakers, but little is known about them. These officers could not deal with riots. ...read more.


Every paper reported different stories and they often exaggerated the murders a lot. Newspapers reported the horrific nature of the wounds in extremely gory detail. Also hoax letters were sent into the newspapers claiming to be 'Jack The Ripper' and this aloud the story to run and run. The only letter, which, still today, is accepted to be the writing of the real Ripper, is called the 'Boss Letter' and many people think it's true because in the letter the Ripper said he would chop of the victim's liver and eat it. Then one of the newspapers received a parcel containing half of a liver with a note in saying 'I ate half of the liver, it was very nice.' I think that the most important reason why the Whitechapel murders attracted so much attention in 1888 was the media. They were a new age in Journalism, newspapers were competing for the most readers by using the best stories, but sometimes this was not true. They needed to write and print the most sensational stories. It was through the media that so many people heard about the murders in the first place, and the papers played on the fear that people had by reporting to the best of their ability all the gory details to try to sell the most papers, this made people panic. ...read more.


This meant that the detectives had very little experience with killers, and with the fact that there was no fingerprinting of forensic evidence this meant that there was very little that the detectives could do, they had many limitations. It was the lack that all the murders look place of weekends did not make the police look for any other than locals. Police did not work together; there was a battle against the police forces because they both wanted the glory of catch 'Jack The Ripper'. It would have been very dark, they would not have had a watch so they would have had to guess the time. They would not have been able to be exact, the time was only able to be told by the hourly chiming of the big clock, and this would have made the time that they could give the police only rough estimates. The police had no idea of how to track a serial killer, it had never been done before, and they had no idea of where to start and what was the best way of tracking him. Also Homelessness was a major problem at the time, so street was packed with prostitutes, immigrants and unemployed people, all looking for some way to gain money. Words: 1,225 ...read more.

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