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How had Policing and Crime Changed by the Middle of the 19th Century?

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How had Policing and Crime Changed by the Middle of the 19th Century? Policing and Crime had changed dramatically by the middle of the 19th century. Policing in the earlier years was a very different matter. During the 1700s old methods of policing continued, they had been in place for centuries. Constables and Watchmen were appointed in villages and towns. These were very ineffective. There was very few men who could do the job and the ones that did were always very tired because they had full time jobs as well. Constables didn't have success in cities. Places like London were always crowded with house and back alleys where criminals could hide. At the beginning of the 19th century new methods of policing began to be tried out. ...read more.


The big breakthrough came in 1822 when Sir Robert Peel was appointed Home Secretary. Peel believed that police were needed straight away and he set up day patrols in London. In 1829, Robert Peel set up the Metropolitan Police. At the start there was 3200 men who policed a seven-mile circle around the centre of London. After 1829 the police force grew. In 1835 a new law was set up that said towns could start their own police force. In 1839 a law was set up to say that counties were able to have their own police force, the Bow Street Runners and other London police forces were joined with the Metropolitan Police. In 1842 the Metropolitan Police set up its first detective department and by 1856 it was compulsory for all towns and counties to have a police force. ...read more.


There are many reasons for the rise in crime in the early 1800s. Population played a big factor, as the population increases so did crime rates, this is because there are more people to steal from. Poverty also played a part. People returning from the army had no skills and no money so some resorted to crime. Some people were just so poor that there was no other way. Crime also increased because of public interest. During the 19th century many newspapers were devoted crime and showed in graphic detail crimes being committed. People saw crimes in these newspapers and copied what they saw. I think that policing had become successful by the middle of the 19th century. The police force had faced much opposition but was finally introduced full time in 1829 and although crime rates rose until 1840, after that they declined. ...read more.

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