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Jack the Ripper - Describe law and order in London in the late 19th century.

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Jack the Ripper: Coursework Assignment One: Describe law and order in London in the late 19th century. In this assignment I intend to describe the situation of law and order in the late 19th century and analyzing it under 4 sections: The establishment of the police, Public perceptions, Crime in London and the modernization of the force. The establishment of the police The British police force came about in the nineteenth century. In 1800 Britain had two Police forces, The Bow Street Runners and the Thames Valley Police. The main turning point for policing in Britain was the establishment of the Metropolitan Police by Sir Robert Peel in 1829. ...read more.


The view of the police as 'friendly bobbies' was not shared throughout many working class districts in London. Attacks and murder of the police whilst on the beat was not uncommon in the poorer areas. The British people had disliked seeing the red uniform of the army as the government used them to stifle popular demonstrations and keep order around the city. The Royal Navy's blue uniform was much more respected and so the Metropolitan Police was given a blue uniform. Crime in London In the nineteenth century the police were only there to stop disturbances and disorder. The main duties of the police were to deal with drunkenness, beggars, vagrants and prostitutes. ...read more.


These detectives wore plain clothes and there was much controversy over the fact they could not be identified as policemen. Also the Home Office was concerned that they would become too affable with criminals and become corrupt. In 1878 the Detective Department was reorganized and the CID (Criminal Intelligence Department) was set up. This led to substantial improvements. . Detective methods developed slowly after the discovery of the value of footprints in the early nineteenth century. The main detective method was to follow suspicious characters, this was basically what the police did. Forensic progress was made however when in 1884 John Toms was convicted of murder because the paper used in his pistol's wadding matched paper recovered from his victims head wound. Much more noteworthy was the implementation of fingerprinting in 1901. ...read more.

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