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“The Police were not to blame for not capturing Jack the Ripper.” Use the sources and your own knowledge to explain whether you agree with this view.

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Introduction

"The Police were not to blame for not capturing Jack the Ripper." Use the sources and your own knowledge to explain whether you agree with this view. At the time of the Jack the Ripper murders, the police forces of London were segregated, inefficient and traditional. This lead to the Police force's mishandling of the Jack the Ripper case and in this respect, they were responsible for not capturing Jack. However it is also possible to say, that due to a lack of technology and funding as well the harsh conditions in Whitechapel at the time, the Police were facing a case that they could not crack. In some ways the police force were not to blame for not capturing Jack the Ripper because of the harsh conditions that they had to work in. A local newspaper at the time describes the streets of Whitechapel as "containing some headquarters of infamy" and "The sights and sounds are an apocalypse of evil" (source E). This gives a very negative portrayal of the streets of Whitechapel and leads us to feel sympathetic towards the Police because they had to work in these conditions. The conditions described would also affect a policeman's efficiency and make him less alert. The conditions can also explain why Jack could get away so easily. ...read more.

Middle

These failed to work. This lack of resources and technology was mainly caused by the low wages of police officers and the lack of funding from the government. The very fact that Jack was the very first savage, opportunist serial killer also posed a problem for the police as they had never come across a person with that sort of mind-frame before and had no experience in dealing with the type of investigation that they came across. Therefore they found it hard to find out who was able to commit such a crime. Journalists also ruined the Police investigation and muddled an already hard case. Evidence leaked out about the Jack the Ripper murders and was published in the newspapers. This is shown by the fact that sources A, E and H (from newspapers) have information on the murders, which was released to the public, " This spoilt the police investigation as any member of the public could commit a copycat murder and confuse the police by leading them to a fake Jack the Ripper. This leads us to the question whether all five murders were committed by the same person, or was each murder a copy of the previous. This publicising of material confused the police investigation and made it very hard to solve because a lot of the evidence obtained became contradictory. ...read more.

Conclusion

Turning a blind eye to witnesses may be the main reason why they never captured Jack the Ripper. Although the media played a partial role in provoking copycat murders, so did the police. This is evident by the fact that the newspaper could gain access to such information as how brutal the murders were, "...a demented being...extraordinary violence..." This means that the police must have released some of the information, which could provoke copycat murders and confuse clues. The police published information such as the letter from the Ripper containing the words, "Next time I shall cut of her left ear." By publishing these vital clues the police were effectively shooting themselves in the foot. In conclusion I believe that it was not the fault of the police for not capturing Jack the Ripper. This is because of the harsh conditions the police had to work in, the lack of technology and funding, the fact that Jack was the first serial killer and journalists also ruined the investigation. On the other hand there is other evidence to suggest that the police were to blame for not capturing Jack. This includes the fact there was unnecessary rivalry between police forces around London, the narrow line of investigation that the police used, the misuse using eyewitnesses and the fact that the police published evidence that could provoke copycat killings. ...read more.

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