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Law and Order in the first part of the nineteenth century

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Law and Order In the first part of the nineteenth century crime was one of the biggest social problems. Crime was made worse by widespread poverty, many people wanted proper law enforcement. May crimes were punishable by death, so the criminals adopted the phase "better to be hung for a sheep than a lamb". When Sir Robert Peel became Home Secretary in 1825, he made a properly organised police system his propriety. Up to now towns had only their caped night watchmen, with warning bells and rattles. Peel's major concern was preventing crime rather than punishing it. For this reason, in 1829 he established the first regular police force. Large towns such as London were often particularly lawless, and authorities often used troops to keep the peace, which was a much-hated practice. In 1829 Peel established a regular police force in London and the suburbs. At first there were 300 'Bobbies' recruited and controlled by the Home Office. Their presence soon forced many criminals of the capital. Finally in 1856 every county and borough had to maintain a police force. ...read more.


The Haymarket was the focal point of prostitution in London. There was said to be many French, German and Belgian street walkers, in addition to natives born ones. In the small streets leading of the Haymarket there were many "Houses of accommodation where prostitutes could rent rooms by the hour instead of returning to their seedy lodgings. Some of the girls lived with "bullies" or "fancy men" for convenience or protection. Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century there were many changes and developments in the police force. In 1842, the Metropolitan Police Force appointed the first ever detectives this consisted of two inspectors and six sergeants. There was a great deal of opposition at the time to the appointments of detectives. It was not until the 1860's that detective work began to be organised. In 1878 work began to be organised. In 1878 the Detective department was reorganised and the Criminal Intelligence Department (CID) was set up. In 1879 instructions for dealing with murder cases ordered investigating officers that the 'the body must not be moved, nor anything about it or in the room or place interfered with, and the public must be excluded'. ...read more.


In these happier times of peace the blue coats, the defenders of order are becoming the national favourites'. Meanwhile at the same time the Times wrote, 'Amid the bustle of Piccadilly or the roar of Oxford Streets, P.C.W 59 stalks along an institution rather than a man'. The reputation of the policeman as the 'friendly bobby' was not shared in many working class districts in London and other towns and cities. The Metropolitan Police frequently went on the beat in poorer areas armed with cutlasses, and attacks on policemen and even murders were not uncommon. Statistics show that the Metropolitan Police force in 1885 was made up of 13,319 men, while the population of London at the time was 5,225,069. Most surprisingly, however of the 13,319 men, only 1,383 officers were available for duty at any one time. In the 1880's police forces in Britain were very much in their infancy. Almost all of the methods of tackling and solving crimes that we now take for ranted were unknown. Police work was mostly concerned with the prevention of crime by officers on the beat. But even very regular patrols could not stop a determined criminal. ...read more.

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