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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

5. Study all the sources '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. In the summer of 1888 there were several attacks on women in Whitechapel. Many were murdered with exceptional brutality, but nobody was ever brought to justice. The police force had to deal with major disturbances and already with a reputation for heavy handiness and violence, they found themselves under a lot of pressure to catch Jack the Ripper. The Ripper undoubtedly benefitted from the weaknesses of the police's search, however, there were many other more important factors for why the Ripper was never caught. The first key argument, which shows that the police were not to blame for capturing Jack the Ripper is that it was the Ripper's own cunning that made him evade capture. Source B states that 'no unskilled person could have known where to find the organs', which suggests that the Ripper was a skilful murderer, perhaps even an experienced one. ...read more.

Middle

This indicates that the police were not necessarily to blame for failing to apprehend the Ripper because the little evidence that they had was unreliable. This is supported in Source B as it states that 'no mere slaughterer of animals could have carried out these operations' showing that the police were led under the impression that the Ripper had medical knowledge. The early lines of inquiry therefore were taken up with investigating slaughterhouses and abattoirs. On the other hand, Source D also shows that the police were to blame for not catching Jack the Ripper as they did not use the evidence to the best of their ability. Source D is an eyewitness statement on the inquest to the death of Annie Chapman. Three eyewitness statements were taken during the inquiry into the death of Annie Chapman, with most being disregarded. This also shows that the police were to blame for not capturing the Ripper, as they did not give enough consideration to the evidence available to them. ...read more.

Conclusion

In fact, the reputation of the 'friendly bobby' was not shared in many working class districts of London and attacks on policemen were not unusual, thus the police's difficult relations with the residents of Whitechapel would inevitably complicate a manhunt in the area. Therefore it is fair to say that the police were not to blame for failing to capture Jack the Ripper, despite not being fully prepared to deal with such a complicated criminal investigation in Whitechapel. The police failed to find an adequate motive and not being able to work together with the local residents no doubt obstructed the progress of the investigation, but the Ripper was a skilful killer who worked quickly and left no useful evidence behind. Furthermore, eyewitness accounts were unreliable and limited. Under such circumstances any criminal investigation would be rendered difficult to conduct and taking into account the lack of scientific investigation tools available at the time, the police simply had too little to work with to produce any significant results. ?? ?? ?? ?? Seran Hakki 11/J2 Candidate number: 8078 ...read more.

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