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jack the ripper coursework - question 4

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Introduction

Study sources F & G Use sources F and G, and your own knowledge to explain how the police tried to catch Jack the Ripper Source F is a police notice, which was issued, soon after the murders of Elizabeth Stride and Kate Eddowes. It was sent out to bring about awareness of the ripper and to retrieve evidence from the public. Eighty thousand copies were distributed to 80,000 houses. This informs us that the police were making a great deal of effort in order to catch the villain. Unfortunately, they made the mistake of only providing these "TO THE OCCUPIER" when in fact a high percentage of the inhabitants of Whitechapel were homeless and the majority of Whitechapel were illiterate; therefore wouldn't be able to assist the police in the capture of the ripper. ...read more.

Middle

The notice then goes on to inquire, " Should you know of any person to whom suspicion is attached..." This was a very misleading inquisition because there were so many possibilities of potential killers; this led the public to panic and make false accusations, which the police force took very seriously. This was also linked to the media's part played in the investigation. The local newspaper would hear about the latest accusations made and publicize it, this lead the police into thinking they had no choice but to arrest the person; in other words, the police were forced into making arrests. Source G is part of a letter from the home secretary to the head of the police force issued on 17th September 1888. ...read more.

Conclusion

This implicates that rewards have been available in the past but due to false information given by those desperate for money, they were stopped. This is a massive limitation to the police force because the public refused to help, even if they did have valuable information that could of potentially solved the case. From this source I can infer that the police were struggling to receive evidence, and due to their lack of technology and equipment, could only hope that a reward system would give them a lead. The main limitation with this was that the public despised the police force due to their awful reputation in society. The police often disobeyed their given instructions as to the use of truncheons and behaved intemperately. It was a general belief that they were not acting impartially and were seen as favouring the middle and upper classes. ...read more.

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