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

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Jack the Ripper Coursework Question 1 Describe law and order in London in the late nineteenth century In the late nineteenth century the methods of policing were still in their infancy. There was not the technology and experience of crime we have today. Because of the under developed methods there was a lot of petty theft, murder and robbery was common. Riots broke quite often; they usually ended up with injuries and distrust towards the police and army. Law and order up keeping was not organised well enough so it had little effect on the crime. There were too few police to arrest enough criminals. Prostitution was the most common was that poor woman made a living for them and their families in bad times. In the area of Whitechapel there were roughly 8000 prostitutes working in 1888. The east end was on of the poorest communities and London the richest square mile right next to poverty. The Metropolitan police force was set up to keep order and deter crime in London as well as tackle major disturbances, e.g. riots. They were set up to take over the function of the watchmen and constables. ...read more.


Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes were both murdered on the same night. Their bodies were found less than a quarter of a mile away from each other; and murdered in less than an hour. The body of Elizabeth Stride was not mutilated, so the Ripper obviously hadn't had enough time to finish. However the body of the other woman was badly mutilated. She had all the stabs and mutilations as the other victims; but she also had multiple cuts on her face; right earlobe was sliced off and V's cut on her cheeks. The press also over exaggerated about the injuries to the bodies. The press had said that the injuries were more horrific than they really were; and in each report small details were added to keep the public interested. The name 'Jack the Ripper' was a catchy name that would draw attention to the article; it turned him into a celebrity. The murders become a sensation after the name was put forward. Press reports contained information like suspects, injuries and stories from witnesses. The press turned it into stories that lead the public to buy more newspapers or magazines; it was a series that people just had to find out the ending to. ...read more.


Or could have come from London for the weekend. Also different detectives had different points of views of the killer. Most said that he was a professional medic on human anatomy but one or two argued that he hadn't even the skill of a butcher. Despite that today we have methods such as physiological profiling, which makes it slightly easier to catch serial killers however it's still hard. In 1888 there was no such thing; so they could not focus on specific suspects easily and was ever harder for them. There was also a lot of racial argument at the time; figures were being pointed at the foreigners mostly. The skills that investigation used was very basic like the significance of footprints and fingerprints. They believed in old wives tales such as the last image a person sees is preserved on their retina. The police might not have ever caught the Ripper. Many arrests were made and theories were thought of. The press interfered greatly with the investigation. They drove it for the police basically. Also the low experience of the police in serial killers hindered the chances of capturing him. Catching serial killers is still very difficult despite all out technology, so with none of what we take for granted today; it probably slowed down his capture even more. ...read more.

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