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Law And Order In the 19th Century

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History Coursework Law and order in the late 19th century was pretty much the same it had been since the Middle Ages: there were hangings for most crimes however minor they were and limbs cut off to stop theft which around the time was 75% of recorded crime. Most of the theft was due to pickpockets who, with the help of the crowded streets and executions, managed to do well in London. The public executions drew in massive crowds and many of the rich observed as well which meant it was a target for the pickpockets. With the introduction of rookeries, organised gangs of pickpockets, theft in London grew until cases of garrotting began to appear. Garrotting is when you half-strangle someone to death just to rob them, it wasn't until an MP was garrotted that politicians and the police took it seriously. There was a lot of fear surrounding this crime which is mostly because of the media blowing it out of proportion. ...read more.


This is the reason for the MPF to be set up as well as the people wanting a stable, working police force in London. Robert Peel is the main behind this idea, who believed that the idea the existing police force was a joke. He set up a Metropolitan Police Force that was effective around a 3.5 mile radius of London's Centre. The force contained 3,200 men commanded by 144 constables each with 4 inspectors and 17 divisions. The 'bobbies' or 'peelers' wore a dark blue uniform and a tall hat. They were only armed with a truncheon which left them open to attack. The reason for the downgraded weaponry was so they were the exact opposite of the army who had the tendency to get violent and stir up the fire. The reputation was a bad one because most of the working class had survived simply by thieving from others now that they had been stopped people were starving and so they were beginning to be called Peel's Private Army. ...read more.


The prisons were a new thing in the 19th century as unlike the executions these were used to reform the criminals rather than get rid of them all together, before the 19th century the prisoners were very badly taken care of but with new inspections the quality increased. During the first decade prison reputation was very bad and criminals weren't deterred from committing crimes but over time the crime rates began to drop again and London had just invented the first criminal rehabilitation system in England. In conclusion John Peel and the police force paved the way for the 20th century and without the new system in place London and the rest of England would have fallen to criminals, rioters and disgruntled citizens. The systems had kept London safe for the next century, and were quickly spread through the rest of England as the criminals moved further and further away from the policed cities. The systems have been introduced in many countries and have proved themselves to be very effective systems. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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