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'The police were to blame for not capturing Jack the Ripper.'

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Introduction

'The police were to blame for not capturing Jack the Ripper.' Use the sources and your own knowledge to explain whether you agree with this view. The police was to blame for not capturing Jack the Ripper but only to a certain extent. At the times of the Jack the Ripper murders, the police force was developing and as the Jack the Ripper case started to cause speculation, the police force started to develop rapidly. The Jack the Ripper case was clearly mishandled due to the methods the police force used. The police force at the time was very inefficient and traditional which led them to be blamed for not catching Jack the Ripper. There were many other factors that contributed to this. Jack the Ripper himself used various different methods to escape capture, the media played an important role, there were also problems with witnesses and the Whitechapel area also helped him to avoid capture. There were many mistakes that the police made during their investigation; however there were a lot of factors that they could not avoid. One thing that the police did do to try and capture Jack the Ripper was put more police on the beat. ...read more.

Middle

Without any forensic evidence, there were no clues as to who the Ripper was and he was therefore impossible to catch. We can see that there is a lack of technology from this quote, where the journalist for the Times says that the only way that the police can only catch Jack was "red handed", and not actually to solve the case in a contemporary manner, "some accidental circumstance will lead to a trace..." This statement led to operations where police officers attempted to dress as prostitutes to catch Jack "red handed". These failed to work. This lack of resources and technology was mainly caused by the low wages of police officers and the lack of funding from the government. Jack the Ripper was a savage killer and the police force of the time had never encountered a person with that sort of mind-frame before and had no experience in dealing with the type of investigation that they came across. Therefore they found it hard to find out who was able to commit such a crime. The media also made things worse for the police to catch Jack the Ripper. . Evidence leaked out about the Jack the Ripper murders and was published in the newspapers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although the media played a partial role in provoking copycat murders, so did the police. This is evident by the fact that the newspaper could gain access to such information as how brutal the murders were, "...a demented being...extraordinary violence..." This means that the police must have released some of the information, which could provoke copycat murders and confuse clues. The police published information such as the letter from the Ripper containing the words, "Next time I shall cut of her left ear." By publishing these vital clues the police were effectively shooting themselves in the foot. In conclusion I believe that it was not the fault of the police for not capturing Jack the Ripper. This is because of the harsh conditions the police had to work in, the lack of technology and funding, the fact that Jack was the first serial killer and journalists also ruined the investigation. But there is a fair amount of other evidence to suggest that the police were to blame for not capturing Jack. This includes the fact there was unnecessary rivalry between police forces around London, the narrow line of investigation that the police used, the misuse using eyewitnesses and the fact that the police published evidence that could provoke copycat killings. Fatima Shaikh ...read more.

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