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Were the police to blame for not catching Jack the Ripper?

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Were the police to blame for not catching Jack the Ripper? Modern historians are very much in doubt as to whether the Victorian police were to blame for not catching Jack the Ripper. From source A, we can infer that these murders were quite uncommon, as the source says they have startled London. Because murders like this are uncommon, the police are very inexperienced when it comes to dealing with crimes such as this. Source A also states how the two victims involved were "the poorest of the poor". From my own knowledge, I can tell that at the time, Whitechapel was a very overcrowded area, full of people living in poverty, which is why many women were forced into prostitution. ...read more.


Descriptions given by members of the public were also not very useful to them, for example in source D, Elizabeth Long is very unsure with the description she has given. She says, "I think" and "I cannot be sure." In Victorian times, police would have relied on descriptions being accurate. Also, the public were startled by this news, and it was very hard for the police to do their job with the public worrying, and criticising them, especially with newspapers making it worse with completely exaggerated publishing. For example, in source E where the article says "The sights and sounds are an apocalypse of evil. Source H also shows how hard this case must have been for the police, as it says, "Not a trace is left of the murderer." ...read more.


There were also reasons that show the police were at fault. For example, from source I, we can clearly see that many murders were taking place near Whitechapel. The police should have noticed this and had officers patrolling the area, and as Jack spent plenty of time mutilating victims in the open, it would have been likely that he was caught. Also, I know that two police forces were involved, and were not co-operating, if they had, they would have got things done much quicker. However, because at the time, the only way to know someone was guilty for certain was to catch them in the act. Knowing this, I believe the police had a hard job and it was not their fault they didn't catch the ripper. ...read more.

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