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Law and order in 19th century London

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Law and order in 19th century London The police at this time were certainly not anywhere near as advanced in their ways of tackling crime as police are nowadays. The main reasons for this is that they did not yet have the knowledge to understand the criminal mind, and the closest they got was keeping photographs of criminals faces thinking that criminal types all had the same shaped head. The Metropolitan Police Force had two main areas of expertise; these were to patrol the streets to keep order and deter any crime and help with major disturbances such as riots. Their training fell short of being capable of solving crimes such as murders and did not have the same technology that is open to police today when solving crimes. ...read more.


It became very dangerous for policeman in poorer parts of London as there were frequent attacks on them because the less wealthy people believed the police were only there to protect those with power and wealth, and they were the ones who were singled out by the police. Therefore it was not rare for attacks and murders towards the police around these areas of London such as the East End. In 1842 the first detectives were appointed by the Metropolitan Police Force, this consisted of two inspectors and six sergeants. The introduction of detectives concerned the public as these policemen in plain clothes could not be identified; the Home Office was also in the belief that they would become too friendly with criminals and become corrupt. ...read more.


While police were out on the beat there was a great emphasis on personal appearance and good behaviour and some forces required officers to attend church on Sunday's, not to be seen out with women and wear their uniform at all times, even when they were off duty. The average day for a constable could be up to fourteen hours and this was seven days a week. In London in the 1870's and 1880's a beat during the day was on average seven and a half miles, and at night it was two miles. Police work in the 1880's was still mainly consisting of prevention of crime by officers on the beat, but this was still not enough to stop some of the more serious criminals who could literally get away with murder. ...read more.

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