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Describe law and order in the late nineteenth century

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                       “Describe law and order in the late nineteenth century”

                     Before the Metropolitan police force was created, Bow street runners and Thames river police existed.  Sir Robert Peel thought there was a need to create the M.E.T because there were increasing calls from the public to the Government to improve law and order as the police lacked organisation.  Towns and cities were growing rapidly and crime was increasing, the old system could not cope. As London expanded economically and demographically in the 18th and 19th centuries, law and order became a political issue.  It lead to the development of the police force as income tax was introduced and the government had funds for the police force and a better system could be set up.

                     The role of the police force was to prevent crime, not solve it.

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                      When the M.E.T was first created they were unpopular, because of their use of force on lower classes and many early recruits had a reputation for drunkenness even when on duty, this lost public respect.  By the mid-c19th many people began to see the police as defenders of order, however this reputation remained mixed.  The M.E.T were only meant to prevent crime not solve it, they patrolled the streets and dealt with drunkenness and beggars, evidence shows that even the middleclass and working class disliked the M.E.T because of its brutal use of the baton charge in poor areas of London.  The focus of the M.E.T was to prevent not solve crime, this affected crime as criminals would not be caught; this meant that murders increased as murderers were not caught.

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                The reputation of the police forced remained mixed throughout the nineteenth century; this was mainly because of their use of force, and their lack of organisation, such as being drunk whilst on duty.  The publics view remained mixed, the working class disliked the M.E.T, because of their use of the baton charge in poor areas of London and even the middleclass disliked the M.E.T.  They were viewed as favouring middle and upper class over the poor and working classes.  Overall the police force gradually became more effective, new departments were set up, and organisation increased, however with their use of the baton charge and favouring upper and middle classes people’s views remained mixed throughout the nineteenth century.                  

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