Law and order in London in the late nineteenth century

L aw and order was at a low standard during the nineteenth century this was mainly down to the reason that there had been barely any change since he middle ages. The population also increased in Britain and therefore the crime rate also increased as a result to all the crimes and murders people were becoming irritated by the police force therefore a more sufficient police force is needed to be set up. Crimes had increased vastly in Britain through the nineteenth century due to wide range of reasons.

Poverty I believe was one of the main reasons because an increase in poverty is an increase in time. The population of Britain was also on the increase this also affected the crime rate because with more people around there is more of a competition between people to gain a job and those that are left out resolve to community crimes to put food on the table. During the eighteenth hundred and eighteenth fifty risks of protesting were becoming very common. Rioting was obviously disturbing the peace and therefore this was classified as a crime and as a result had pushed the crime rate up even higher.

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Many types of crimes have been committed, pickpockiting was without a doubt the most common across Britain. Pickpockets have been around for centuries but the overcrowded streets of major cities such as London gave pickpockets new and greater opportunities. Special events such as hangings gave rich picking and as it brought over 200,000 people. This crime is a minor crime but on a scale of this size should be taken seriously. A more unusual crime began to occur which was grotting.

A grotter was someone who half strangled their victim so he was easier to rob. A few grottings happened but it took an attack on Hugh Pickington who was a Member of Parliament to be taken seriously by the police. Murders were being committed as they were in the past, present and will occur in the future but the only difference was that the police force did not have the benefit of the technology that we acquire today. Two reform criminal there were a wide range of punishments given out. The most notorious punishment was public executions.

The prisoner at first would face an angry mob of people who would pelt rotten fruit at the dammed. This took place by strangling the victim. Public executions became very popular as they drew in crowds of over 200,000 people but along with them came prostitutes, armed robbers and pickpockets. Public executions were stopped in 1868 as too many people saw it as being inhumane and were no longer a punishment for criminals. Imprisonments as a result was used more often after executions were banned. This was used because it was considered as a humane way to punishing criminals.

Before the late nineteenth century prisons were consisted of hard labour, the cells were damp and the prisoners were not looked after very well and were regularly beaten. Later the prisoners became regularly inspected and inmates also had access to doctors. Smaller punishments such as fines and whippings were also used to reform a criminal who committed a major crime. Robert peel form bury was the man behind the metropolitan police force he created this new police force in 1819 because he believed the methods being used to maintain peace were ineffective.

The police force consisted of 3,200 men. There were 17 divisions each with four inspectors and 144 constables. These 17 groups’ patrolled different areas of London. The police officers wore uniforms they were long dark blue over coats. At the begging they also used to wear tall hats but then changed them for helmets in 1870. Truncheons were carried to protect the public and themselves from attacks. There were many problems at first for the metropolitan police force. Many of the early recruits were unsuitable for their jobs because they were often drunk or bribed by criminals.

The rich along with the poor hated the new police force. They often suffered violent attacks some people even drove their coaches straight at the police on the traffic patrol duty just to state they didn’t like men in uniforms. The Cold Bath Fields incident clearly shows the police were not liked. At first a police man was stabbed to death which shows how they were disliked and then for the judge to give the verdict of the man being not guilty is disgusting in my opinion.

This verdict shows that even the judicial system wasn’t even on the police side at that time. Later after all the rebellious behaviour had stopped Londoners gradually began to realise that the police force were having an effect on the level of crime. This was an important key facto force if they wanted any chance to win the public over. Even though Even though they were making the streets of London safer the rest of Britain was at risk as the criminals in London left for other cities were they found it easier to commit crimes.

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