Jack the Ripper Free essay! Download now
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Jack the Ripper
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| Words: 2500 | Submitted: 24-Feb-2008
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DescriptionThis was a piece of coursework for which I obtained 49/50. The three coursework questions were :
1. Describe law and order in London in the late nineteenth century. 
2. Why did the Whitechapel murders attract so much attention in 1888? 
3. Why were the police unable to catch Jack the Ripper? 
The first signs of some sort of proper policing came in the form of the ‘Bow Street Runners’ which were created in 1749. The Marine Police were set up in 1798 to control the alarming rise in thefts from the quays and warehouses along the north bank of the Thames. However, generally, before 1829, enforcing law and order at a local level was the duty of the local justice of peace, aided by night watchmen and yeomen (constables of their parish). However these officers just couldn’t deal with anything on a too large scale, eg. the Gordon riots. Riots like this were as a result of parliamentary reform, which was often influenced by the French Revolution. This was one of the main driving factors behind Peel’s creation of the Metropolitan Police. The population boom resulted in a sharp increase in crime rates. Pick pocketing became a regular daily occurrence, as did burglaries, counterfeit money, and the handling of stolen goods. Whitechapel was the home to the poorest of the poor, and many had to resort to stealing just to provide food for their families. The local constables buckled under the pressure, and change was desperately needed.
The Metropolitan Police Force was founded in 1829 by Sir Robert Peel, Home Sectretary, to check a state of rampant criminality. This was a major turning point in the history of British policing, as this was the first substantial police force, and remains in place to this day. The Metropolitan Police Force carried out both the functions of watchmen and special constables, but operated on a much larger scale. Not only were they to patrol the streets and deter crime, but they were also used in place of the army to sort out major disturbances like riots. In 1839, the City police was set up, responsible to the Corporation of the City of London. They were (and are today) a separate force from the Met police. This would cause problems during the Ripper investigation. From the 1840s and 1850s; inspectors in the Metropolitan Police began to carry revolvers at times.
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