The industrial revolution (1750 – 1850) facilitated the development of manufacturing industries in which a vast number of people became employed.
This influx of employees followed a high density of accommodation in towns and cities, which began to cultivate. The substantial number of jobs meant a low pay and the accommodation reached unhygienic conditions where up to seven people would live in one tiny room. The employment in Whitechapel became exceedingly competitive and numerous were unable to find employment, women eventually turned to prostitution with their money often spent on alcohol and accommodation. These conditions got worse with the unemployed turning to crime.
Throughout each year, the classes of society became gradually distant until the middle class and lower class were separated in both sides of Whitechapel.Whitechapel in 1888 was not a typical London suburb; it was socially and economically different to the rest of the Victorian City. Infested in crime and poverty, most people who lived there were the working poor, people who would work occasionally and criminals, in fact an estimated 1500 prostitutes worked in Whitechapel from a Metropolitan Police survey. Prostitution was so common in Whitechapel that police on the beat often turned a blind eye towards it. Being a prostitute in Whitechapel’s areas of poverty was only way in which a penniless woman could survive.
A prostitute usually served only the lower class and was typically divorced, had a life expectancy of 35 years and a cost of 4 pence for her service.There were over 200 common lodging houses in Whitechapel, which could fill almost 9000 people. The rooms were unhygienic and infected with insects and vermin. If a prostitute could not afford somewhere to sleep, she would have to find someone who would give her accommodation in return for sexual favours or she would have to sleep on the street.Charles Booth’s analysis of Whitechapel found that 2% of the East End was homeless; 4% were street urchins and the very poor; 12% were poverty stricken, and a disturbing 55% of children died before the age of five. There were also foreigners such as Jews who had fled the Pogroms in Russia and Poles expelled from Prussia.The general law enforcement of the 18th century differed from that of the 19th century.
During the 18th century, the law and order was upheld in each parish by means of a parish constable who was not paid for one year and worked in conjunction with the local Justice of Peace. Special Constables reduced local policing but this did not restrain riots and night watchmen guarded areas of towns at night time, however, both were not paid for their work and both often got drunk while on duty. The increasing problems with popular movements such as Chartism and the Corn Law League worried the British government into arranging an organised police force.Crime increased from the rise in poverty and the system of law and order became insufficient to maintain safety for the public and the law enforcement officers.
Criminal gangs in large cities escalated and controlled the majority of the streets of poverty-stricken towns. Sir Robert Peel, in a reaction to the failing system, introduced a proposal towards Parliament to establish the Metropolitan Police Force, a preventative police presence and not a deterrent measure against rising crime statistics. This was certified, established, and in 1829, regulation.
New police officers were arranged and appointed to the streets of London from the Tory initiative.The Metropolitan Police Force was organised by Colonel Charles Rowan and Sir Richard Mayne at 4 Whitehall Place, which had an ancient courtyard, entitled Scotland Yard. The first police officers of the MPF were to take over the functions of both the watchmen and the special constables and to patrol the crime hotspots. They were also given many other jobs such as, lighting lamplights, calling out the time (“two in the morning and all’s well”), looking out for fires and providing other public services such as helping the elderly. At the time, the public viewed the police as a violation to English social and political life and it was only later on that the police were called ‘bobbies’ or ‘peelers’.
Detective police officers were seen as a type of spy that would fit in to other countries, especially France.The MPF expanded by the late 1800’s, by 1980, they moved into the Victoria Embankment, near the Ministry of Defence, and was named New Scotland Yard. It was divided into separate divisions controlled by Superintendents with Sergeants and Police Constables. The police constables were employed if they had a good build and character, were 35 or less and at least 5′ 7″ with reading and writing skills, however, the requirements were flexible and some learnt the answers off by heart for the exam.
There was change in uniform in which the colour was transformed from the traditional black to blue as it was the colour of the navy’s uniform and the public respected the navy more that any other force. As the army was used to put down riots with force like in 1830 and as their uniform was red, the colour was not chosen since red would seem provocative to the public and police officers were expected to patrol streets and prevent crime and to maintain law and order in the challenge of a riot.These were the most common types of crime the police had to deal with:Crimes against the person – murder, manslaughter, garrotting and sexual crimesCrimes against the authority – treason, rebellion, protest and riotingCrimes against the property – theft and pick pocketingThere were also many types of capital punishment such as the gallows, a typically wooden frame used for execution by hanging, public execution, where the victim will be hanged in front of the public and the Tyburn Jig meaning to be hanged of a Tyburn Tree.Street Crimes such as petty theft and pick pocketing was lowered by an effect of uniformed police on the beat however, crimes such as house burglary increased. Consequently, in 1844, the home secretary, Sir James Graham, established a new branch called the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in which detectives dressed as ordinary people to investigate undercover work. After the establishment, Burglary, decreased but grand larceny, the theft of goods exceeding 5 shillings (25p); and robbery, theft from a person using force or threat of force both increased.
Between the two forces, conflicts and rivalry emerged in which information was not shared reducing the detection of crimes; however, there was also opposition between the MPF and the City of London which caused tension between the areas they protected. The Bow Street Runners guarded Bow Street Magistrates Court to make sure criminals did not attack judges or succeed in freeing criminals. The Marine or River Police patrolled warehouses along the River Thames and the Railway Police Force patrolled railway property while the London Docks Police Force patrolled the docks making sure cargo was secure. The difficulty occurred when crimes are carried out across the boundaries of the various forces and the decisions as to what force would investigate which part of the crime arises with the methods of how each force would share their information.There were two main ways the police could solve a crime, either to catch the criminal red-handed or to extract a confession. There were no forensic methods and there was a high degree of corruption mainly, in the police force, where a lucrative bribe could be made in return for a blind eye to criminal activities.
Such performances of accepted bribes, being drunk on the job and using weapons during riots, made an overall poor public opinion of the police and believed that they were performing in a biased manner. The middle and upper classes were discontented with their performance as they solved crime and did not prevent it.Police officers at first were equipped with a truncheon or were given a cutlass if they were patrolling a dangerous area but realised that they were an ineffective protection and were only useful for riots. The police however carried out a baton charge in an election demonstration and ‘disobeyed instructions as to the use of truncheons…’ this brought public mistrust especially among the lower class although in 1850, Inspectors began to carry revolvers. Overall, 109 police officers in total were killed in the line of work between 1829 and 1900.
The police began to show statistics showing crime rates falling yearly in an attempt to boost the public’s opinion of the police. This reduction in crime showed only reported crime, not unreported and several crimes could have been misinterpreted as petty crime or deviance and not actual crime in a method to favour the results. A policy of containment was initiated in which a number of areas became excessively dangerous for the police to undertake and crimes committed within these areas were not investigated.As there was no prison, transportation was another option where criminals were transported to Australia to start a new life abroad. A prison-building programme began to deal with the rapid increase in prisoner numbers caused by the ending of capital punishment for crimes and a steady reduction in the use of transportation.In prison, prisoners were not allowed to communicate and had a daily routine which included wearing black hats over their face and walking around in a circle, using a treadmill which would power a wheel and had to be turned 10000 times a day and smashing rocks.
Rich people could buy higher places to live for rent which included the chancellors house, and could even pay for someone else to do there sentence for them.Criminals dispersed out of London which showed that they either respected or feared the Metropolitan Police Force in the 19th Century although there could clear way of determining success. In April 1848, thousands of soldiers and special constables were brought in to defend London against the Chartist protests, which transpired to be a success for the police force.The CID was a primary law and order force in society with functions for both the prevention and detection of crime in the late 19th century. Forensic methods were being developed and researched leading to more advanced methods for detecting crime by the early 20th century.From past to present, in relation to this question, crime statistics have lowered and there has been a regeneration of most buildings making Whitechapel a successful town in which new businesses and accommodation are appearing frequently. Whitechapel has left its shadows of the terrible poverty and crime and is now a growing town.
This major difference occurred during the Second World War in which large parts of the town were destroyed by the blitz, however, because of the great change to the layout and a building of Whitechapel, there is a great loss to the feel of the Whitechapel murders as it was the closest detail that can be sensed of 1888.