Describe Law and Order in Late 19th Century London

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  • Topic: Police, Criminal Investigation Department, Metropolitan Police Service
  • Pages : 3 (1069 words )
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  • Published : December 9, 2006
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London saw its first real Police Force, after years of using medieval Police Forces, in 1829. It was the beginning of the law and order we have today. In this essay I will describe London's law and order before and after the Metropolitan Force was introduced; the flaws of the Metropolitan Force; the techniques that it innovated and give hints of what the Force is like today.

Before the Metropolitan Police Force, Bow Street Runners, Thames River Police, parish constables and watchmen patrolled the streets of London. Not much is known about these officers but what we do know suggests that they were quite effective. Records say that they knew local offenders by first names and also knew other intimate details about the criminals. However, they were not able to control large masses of people. It was during their rein that London's law and order collapsed in 1780 during the Gordon riots- they were unable to control rioters that had broken into the Newgate prison and were about to rob The Bank of England when the mayor called in the Grenadier Guards.

Some argue that the Metropolitan Force revolutionized the law and order in late 19th century London but some think otherwise. They reduced crime rates that had been triggered by the ever raising numbers of unemployed citizens which resorted to pick-pocketing as a source of income. In addition to that the Metropolitan Police Force managed to do what the previous Police Forces had failed to do; they brought fear to people, they patrolled the streets with an iron grip and managed to control rioters.

On the other hand, the Metropolitan Police Force had major flaws. They are several reasons that back up the fact that the Force did not revolutions the Law and Order:

The working class despise the authorities so not many were willingly to join the Police Force; being an officer was also very, very unpopular. So to get men to join the Police Force government officials restored to going into taverns, offering men...
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