Type: Controversial Essays
Sample donated: Johnnie Fisher
Last updated: November 10, 2019
In the late nineteenth century, there was a major increase in crime. This was due to many reasons. Firstly, not a majority of people were rich or very well off. There was shortage in food, clothing, education, employment and shelter etc. so people resorted to crime. Aside from theft, there were other crimes as well like rape, murder, violence garrotting and manslaughter.
The main people that were in charge of law and order were the Justice of Peace who was chosen by the King. Also, there were ‘Bow Street Runners’ which were appointed in London and in 1800; the Thames River Police Force was set up. When there were very serious problems, the government would turn to the army. There was no in between level of law and order.In 1840, the amount of criminal offences had risen from 5000 to 20 000 in only 40 years!Even in the 1880’s the police forces were very much in their infancy. The methods of tackling crime that we have now were unknown and obviously not even thought of. The police made very slow forensic progress and later on they learnt how to follow suspicious characters.
Officers were more concerned with preventing crime than actually dealing with the criminals.The police force did a lot of public services. For example, the police used to call out the time at regular intervals and even light the street lamps as it became dark.
The police forces had to deal with a range of disorder and crimes ranging from theft to public disturbances, drunkenness, vagrants, prostitutes and beggars.Robert Peel introduced the Metropolitan Police Force in 1829 and after 1850, the Metropolitan Police Force expanded across all of London; it became a very common sight to see ‘Bobbies’ or ‘Peelers’ patrolling the street everywhere. The sight of these ‘Bobbies’ scared of many criminals but this meant that the crime moved else where to less policed areas and didn’t really lower the criminal rate anywhere except for London where the ‘Bobbies’ patrolled. The police were often jeered or mocked, hence the name ‘Bobbies’. The police tried to keep their uniform well different from the army uniform but people still saw them as violent because they carried the truncheon and resorted to it very often. The police were hated and sometimes even attacked plainly because of their job. However, people grew to appreciate the police when crime levels decreased and people began to feel safer.However, as said above, the police were better at preventing crime rather than solving it and many people thought that the way in which police went to stop crime from happening was often violent.
This meant that the police resulted straight to violence rather than working it out safely and peacefully. This brought about other hates among the people towards police.People also complained that the punishments given were very harsh and weren’t thought about carefully.The nineteenth century law and order was controversial. It had its high’s and low’s and wavered in safety. However, the crime levels did decrease with the help and commitment of the police.Why did the Whitechapel murders attract so much attention in 1888? (15)In the Victorian times, not many people paid attention to Whitechapel, and the murders in 1888 caused a great suspicion and attracted a lot of attention.
This was due to many reasons. The first being the way in which the people were murdered. People knew the extent to how the people were grotesquely killed and how the murderer got away and this attracted deeper attention as to why the police weren’t working hard to find out who it was. One after another, women were being killed and the murderer got away free. Also, everyone knew how the perfect incisions were made to extract the organs that were taken. This meant that the murderer had to have some sort of medical knowledge and it was a scary thought that maybe your local doctor was the one murdering these women.Another variable that attracted a lot of attention was the type of people that were killed.
The victims of the murders were the poorest of the people and this caused confusion in the richer or upper class people. They were confused about why the ‘Ripper’ didn’t come after their fortune. If he was so good at being caught, then why wasn’t he killing the rich for the money?An answer to this would be that the poorer parts of London were dark, dirty, damp, and unprotected (with just satisfactory lighting), whereas the richer parts were well protected, with better lighting and were safer. We can see from Source A that the victims were described as ‘the poorest of the poor’ and that both the murders of Polly Nichols and Martha Tabram were described as ‘the work of a demented being’.The people that ‘Jack the Ripper’ killed were prostitutes. This could be because prostitutes were only into their money and they were a very vulnerable target.
Because prostitution was illegal anyway, the prostitutes used to roam around in the darker areas of London where they were less likely to be caught, and more likely to get raped or, like the ‘Ripper’ liked to do, murdered and mutilated. The media also made the whole ‘Ripper’ murders very big of an issue. If they were a very simple stabbing or shooting or any other form of very simple killing, the media would not have made such a big fuss as they did with the ‘Ripper’ murders, because of the vile, disgusting way they were killed.
To have your organs carefully taken out with blood everywhere was not something normal to here in the papers. Nobody knew what the murderers motive was or who he was. His name, ‘Jack the Ripper’ created an even bigger suspicion because no one was aware or had any clue about anything about him.
As the murders increased and the letters from the anonymous ‘Jack the Ripper’ increased, the British people became more and more scared and fearful. The police couldn’t do much because of the wit of ‘Jack the Ripper’ and the people grew less and less trusting. The media grew more interested in the story and the weird and wicked ways of ‘Jack the Ripper’.1.3 Why were the police unable to catch Jack the Ripper? (20)There were many reasons why the Ripper was able to get away each time a murder happened. One of the main reasons was because of the relationship between the people and the police; it was a very uncooperative bond. This was because when the police were introduced, nobody saw their benefits and literally hated them. They became known as ‘bobbies’, a derogatory term for the police.
Because of this new law and order system, there were a lot of protests and riots, mainly caused by beggars, vagrants and the poor. Having come from the army, the police did not know how to deal with these rebellious acts, and so resorted to violence, which angered people even more. Although they tried to act and dress completely differently from the army men, they were always associated with them.
The police also carried truncheons, which the people were not too keen or fond of.As the ‘bobbies’ were already hated, when the Ripper murders started, and the police were unable to catch Jack, the people of Whitechapel got even angrier with the police, which caused commotion and uproar. This also meant that the police could not turn to the people for help for the investigation or for any kind of commitment.
Also, the police being new and still learning, they were not taking any crime serious enough. From the start, they were wavering in their execution of action to solve and prevent crime. There was a case, when the murderer sent a letter of warning to the police force informing them of his plan to kill Catherine Eddowes, however, they took no notice and only until she was actually killed did they decide that they needed to pull their socks up!One reason for this could be the many fake letters they received. Because of the commotion caused by the Ripper mystery, people thought of it as a joke for them to send in fake letters, claiming to be Jack the Ripper. This caused confusion to the police because they did not know when it was real and when it was a bunch of people writing in for a laugh.Also, the press and media forced answers out of the police and when the police had no answers, the people were angry and so the police had to give some sort of answers, maybe creating false hope. The time that was spent on giving answers to the press could have been spent on finding the Ripper but the constant outbursts from the media did not make it any better.Another problem, possibly the biggest one yet, was the instability and shaky grounds of the police force.
The Ripper case was not investigated by just one person, and each and every detective had his or her own ideas about the mystery. As the case was passed on, there could have been vital information brushed away by another detective who could have thought that something else was more important. In addition, there were no teams to work together. Every person was on his own mission to find the Ripper and gain his own credit.Apart from this, there was also Jack himself. The area in which he worked was perfect, and the people he targeted were even better.
The poor part of London, where the prostitutes used to hang about, risking their own lives to men they have never met before could not be a better place! His nighttime duty was to search for his prey and attack. He knew exactly what to do and how to do it. Some say that he had some medical background which made it all the more better for him.
He was quick, witty, and aware of all that was going on. He targeted only the vulnerable and did his silent deeds only in the darkest, dirtiest places where he knew he was not to be caught.Jack had the best environment for his murders aswell as the perfect shaky pillars of the police force. Also, back then; there was not much technology, as we have now. A witty murderer like Jack would not have been caught with such little technology.
His own intelligence also mounted to why he was not caught, however, I believe that he got lucky because he knew what he was after. If there were any slight adjustments to his plans, he may have been caught and I would not be writing this essay. Jack the Ripper made history, being Britain’s first serial killer not to be caught. Nobody knows how he got away, but there were many factors which affected Jack’s lucky get-away!