February 03, 2017

Thursday group source reading

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/history/students/modules/hi398/timetable/seminar2-copy/

Please could you look at the following sources

Blessing - Making of the Modern Police Vol 1 (select your own source)

Charlotte - Making of the Modern Police Vol 6 (select your own source)

Mikka - Making of the Modern Police Vol 2 (select your own source)

Oliver B - Digitised Police notebooks

Oliver R-J - Report on State organisation and discipline of metropolitan police

Aleemat - instructions for Surrey constabulary

Aksana - parliamentary papers 1852

Abi - Police & the Thieves

Louisa - Making of the Modern Police Vol 5 (select your own source)

Amie - Making of the Modern Police Vol 4 (select your own source)

Izzy - Making of the Modern Police Vol 3 (select your own source)

Zoe - Making of the Modern Police Vol 6 (select your own source)

Yetunde - Making of the Modern Police Vol 2 (select your own source)

James - Making of the Modern Police Vol 1 (select your own source)

Oliver B - Cohen


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  1. Blessing Park

    Source: Andrew Lansdowne, ‘A Life’s Reminiscences of Scotland Yard’ (1893), excerpts – Taken from Volum 2 of Making of the Modern Police (They didn’t have any other volumes in the library pls forgive me)

    → Andrew Lansdowne – Scotland Yard Detective
    → Retired from Scotland Yard
    → Spent 20 years at SY following six years in the Metropolitan Police
    ○ Started as a uniformed constable ‘on the beat’
    → Aims to talk about the system as it existed when he was a detective
    → Arrested three hundred criminals (according to his biography)
    → Acknowledges that British public had ‘a very extraordinary conception of the class to which [he] belong[ed]’ and therefore sought to introduce himself
    ○ Dismissed public perceptions of uniformed officers as wearing ‘regulation boots and march[ing] along the streets with the measured tread of a bobby, warning all thieves of his approach, and making it clear to every criminal that a detective is near’
    ○ Dismisses that idea of the modern detective as purely fictitious
    § ‘absurd’ that the detective follows the ‘exaggerations of sensational writers’ and ‘must necessarily be a man of mystery, an astute actor, an accomplished comedian with a wardrobe of extensive kind, and as difficult to “corner” as a lively eel.’ > Says that this is ‘all wrong’
    ○ Generally the circumstances behind the arrest of the 300 criminals during his career were ‘commonplace and uninteresting’
    ○ Although he does accept that there were some extraordinary cases that would have appeared fictitious if he hadn’t had actually experienced them
    → Describes the process of how he became a detective. He worked up from constable on the beat, to assistant clerk then acting sergeant, sergeant , station sergeant and then acting inspector
    → He explains the structure of the ‘Old Scotland Yard’
    ○ Detectives had 3 small rooms in the building
    ○ Were no ‘divisional detectives’ at the beginning (??)
    ○ In place of local detectives attached to each division they had policemen who worked on plain clothes “month about”
    § Suggests that this is the origin of the then popular belief that you can recognise a detective ‘from him bearing’
    ○ If anything ‘serious’ happened in a division Scotland Yard was notified and a detective officer would make inquiries and report
    § Says at any time he had as many as six to eight inquiries ongoing at any one time within London and outside and he had no ‘skilled assistance’ other than plain-clothes officers
    ○ At any given time you cold be sent to any part of the United Kingdom (or out of the country) at the behest of anyone who could pay the cost
    ○ The chief constable of any place could apply for Scotland Yard’s assistance
    ○ By the time of his biography’s publication (1893) this practice as abandoned and Metropolitan detectives rarely left the capital
    ○ He credits the introduction of the telegraphy as largely responsible for changes in the functioning of the detective system
    § Where physical messengers had to go between station to station, town to town to pass on inquiries “the wire” made communication easier and quicker
    § Says that criminals could take advantage of the conveniences of these new communication methods (??)

    05 Feb 2017, 18:02

  2. Blessing Park

    → Discusses Charles Dickens’ portrayals of detectives ‘of the old type’ in Household Words who were around when he joined Scotland Yard
    ○ Household Words was a weekly magazine edited by Dickens in the 1850s
    ○ Draws parallels between the fictional ‘Inspector Bucket’ in Bleak House with the real Inspector Field (they had the same characteristic ‘fat forefinger’
    ○ Relates to the way Detectives were made into celebrities through coverage of their work in the press and in fictional interpretations
    → Dismisses the perception that detectives didn’t have that much liberty when conducting their work.
    → Aims to emphasise through recounting his personal experiences ‘it would be impossible for a detective to be constantly under orders, and subject from hour to hour to supervision’
    ○ There were ‘scores’ of cases which didn’t need to reported over to the chiefs
    ○ In cases of particular significance (sensational murder, a ‘dynamite’ case) where multiple officers are employed then the Scotland Yard chiefs were likely to take leading direction, overseeing all papers and written statements, making written observations for the detectives charged
    § He credits Inspectors Williamson and Munro for particularly insightful and clever assistance on cases
    ○ He said it was necessary for officers to individually employ a good degree of discretion especially in minor matters
    → The detective office was changed dramatically with the establishment of the Criminal Investigation Department under Mr. Howard Vincent
    ○ After the exposure of illegal misconduct amongst inspectors
    ○ The publicity of SY’s transgressions led to the creation of numbers of assistant officers within each department working under a local inspector in 1878
    ○ The general course of promotion (at the time of publication) was that a constable/sergeant would serve as a plain clothes officer and then join the Criminal Investigation Department room of his division. He would rise to inspector over time and may be transferred from division to division until he learns about different parts of the metropolis or stay in one locality and gain specialist knowledge of one particular class of criminal for example burglars or jewelry thieves. As vacancies become available he may be called to SY to form part of the central staff of inspectors.
    → Notes the enormous amount of paperwork generated through the various dockets and other documents and papers which were sorted by types of crime
    → Acknowledges that the ‘New Scotland Yard’ should bring about a better system of safely storing these sensitive records
    → Reminisces upon his time at Scotland Yard as he acknowledges that the centralization of police buildings would negate the need to maintain the SY buildings and he estimated that in ‘a year or two’ there would be nothing left of SY as he knew it save for the memory

    Why I Left Scotland Yard
    → Didn’t retire because of any scandalous reason or anything that would warrant investigation
    → Felt he had served the public ‘faithfully’ and that he left on ‘the most honorable terms
    → He was led to retire after nearly 30 years of duty because of the dangers of the job which were made particularly obvious in one particular case where he was nearly shot by a man he apprehended for a stolen cheque. He entered into a physical struggle with the man for nearly 15 minutes and he felt the man intended to kill him. He was fighting not just for duty but ‘for dear life’
    ○ When giving his evidence at Bow Street Police court the magistrate asked “Are we ceasing to be English?” which caused ‘much discussion’ in the press
    § This relates to the whole idea of crime and violent or ‘uncivilized’ behavior not being ‘English’
    ○ He received an award for courageous conduct from the Bow street fund

    05 Feb 2017, 18:02

  3. Isabel Lock

    Source: Police Order, announcing Sanction of Secretary of State to increase of pay to Metropolitan Police Force, House of Common Papers, December 1890
    • Metropolis police increase of pay
    • Monday 8th December, 1890
    • C.B. Stuart-Wortley
    It outlines the pay of each rank in the police force and what this should be increased to. This is listed as follows:

    • Constables – pay is 24s a week but this is set to rise by annual increments of 1s a week to a maximum of 32s
    • Seargeants – pay is 34s a week but this is set to rise by annual increments of 1s a week to a maximum of 40s
    • Station Sergeants and Clerk Sergeants – rising from 45s to 48s a week
    • Sub-Inspector rank is to be abolished and rank of Station Sergeant will be re-established
    • Pay of existing Sub-Inspectors will rise from 45s to 45s a week
    • Inspectors – pay of 56s a week increase to 64s
    • Sub-Divisional Inspectors – 70s a week
    • Chief Inspectors – 83s a week
    • Chief Inspector Davis of the Executive Branch of the Commissioner’s Office is to receive personal remuneration of 93s a week
    • Superintendents – Increased from 10l to 20l
    • All officers are to be changed to this new frame of pay
    • Shows the importance of the police force beginning to be properly and formerly recognised and illustrates the respect of the force, particularly in the Metropolis
    • This may have been due to the result of the recent Jack the Ripper murders

    08 Feb 2017, 14:46

  4. Oliver Baldwin

    Digitised Police Notebooks (part of Booth’s Survey of London): Walk with Inspector Drew, 20 January 1898, Mile End Road, pp. 68-81

    • Description of the boundaries of the walk: on the north Stepney Green, ; on the east Stepney High Street; on the south Oxford Street; on the west Jamaica Street and Hannibal Road. Part of the parishes of St Dunstan’s and Christ Church Stepney. Wellesley Street, Clive Street, Silver Street, Gold Street, Hare Street, Brilliant Street, Jamaica Street.

    • Notes are kept on the different ethnic and religious groups living In the area. For example, there are a number of Jews living in Hannibal. Russian and Polish Jews on Bedford Street and additional streets mentioned in the walk. Jews are mentioned a number of times in the notebooks and seem to be a particular focus to both Inspector Drew but also the community that he observes around him.

    • Notes are also made on police presence and the areas that are at risk of crime due to lack of police constables in the area.

    • Notes are made on the increase in the number of people betting and gambling. Also Drew observed that pawnbrokers in area were increasing.

    • Brothels and prostitutes in the area are recorded and monitored as well as the number of juvenile thieves in area.

    • Sunday schools and mother meetings are praised by the Inspector and he comments on the success of the clergy in the working class area, which he believes is hard work.

    • Dissent is also recorded and the opinions of those noted down as well s the thoughts of others on the atmosphere in the community.

    • The work of the Salvation Army in Bethnal Green is discussed due to the Inspector seeing Bethnal Green as one of the worst areas on his rounds.

    • Overcrowding is also a serious issue to Drew and he comments on it a number of times in his notebook.

    • Attitudes of women visiting public houses in Hackney is tied to Prostitution and inter-marrying in Bethnal Green by Drew.

    • Police and bribes are criticized in a number of entries and is clearly a known issue to the Inspector and Police in general.

    • Drew highlights the main leisure activities of the district, which are boxing and bird singing contests. The girls play battledore and shuttlecock instead.

    • The inspector appears insightful and interested in the developments taking place in his area of influence.

    • He appears to want a better understanding of the area and even sketches out buildings and maps in his notebook.

    08 Feb 2017, 17:25

  5. Abi Wren

    The Police and the Thieves’, Quarterly Review
    • Safety of life and property depended upon the efforts of the parochial watchman, a species of animal after the model of the old hackney coachman, encumbered with the self same drab greatcoat, with countless caps, with the same Belcher handkerchief or comforter, stupid and uncivil.
    • This figure patrolled nightly, as it was not thought while to set a watch in the day time.
    • Furnished with huge lantern.
    • Provided with a staff – thundered on the pavement as he walked.
    • Up to the year 1828, and indeed for ten years later, in the City these men were the sole defence by night of the first metropolis in the world.
    • It is not astonishing that crimes under such a police flourished apace, or that robberies increased to an extent which alarmed all thoughtful folk.
    • In addition to the nightly watch, there was another class of persons who, if more active were calculated in a still greater degree to defeat justice, but in a totally opposite direction: we allude to those men who made their bread out of the blood of the criminal population.
    • The government of the country was mainly to blame for the sins committed by these loathsome creatures.
    • Parliamentary rewards^

    08 Feb 2017, 19:03

  6. Abi Wren

    • The object of the officers was to secure blood-money, not to suppress crime; and it was their deliberate practice to allow robberies to proceed which thy might have prevented, in order to obtain the reward.
    • ‘let the matter ripen’ until fee was secure.
    • Chiefly occupied themselves with thief-catching in private preserves, where the pay was ample, and contributed little if anything to the suppression of general crime.
    • With a class of watchman totally inoperative as a prevention police, with a class of informers stimulated by unwise enactment to lure men into villainy, and with a code savage almost beyond belief- as late as 1800 there were 160 capital crimes.

    • One of the strongest reasons which weighed with Mr. Peel in proposing the establishment of the new police in 1829 was the expediency of instituting a force powerful enough to cope with mobs, and to repress those incipient commotions which, if too roughly dealt with by the military, are apt to leave an abiding sense of irritation in the public mind.
    • The massacre of ‘Peterloo’ proved to the reflective mind of Peel that civil disturbances could no longer be dealt with by the sharp edge of the sword, and that a knock-down blow of a truncheon was farmer congenial to the English skull than the sabre of the yeoman or the bullet of the ‘sodger’.
    • The new police have not, it is true, come into contact with excited mobs on more than three occasions – the affair of Coldbath Fields, in the year 1833, the chartist gathering 1849, and the skirmish in the Park of last July.
    • On each of these occasions the crowd was immediately dispersed, and whatever irritation might have existed at the time, it quickly died away.
    • There seems to be no fear that a London mob will ever prove a serious thing in the face of our present corps of policemen.
    • Those who shudder at the idea of an outbreak in the metropolis, containing two millions and a half of people and at least 50 thousand of the most dangerous classes, forget that the capital is so wide that its different sections are totally unknown to each other.
    • A mob in London is wholly without cohesion, and the individuals composing it have but few feelings, thoughts or pursuits in common.
    • They would immediately break up before the determined attack of a band of immediately well-trained men who know and have confidence in each other,
    • The genuine Londoner is no fighter, he will ‘slang’ and ‘chaff’ wittily with his tongue, but he will not come to blows.
    • The only quarter in which any formidable riot could take place would be eastward, in the neighbourhood of the docks, where there are at least 12 thousand sailors on the river or on the shore, ready for a spree, fearless and powerful and acting with an undoubted esprit de corps.
    • Prevention if the true duty of the civil force,
    • One of the simplest methods for breaking up a crowd, in order that it may have no unity of action is to march sections of constables in double files of 50 each.
    • Detective Police – for 15 years there was no establishment of Detectives connected with the police; but the inconvenience of not possessing so necessary a wheel in the constabulary machinery induced Sir James Graham to revive the fraternity.
    • Force consists of; 3 inspectors, 9 sergeants and a body of police termed ‘plain clothes man’ whose series can be had at any moment.
    • Man is eminently a hunting animal,but there is no prey which he follows with such zest and perseverance as his fellow man.
    • The detective stands in a very different position from the ordinary policeman; his work, long and laborious though it may be, must, to succeed, never see the light.
    • Much of the information by which the perpetrators of crime are discovered comes from their own body; thus two thieves fall out and one promoted by revenge etc gives information which leads to her paramour’s apprehension.

    08 Feb 2017, 19:03

  7. Louisa Helliker

    Making of the Modern Police, 1780-1914, Vol. 2
    Metropolitan Police Improvement Act 1929 (excerpts), p. 11
    - The Act was introduced by Sir Robert Peel, and replaced the previously unorganised parish constables with the Metropolitan police. It is often cited as the most fundamental piece of legislation that introduced the modern police force.
    - Says property offences have recently increased, and the police are inadequate to deal with them due their unfitness, lack of numbers, limited authority and lack of ‘connection and cooperation with each other’. (p. 11)
    - This is an indication of the lack of cohesiveness that existed in the police prior to this act being signed. The necessity for such legislation in the first place would indicate that the police were localised and unable to act as a unit.
    - Put it into law that a new police office shall be established in Westminster, and Justices of the Peace shall be elected in Middlesex, Surrey, Kent, Hereford and Essex. ‘His Majesty may appoint any person to be Justice of the Peace by virtue of this Act’. By attaching law enforcement to the crown this gives it an extra air of moral authority. (p. 12)
    - Oath written which must be sworn by Justices of the Peace, ‘I will faithfully, impartially, and honestly, according to the best of my skill and knowledge, execute all the powers and duties of a Justice of a Peace’. Moving towards impartial law enforcing, could be seen as an effort to stamp out corruption. (p. 12)
    - Salary of no more than £800 to be paid out to each Justice of the Peace. Justices will swear in new police constables, with the aim of eradicating ‘robberies and other felonies’. The fact that robberies have twice now been highlighted in the report shows this was the source of much paranoia and the perceived biggest problem in crime during this context. (p. 12)
    - Justices have ultimate control over the police force to implement orders and regulations, and also have the power to suspend the employment of any policeman who they view as being ‘remiss or negligent in his discharge of duty’. (p. 13)
    - This act places a clear hierarchy within law order, giving less opportunity for the police to take matters into their own hands, as they are now directly answerable to a higher power by instruction of the crown.
    - Other new laws that the Act enabled included making it an offence to resist or assault a police officer, as well as making it an offence to harbour a police officer at a public house during his working hours.
    - The Act brought discipline and organisation to law enforcement, and heralded a new age of the police force.

    08 Feb 2017, 19:04

  8. Zoe Zbrzezniak

    Report on the Metropolitance Police Force : State, Discipline, and Organisation of the Detective Police 1878

    • Richd Cross wanted inquiry into detective police- what’s going wrong and improvements
    • Believe that the past system has utterly failed in leading to proper detection of crime
    • 1842 detective force made at suggestion of Mayne, 2 inspectors and 6 sergeants in Scotland Yard
    • Force increased 1856 to another inspector and sergean
    • Writes about how much they all get paid, and how they’ve been given pay rises over time
    • 1869 a sergeant and number of constables were stationed in every division, they investigate all crimes
    • Present the force consists of 19 sergeants and 168 constables, have a temporary body of 20 patrols, and 1873 body of 10 permanent special patrols established
    • Detectives are recruited from ranks of the police
    • Their duties are to inquire into reported crimes and patrol streets when not doing this in ‘plain clothes’
    • Also supposed to visit prisons to become acquainted with criminal classes
    • When crime is reported at police station officer in charge takes detective with him to the scene
    • Detective reports earlier to the officer
    • He patrols to detect crime- and if he thinks he sees a criminal he needs to follow him
    • Duty of special patrols are to watch principle criminals in districts and patrol generally for preventative and detective purposes. They are distant from divisional detectives
    • Defects
    • Jealousy- the detectives don’t coordinate properly and system is disconnected – mainly between central and divisional detectives
    • Little or no collaboration between divisional detectives and special patrols and unless the superintendent asks for assistance of patrols from Scotland Yard, divisional detectives do not known when specials are coming to patrol their division (which could make them angry, seen as not doing their job properly)
    • The divisional detective look upon officers sent from Scotland yard as interlopers as they don’t want them to take the glory for their work – so hold back information from them – there is rivalty
    o Mr Davis, legal advisor of the police, ‘I felt that the interests of justice had been defeated by that of jealousy’
    • The pay of the constables ‘was but a trifle’, the clothing allowance was ‘utterly inadequate’
    • Chances of promotion were few, not many can rise above sergeant
    • They mention that this doesn’t induce and motivate the workers, rather it deters them
    • See recruiting as failing- superintendents selecting only from their own division, inspectors chose their favourites
    • ‘their usefulness is considerably diminished by their inability, from their limited numbers, overwork and divisional sustem to follow suspected criminals beyond the limits of their respective districts’
    • Detective Sergeant Forster advocated night and day patrols
    • Divisional detectives were seen to be least educated and least intelligent men in the force and it crime really is to be detected, a new system was necessary
    • Improvements
    • Amalgamation of divisional and Scotland Yard branches into one detective force
    • Many urged separation of detectives from police force and placed under officers of their own
    • Think that this would stop jealousy and would be possible to centralise local information to keep a proper register on crime, removing divisional boundaries and enable people to really follow criminals- help them to prevent crime
    • Want greater inducements for best intelligence to come to the force- in pay and in rank
    • Agreed on raising allowances e.g. clothing from 5l to 10l
    • Agreed that these changes would make a better service, raise moral and tone of force
    • There was disagreement wherever to expand or restrict the force- expansion would have more people to carry out more inquiries; those who wanted less liked the old system and for them to be confined to inquiries alone

    08 Feb 2017, 21:02

  9. Amie Sleigh

    Parliamentary Papers, 1852-53: First report from the Select Committee on Police; with the minutes of evidence. (Sorry, I couldn’t access my assigned reading. This is evidence of the first witness to the Select Committee pp.1-18).

    Evidence given by Captain William Charles Harris, commander of Hampshire police force.
    - Harris has commanded Hampshire police force for the past 10 years.
    - By May 1853 22 counties in England and Wales had adopted a police force and in 7 other counties in part.
    - Witness believes that the adoption of a police force in Hampshire, one of the first counties to do so, has had benefits. Serious offences are rare and detection is likely. Petty offences have been deterred.
    - Since 1847, the number of property offences has decreased.
    - In 1847 there was 709 of felonies with 334 committed to trial. In 1851, 609 felonies with 316 persons committed to trial.
    - Witness suggests that in London’s metropolitan police forces jurisdiction there is one offence to 214 inhabitants. In Hampshire there is one offence to 438 inhabitants.
    - Currently 167 police officers in Hampshire. 14 superintendents with 1 additional chief clerk ranking at this level, 15 sergeants.
    - Officers do not get paid for giving evidence in another county against a defendant, and receive allowances as ordinary witnesses.
    - One constable to every 1,000 persons, except in Birmingham and Liverpool where a greater number of officers are required.
    - Witness suggests police should be trained to use arms, but not regularly carry them, and therefore can be used as ‘light troops’.
    - Sheep stealing was previously a big problem in Hampshire but in 1851 there was only 30 recorded incidents.
    - When asked if the public are favourably or unfavourably towards Hampshire police, the witness states he has no reason to believe anything other than favourable.
    - One officer was overpowered and injured on duty.
    - Witness suggests the police should be formed into something akin to a military organisation.
    - Witness states he cannot make an assumption on the economic advantages and efficiencies of a police force.
    - Does not think a superintendent per division would drive up efficiency, instead it would be costly.
    - Need for rural police forces to benefit poorer individuals.
    - Witness argues that he believes without a well-regulated police system, poor individuals experience a tougher deal than individuals of wealth or status.

    08 Feb 2017, 22:02

  10. Yetunde Abdou

    I couldn’t access mine either so I found this:

    THE POLICE SYSTEM OF LONDON (1904) – WH ALDER
    • Considered by the author to ‘be the most satisfactory feature of its government’
    • The policeman has become synonymous with the city
    o Well set up fellow
    o Intelligent
    o Common
    • Red and white mark on the cuff = city policeman; blue and white = Metropolitan Police Force
    • City/ metropolis separation
    • Met Police founded in 1829
    o Comprises the whole of the county of London
    o 688sqm
    • The chief official is the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, who is appointed by the Crown by warrant under the Sign Manual.
    o Extensive power
    o Can dismiss/suspend any member of the Force
    o Receives £2000/year
    • Constables
    o are enrolled by the Commissioners under the authority and to a number approved by the Home Secretary
    o possess the right of executing in any part of England
    o on certain terms, additional constables may be appointed at the cost of the individuals who w
    o exempt from serving on juries or the militia
    o Until 1887 they had no vote at Parliamentary elections. In that year, however, they were given the franchise
    • City Police – 1939
    o Jurisdiction limited to the City of London (671 acres)
    o Also under the command of a Commissioner like the Met
    • Met and City Police are distinct entities
    • Met employs 16000 men; over a population of 6-7 million; 1 for every 400
    • The City Police employs 1002; 1 policeman for every 333 day inhabitants
    • Although they can vote the police are not considered to have any political influence as a body; police management is not an electoral concern

    09 Feb 2017, 00:13

  11. Aleemat Salami

    Instruction on Guidance to the Surrey Constabulary
    • The first detailed guidance for the police force
    o There had never been such guidance previously
    • The Home Office created this guidance in 1862
    o Included how to deal with crime
    • Should not be viewed as containing rules of conduct that can be applicable to various circumstances but that was left to the intelligence and discretion of the individuals
    o The qualities they show in terms of zeal and judgment will be their claim for promotion and reward
    • “Every constable must readily and punctually obey the orders of his superiors; if they appear to him improper, he may complain to the chief constable, through his superintendent, who will pay due attention to him. Any refusal to perform the commands of his superiors, or negligence in doing so, will not be suffered.”
    • Their principal motivation should always be the prevention of crime
    o “every effort of the constabulary is to be directed. The security of persons and property, the preservation of the public tranquillity, and all the other objects of a well regulated police force will thus be better effected, than by the detection and punishment of the offender after he has succeeded in committing the crime. This should be constantly kept in mind by every member of the force, as a guide for his own conduct”
    • The constable should always be at his post at the right time
    • Must never carry a stick or an umbrella on duty
    • Must declare himself before acting at night or when out of uniform
    o Must never appear out of uniform except when on leave of absence
    • Must be respectful when on the street and dealing with the public
    • Must stay away from idle conversation about his Service with strangers
    • Must treat magistrates with respect
    • Must make sure that those giving him information be duly protected and write down information he is given which the informar must authenticate and sign
    • When he arrests someone he must state the charge and if he is in plain clothes make it known that he is a constable
    • “In cases of larceny: When the report of a robbery reaches a constable, he must forthwith proceed to the spot indicated and there make every inquiry into the circumstances taking a description of the articles stolen and endeavouring to ascertain upon whom suspicion rests and whether any strangers have recently been seen in the neighbourhood.”
    • If a house has been robbed: “he will judge from the manner in which it has been effected whether the thief appears to have been acquainted with the premises, by observing if the robbery had been effected by an inmate or by someone from without and in the latter case if an entrance had been effected at once, or if ineffectual attempts have in the first instance, been made to force doors or windows; he must closely examine the ground under the windows and around the house for footmarks and such after being measured and examined must be securely covered with boards in order to preserve them.”

    09 Feb 2017, 00:56

  12. Oliver Rea-Jayson

    Report on State organisation and discipline of metropolitan police

    o The superintendents in the divisions select men under their command anyone they or their inspectors think likely to frame for detective work, either from his sharpness in making arrests, or from the way in which he conducts himself in the courts. He is then recommended to the commissioner, and, if approved by him, is appointed and placed on probation
    o Duties of the detective:
    o Visit prisons frequently so as to become familiar with the faces of the criminal classes.
    o When a crime is reported at a police station the officer in charge of the station takes a detective with him at once to the scene, and, after preliminary inquiries, leaves him, as a rule, to follow them out
    o When the detective is not engaged on inquiry, he often has a district given him to patrol, so that he may supplement the action of the uniform constables on the beat, in either detecting or arresting
    o And should he see a known criminal whom he believes to be out for the purpose of crime, it would be his duty to follow him; although on mere suspicion he would not follow him beyond the boundaries of the division to which he himself was attached
    o Whilst these are the duties of the divisional detectives, the duties of those of the Scotland Yard branch are very different
    o Scotland Yard branch can also be sent abroad along with being pan London
    o They perform their duties, distinct from the divisional detectives, under the supervision of an officer of the Scotland Yard branch, who reports daily to his superintendent the result of their work
    o Highlights the problem of this system being that ‘they never co-operate properly in the detection of crime, and that the public consequently suffer
    o Chief inspector Harris comments ‘it is a jealousy or spirit of rivalry which exists between them’
    o Not enough money to cover expenses or opportunities for promotion
    o Complaints that detective constables are often employed not on their legitimate work
    o There was the not common idea that the poor man does not always get his case so carefully attended to as the rich
    o Suggested idea to stop gratuities from the public as would make it better for the service and make men independent
    o Also suggested to keep the system as it is or return to the system in 1869 where uniformed officers would for a time be in plain clothes for their work

    09 Feb 2017, 08:06

  13. Aksana Khan

    Parliamentary Papers, 1852-53: First report from the Select Committee on Police; with the minutes of evidence- especially pp. 37-45 (evidence of Sir Robert Sheffield)

    Select Committee set up by Palmerston who wanted further uniformity and rationalisation of policing. Whilst the questions asked to Sheffield reflect the fear of a lack of discipline (hence why they asked him about how the constables were disciplined), running the discussion was the preoccupation of expenses. They ask him questions about
    1. the constables’ salaries;
    2. Cost of a horse-cart and whether this is drawn from the county or Treasury purse;
    3. whether there was a saving made by not having chief constables. He said yes, because they are legally entitled for collecting the county rate. But he thought it was ‘totally illegal’. He saved 500 l. per annum on the grounds that ‘We do not want them now, because the superintending police supply their places.’ (p. 41)

    Sheffield in particular was quite happy with the system. He said ‘the advantages which already seem to arise from the plan are, that in the towns and places where the superintendents are stationed there is much more orderly behavior than there was before; the beerhouses, alehouses and vagrants’ common lodging-houses, are better looked after; the peaceable and well-indisposed inhabitants are protected and the bad characters are kept in cheek…many of the principal inhabitants have expressed their great satisfaction upon the appointment of the superintendent, and the different order of things since that has taken place.’ (p. 41) He said that given that the ratepayers do not want any more expenses, they are satisfied, ‘the country looks to the superintendents very much as protectors; they send them directly if any offence is committed’ (p. 42)

    09 Feb 2017, 08:17

  14. Aksana Khan

    The Committee highlight the arbitrariness of law enforcement. There was much discussion of the 1842 Parish Constables Act:
    1. Context = ‘affirmed the old system of local policing and selection of parish constables; it also authorised the recruitment of paid, superintending constables to oversee the parish constables of a petty sessional division. For many, including persons in those counties where rural constabularies had been established, the act was a godsend. It offered a policing system which was cheaper and which seemed better suited to the needs of a rural society.’ (Emsley, p. 240) ‘The new lease of life injected into the old system was popular not only because it was cheaper than a full- blown county constabulary but also because it kept control of the police within the smaller, traditional units of parishes and petty sessional divisions.’ (Emsley, p. 241)
    2. Sheffield highlights that they enforced it because it regulated payment of parish constables as well as their job duties: Super-intendants have their own horse and cart; they visit all the parishes in their districts every fortnight; attend and report to the petty sessions; take persons to gaol when not on other duties; help out other constables. BUT THEY WERE NOT PAID TO PREVENT/DETECT CRIME, THEY JUST HAD TO BE THERE.
    3. With regards to the 1850 act which amended the Rural Act, Sheffield states that the magistrates met to discuss it because it ‘has the effect of giving a power to magistrates to build a lock-up in any place they think proper, with a paid constable besides the superintendent; and this has opened the door to an undefined and unlimited expenditure’ (p. 39) Magistrates agreed that they would not build more than one lock-up house in the same district without having the police committee report at the assizes in spring and summer.

    As for his recommendations on improving the system:

    1. Regulation of the police was quite lax. Although Sheffield agreed that it was a ‘defect’ of the system with there not being a head constable, he believed that it was desirable. Otherwise, it all rested on the character of the men they hired. The only other means they had to enforce regulation was to have them all attend a quarter session on their conduct and behavior.
    2. Although he states that the number of vagrants has reduced, he said that they would remain numerous so long as the rate-payers do not pay extra for a vagrancy-ward. It was not the fault of the police that they remain.

    09 Feb 2017, 08:17


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