Police In Whitechapel

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  • Policing in Whitechapel
    • Work of H division
      • H division beat constables were each given a set route within Whitechapel to control. They were on the look out for trouble and broke up disorder, regularly had to report to Sergeant and recorded in a diary.
    • Attitudes towards policing
      • All policing in Whitechapel was made more difficult by most of the local attitudes. Mistrusted and seen as extension of government that discarded the working classes.  Only a few co-operated with investigations and constables were frequently attacked
    • Problems in policing Whitechapel for H division
      • Gangs: alongside individual petty thieves pickpockets operated. They employed individuals who were well trained at not getting caught
      • Prostitution: 1888- approx. 1200 prostitutes vulnerable to violence in brothels or in streets. Alcohol was sold very cheaply and drunkenness often fueled violence. Many turned to crime to feed habit
      • Environment: Dark narrow alleys, multiple doorways to rookeries packed with people made chasing and finding criminals extremely difficult
      • Protection rackets: Gangs demanded money to protect people's businesses. Refusal led to damage and violence on property. Fear of these gangs meant noone reported them, paid up or retaliated themselves
      • Violent demonstrations: Public protests were common in Whitechapel. The social democrats were involved in many of these protests such as Trafalgar square protest, led to disorder and violence and need large number of police
      • Attack on Jews: after large scale jewish immigration, attacks on jews became common . Some officers were Anti-semites, while language barrier prevented others from catching criminals
    • Whitechapel Vigilance Committee
      • Set up by businessman due to lack of progress on Ripper case
        • Untitled
      • Offered rewards for information on murderer
      • Patrolled streets nightly and disrupted police investigations by sending false leads and encouraging criticism of police


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