Law Enforcement 1700-1900

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  • Why the work of the Fielding brothers was a significant advance in policing
    • Industrialisation and urbanisation were major factors that increased crime after 1700, created new for better law enforcement
    • Continuity and change in policing
      • Watchmen continued to patrol cities on foot at night and parish constables dealt with petty crimes
      • Soldiers were used to put down riots and large protests.
      • As from 1749, bow street runners tracked down criminals and stolen property. From 1754, they used horses to patrol.
      • The Bow street runners
        • Est. 1749 by Henry Fielding to try to tackle huge crime wave of 17th Century- John, his brother took over in 1754
          • At first they charged fees and collected rewards,but by 1785 they were paid by the government
          • Introduced new methods of finding evidence to bring criminals to justice- modern detectives
          • Branched out to patrolling major roads on foot and horse. The patrols were less successful than the detecting side as there were not enough runners with the dramatically increasing crime rate
          • Shared info on crimes and suspects with others- beginning of a crime intelligence network
      • Key dates: 1856 police act meant all towns and counties had to set up a professional police force 1878:CID set up for criminal investigations
        • 1856 Police Act
          • This act made professional police forces, compulsory across the country
          • All forces were funded by the government and were regularly inspected by officials employed by the government
          • Police officers were not only tasked with keeping law and order, preventing crime through patrols and arresting criminals, but also to detect criminals after crime. Aim of all activities was deterrence.


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