- Created by: babyblue18459
- Created on: 01-12-19 15:36
Robert Peel and Law and Order Summary
- Peel was willing to be persuaded by reasonable arguments
- He studied the recommendations of humanitarian reformers, such as Elizabeth Fry
- Read Bentham's criticisms of the inefficiencies of the legal system
- 1823-30, Pitt radically changed the law and order system
Penal Code Reform
What was it: AKA the "Bloody Code", and was a deterrent by punishing people severely. Set up in 1819 in response to government investigation into criminal law. 200 offences were punishable by death, and 400 by hard labour in Australia. Broke down system - juries didn't want to convict criminals if it meant death for a trivial offence -> many people went unpunished. Was reformed 1824 - death penalty abolished for 180+ crimes, including minor crimes. In other more serious crimes, it was left up to the judge, and on the whole, punishments were less severe. Jury system reorganised, government spies stopped being uses.
Liberal: 180 crimes lost death sentence. 400 crimes lost transportation sentence
Not liberal: Before this, only 1 in 1200 shop-lifters ever found guily. Public hangings remain. Those who fell into debt were still imprisoned. Only came after pressures from humanitatians, like Elizabeth Fry -> not result of liberal heart. Softened senteces to punish more people.
Jails Act 1823
What was it: Prisons were overcrowded, disease-ridden, children-adult mixed, abusive and often had jailers who made a living by charging fees to prisoners. Used for debtors and those awaiting trial.
Liberal: Now regular prison inspections. Jailors recieved a salary. Female jailers were assinged to female prisoners. All prisoners to receive some education and doctors visits.
Not liberal: Reforms only applied to large prisons in London and 17 main cities. Small and debtors prisons remained the same.
Metropolitan Police Act 1829
What was it: Bow Street Runners and elderly night watchmen were inefficient at keeping peace. Peel thought the law could be mor effective if an organisation could track down and deter criminals. Introduced the Metropolitan Police Force, the first ever police force, consisting of 1000 paid constables under comminssioner with headquarters at Scotland Yard. Nicknamed 'bobbies' due to their non-military uniform and the fact that they were only armed with truncheons so they weren't considered a military
Liberal: Reduced crime rate spectacularly. Many criminals moved to other areas, and the idea spread to other areas (although this was gradual). Respect increased for them as crime and violence reduced over country.
Not Liberal: Many people restented the police rate/local tax, and felt it was a form of repression . A Parliament committe stated it 'was difficult to combine having an effective police system, with the British privilege of freedom and non-interference.' J.W Hunt said 'radicals and liberals feared it as a weapon in hands of a reactionary government.'
Huskisson and the 1824 Repeal of the Combination
What was it: Since 1800, these laws had made trade unions illegal. Francis Place let a campaign to get these laws repealed, and was supported by Benthamites and radical MPs, like Francis Burdett. They argued the Laws were inefficient, since trade unions existed but under the name of friendly societies, and that workers were dissatisfied because they were illegal (once given full rights, workers could cooperate with employers -> no need for unions)
Liberal: After gaining enough evidence from workers, Huskisson repealed the laws 1842. It lead to trade unions and strikes.
Not Liberal: Many trade unions and huge strikes, and Industrialists began to pressure for the re-introduction of the Laws. To compromise, the Amending Act 1825 was introduced, which made striking much more difficult. Done illiberally.