Crime And Punishment: Crimes, Who Solved Them, And
Different PunishmenCrime and Punishment: Crimes, Who Solved Them, and Different Punishments
Our topic for this paper is Crime and Punishment. There are several
different issues on this subject. We chose three main points to talk about:
The Crimes, the People who solved them, and the different types of punishments.
These are the topics we chose for our report.
Crime in the nineteeth century was rapid though out London. But because
of all of the poverty and sickness in the streets, crime was the only way to
survive. Most of the crimes that took place in London were crimes that
involved stealing. Pickpocket gangs and street gamblers were a regular sight
when walking down a major London street. Prostitution was also a big money
maker on the streets, done by both girls and boys. But crimes though out the
middle class and rich were mostly property crimes and disputes which made up
90% of all crimes committed by the upper-class. In Victorian England and like
today there a two categories which crimes fall under. “Indictable” which is the
same as our felony crimes that make up all of the major crimes. These crimes
consist of: Murder, armed robbery, burglary, larceny, rape, and assaults on
the police. The next called category is called ” Summery ” crimes which is
equal to our misdemeanor crimes. Summery crimes were all minor crimes such as:
Property crimes, Vagrancy, Drunkenness, Prostitution, Minor Larceny , and all
other minor offenses.
Probably the most famous criminal in the Victorian period was ” Jack
the Ripper “. Jack the Ripper was ” the first modern sexual serial killer” (
Sugden, pg.2) Jack’s trademark was the killing of female prostitutes. But not
only did he kill them, he would surgically remove organs and intrails and place
them near the dead body. “Jack the Ripper” wasn’t his only nickname, he was
also called ” the Whitechaple murder ” because the body’s were found near the
Whitechapel Road, and ” The Leather Apron” because of a man that would come by
and beat up the prostitutes for no reason. Jack the Ripper is credited for 9
killings, but police think that he might be responsible for more. All of the
killing accrued with in one square mile. Jack is described as carring a long
knife in which he would cut open his victims, and a black Gladstone bag, the
contents of which is unknown. ( Sugden, pg.1) Jack the Ripper’s identity is
unknown which is probably why this case is so famous. It is rumored that Jack
the Ripper was a member of the royal family, and that people knew of his
identity but wanted to keep it a secret.
The London Metropolitan Police system was created in 1829, after the
public need for security has been told to the government. The Police
Department consisted of 3000 policemen. The Policeman then were poorly paid.
A constable’s usual pay was 19 shillings, a week. An inspector got around 2
pounds, and some of that money was taken off for the cost of there uniform.
There uniform was a blue tail coat with there number and letter of their
division on the collar and hat. There only weapon was a short wooden baton.
The government had a hard time finding recruits. Most of there men were old
soldiers, and many of them were dismissed from the force for drunkenness. Later
on the force started to become a real Police force, and the people of London
appreciated it. The officers also were given many nicknames such as: Blue
devils, peeler, and bobby. In 10 years the London Metropolitan Police Force
cut the number of crimes in London by half.
The crimes in Victorian England did not go without it’s punishments. In
early Victorian England Public hanging’s were watched by many people, and the
stocks were placed in the center of town where people would look at you and
even beat you and humiliated you. But in 1838 the ending of all public
tortures and executions gave way and became out lawed.
These things lead to the building of prisons. In 1730 the prisons were
at there worst and were not made for long term offenders. These prisons were
so bad because they were privately owned and the owners used the inmates for
working purposes. They also shipped these men to other businesses for money
paid to the prisons by the companies who needed cheap workers. The prisons
lacked sewage and heat which made for horrible working conditions sometimes
deadly working conditions.
The prisoners life was a horrible one. They worked fourteen hours a day
taking only short breaks for lunch and dinner. You only got lunch and dinner
if you had money to pay for it or unless someone gave you some of their food or
a visitor gave you some food. It was awful because these prisons were there to
make money through any way they could by having inmates pay to get there
shackles off or paying for a private room or for a room with your friend it was
usually a pretty bad room but it was still better than the others. Due to the
new law of no more public hangings there was a great amount of over population.
This over population meant trouble for the prisoners because the prisoners who
really didn’t commit bad crimes were killed in jail by the guards. So now the
prisoners who went to jail were there to be executed or if they weren’t there
for that it would mean they were shipped to factories, Australia or new prisons
set up the Queen or King of England. It’s a shame these men women and children
were so mistreated over such little crimes but it made the crime rate go down.
( Mitchell pg’s 638-41 ) That’s the end of our paper on crime and punishment,
and prisons. I hope you liked it a lot.