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 carrying 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