Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

How Effective Was Victorian Policing?

Category Crime, Criminology, Police
Words 396 (2 pages)
Views 35

When police forced were first set up in the early nineteenth century, they were very unpopular. This was due to the fact the police were criticised for violent and drunken behaviour. Furthermore such as the cost of running the police force and the public feared them as a threat to their personal and political freedom. For example, the police didn’t solve any crime “the lack of protection” and mainly many places did not have a police force until 1856, which meant that there was no point having them because it contrasted greatly with the population.

One point historians find that Victorian policing was a failure is that most of the time the police spent clearing drunks and beggars off the street, and not solving serious crime, such as only four numbers of arrests were made in 16 years. Late Victorian England is described by some historians as a ‘golden age’ of policing because of the amount of public trust and approval.

There were reforms which meant that there were less drunkenness in the force and the public approved the police were seen more as a friend than threat. Also the people thought it seemed worth it to run the police force. This was because the police force was starting to realise their mistake and learned from it. There was an increase in the number of arrest the police made and the crime rate began to steadily fall.

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Furthermore they started to gather evidence from the public and made prosecutions, which suggests the police were taking action and tried to solve crimes. In addition there were new technologies-this system was to classify information more efficiently. But historians also ask whether this really was a ‘golden’ age. For example the Bertillon system was difficult to use, therefore there was no much point to use them; unless a witness could give detailed descriptions of the criminal.

One major point that proves the Victorian policing was a failure is in the nineteenth century police officers weren’t trained enough. Overall, to some extent the Victorian policing were effective in that they learnt from their mistakes and kept improving, but to some extent it wasn’t effect in preventing criminals effectively or solving crimes. However in my opinion the Victorian policing were effective in the way that if the mistakes weren’t made, we’d be faced with the same problems now.

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