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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99546 Find in a Library
Title: Policing Victorian London - Political Policing, Public Order, and the London Metropolital Police
Author(s): P T Smith
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 235
Sponsoring Agency: Greenwood Publishing Group
Westport, CT 06881-5007
Sale Source: Greenwood Publishing Group
88 Post Road West
P.O. Box 5007
Westport, CT 06881-5007
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book traces the role of the London Metropolitan Police in the maintenance of public order and 'political policing' (police surveillance and control of dissident citizens) from 1850 to 1868, when police organization and procedures were institutionalized after two decades of experimentation.
Abstract: The book begins with a review of the pre-Victorian criminal justice system and popular attitudes toward law and order wich contributed to the shaping of police practices. This review also considers the evolution of the police force concept and its implementation from 1829, as well as the inner workings and leadership of the force. An examination of policing functions in the Victorian period addresses detection, surveillance, the handling of aliens, and threats to the social order. Regarding police surveillance, the book notes that the police tried to compromise between the traditional British aversion to spying and the need for intelligence information (for example, with regard to the activities of Irish Fenians or continental refugees in London). Chapters also focus on crowd control and public order, with attention to specific episodes such as the Hyde Park riots of 1855 and Reform Bill demonstrations in 1866-67. The book views the events as issues of the use and abuse of authority by the police. Overall, the book concludes that even with the deficiencies noted, the police and the law were effective, largely because the period was favored by an improving economic climate. Chapter notes and approximately 140 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Civil disorders; Crowd control; England; History of policing; Police intelligence operations; Urban policing
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