Searching through the different terms on the Dictionary of Victorian London i came across a post about “Victorian Era Police”. This really interested me because i never really researched Victorian era law enforcement and the images that keep popping into mind are those from the Sherlock Holmes movie that came out in 2009. This article can be found under: Police; City of London Police; -duties and organization.
Since the City of London was the wealthiest business center of the world, they had their own police force that only watched the city in both day and night. The goal of the policemen was to get a high number of convictions using any means necessary. There was no checks of what the police was doing. The press, unlike today, didn’t accuse officers of corruption , or any malpractice.
One thing that interested me that, in addition to arresting criminals, officers helped out civilians by escorting old ladies to their homes , looking out for future crimes, etc. In addition to this there was a Nightwatch established which patrolled the streets from 10 P.M. to check stores, and prevent any thievery. As quoted from the author, ALEX. INNES SHAND. , “the City police has arrived at pretty nearly the perfection of efficiency” . This is an example that you don’t need to have superior technology to be highly efficient in what you are doing. According to the chart that is found midway through the article there was 800 total officers working in London in the public sector and 99 policeman in the private sector, both a fairly large amount of officers.