- In London, there were about 20,000 criminals in the 1870s.
- The police were worried about the law and order situation.
- So the population of criminals was counted, their activities were watched and their ways of life were investigated.
- In mid 19th century, Henry Mathew, wrote several articles on the London labour and those, who made their living from crime.
- Many criminals were poor, who lived by stealing lead from roofs, food from shops, lumps of coal and clothes drying on the hedges.
- There were cheats and tricksters, pickpocketers and petty thieves, crowding the streets of London.
- In an attempt to discipline the population, the authorities imposed high penalties for crime and offered work to those, who were considered the ‘deserving poor’.