How did crime grow in London? How were authorities able to control them?

  • 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’.
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