The police were to blame for not capturing Jack the Ripper Essay

I think the police were partly to blame for not capturing Jack the Ripper. Source E, which is part of an article published in a local newspaper, shows that police did not act on information from informants. It says ‘he was referred from one police office to another’ which suggests that the police didn’t give witnesses their full attention. This quote states that the police just past this particular witness from one office to the next, which means they missed the chance of talking to a potentially important witness.

Source I which is a map of the East End in 1888 showing where all the murders took place. It clearly shows that all the murders happened in a very small area of London. This means that if the police had put more police officers on the street in around the same places where the first few murders occurred, they could have had a greater chance of preventing the other murders and capturing the Ripper. I also know that there were two police forces involved in this investigation; the met and the city police. These two forces did not cooperate with each other over the investigation so they were more unlikely to capture Jack the Ripper, whereas if they had worked together they would have had a better chance because there would have been more police helping and patrolling the streets.

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The police could have also been blamed for destroying valuable clues and evidence which could have led them or helped them to have an idea about the Ripper, such as the chalk message left on the wall by the Ripper that read ‘The Juwes are the men that will not be blamed for nothing’ . Sir Charles Warren ordered the message to be rubbed off to avoid riots between the Jewish populations.

Some sources show however that the police were not entirely to blame for capturing the Ripper. For example source D which is evidence of Elizabeth Long at the inquest into the death of Annie Chapman suggests that the witness was unreliable. She used phrases such as ‘I think’ and ‘I cannot be sure’. This shows clearly that the witness was unsure of herself and if the police had many eye witnesses like her then it would have been difficult for the police to do their job.

Source G shows the police were prevented from offering rewards by the secretary of state because they were attracting false information in order to receive a reward. I also know that the police didn’t have modern forensic methods like finger printing and blood sampling to help them, which would have also made it more difficult to capture the Ripper than it would have today. There were also many red herrings such as the leather apron, the letter, and the kidney parts which resulted in various false starts.

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