HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL WE TOUCH UPON AND FEATURE A NUMBER OF CONTROVERSIAL AND HISTORIC ASSASSINATIONS OF SOME OF THE ICONIC FIGUREHEADS THROUGHOUT TIME INCLUDING MARTIN LUTHER KING JR FEATURED HERE BELOW .
ABOVE AND BELOW : ORIGINAL OIL PAINTINGS BY OUR IN-HOUSE GLOUCESTERSHIRE ARTIST PAUL BRIDGMAN HERE ON DISPLAY AT THE JAIL …
THIS ALONG WITH A MASS OF TRUE CRIME , MURDERABILIA, AND OTHER ASSOCIATED MEMORABILIA IS ALL HERE ON DISPLAY AS PART OF A HOPEFULLY EDUCATIONAL INSIGHT DURING ONE’S VISIT TO THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION HERE AT THE JAIL
MARTIN LUTHER KING ASSASSINATED ON THE BALCONY OUTSIDE HIS ROOM AT THE LORRAINE MOTEL , MEMPHIS USA
MARTIN LUTHER KING IN HIS COFFIN SHORTLY BEFORE FUNERAL
MARTIN LUTHER KING POLICE MUGSHOT AT TIME OF A PREVIOUS ARREST
MARTIN LUTHER KING IN HIS COFFIN SHORTLY BEFORE FUNERAL
Martin Luther King is probably the most famous person associated with the civil rights movement. King was active from the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 to 1956 until his murder in April 1968. To many Martin Luther King epitomised what the civil rights campaign was all about and he brought massive international cover to the movement.
Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15th, 1929. The church was very much a part of his life as both his father and grandfather had been Baptist preachers. They themselves were involved in the civil rights movement. By the standards of the time, King came from a reasonably comfortable background and after graduating from college in 1948 he was not sure about which profession to join. He considered a career in medicine and law but rejected both and joined the Baptist Church. He studied at the Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. It was while studying here, that King learned about the non-violent methods used by Mahatma Gandhi against the British in India. King became convinced that such methods would be of great value to the civil rights movement.
After leaving Crozer, King got married to Coretta Scott. He became a Baptist pastor at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. He was in Montgomery at the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He was appointed the president of the Montgomery Improvement Association which was created during the boycott and he became a prominent leader of the boycott – even driving some of the black community to work as the buses had been boycotted. King was arrested for starting a boycott (an arrestable offence as a result of an obscure law that was very rarely used) and fined $500 with $500 costs. His house was fire-bombed and others involved with MIA were also intimidated – but by the end of 1956, segregation had been lifted in Montgomery and bus integration had been introduced.
Another result of the boycott was the establishment of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). This organisation was committed to the use of non-violence and its motto was “Not one hair of one head of one person should be harmed.” Martin Luther King was elected its president. The importance of the SCLC’s involvement was simply because the churches that represented the black population in the South were potent organisations. Now that they had combined their power and influence, this power was multiplied.
Not long after the conclusion of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, King wrote ‘Stride Towards Freedom’. This was read by some students at Greensboro, North Carolina and they started the student sit-in of the Woolworth’s lunch counter which had a policy of not serving African-Americans. Though the students were frequently abused and assaulted, they never fought back. The same tactic – a non-violent response to violence – was also used by the Freedom Riders in their campaign to desegregate transport.
Buoyed by this response, King toured the country making speeches and urging more and more people to get involved in the civil rights movement. King had also noted the economic power that the black community had – as was seen in Montgomery. He tried to get communities to use companies/individual shop keepers etc. who were sympathetic to the civil rights campaign but also to boycott those who were not.
King also placed great faith in the power of the vote. Many black Americans in the South still faced enormous problems doing something as basic as registering to vote such was the intimidation they faced. In Mississippi, 42% of the state’s population was black but only 2% registered to vote in the 1960 election. However, more and more did register throughout the South and in 1960, their support (70%) helped to give the Democrat J F Kennedy the narrowest of victories over Richard Nixon.
In 1963, Kennedy proposed his civil rights bill. To persuade Congress to support this bill, King, with other civil rights leaders, organised the legendary March on Washington. Baynard Rustin was given overall control of the march.
The march – officially the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom – was a major success. Held on August 28th, 1963, it attracted between 250,000 and 400,000 people. The final speaker was Martin Luther King and it was here that he made his legendary ‘I have a Dream’ speech which was heard throughout the world and did a huge amount to publicise the civil rights movement in America across the world. Congress did accept Kennedy’s civil rights bill and it became the 1964 Civil Rights Act – a far reaching act that many saw as a fitting tribute to the assassinated Kennedy.
King then moved on to a bill that would guarantee the voting rights of the black community in America. This led to the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
From this time on, King became more and more concerned with the poverty of those in America – both black and white. For whatever reason, King became more radical – or so it seemed to those who distrusted him. He used the word “revolution” in some of his speeches and he voiced his opposition to the Vietnam War. King also became involved in trade union issues.
King had clearly made enemies in his rise to fame. At the most basic level, the KKK did what they could to tarnish his name in the South. However, it was the work done by the FBI under the leadership of J Edgar Hoover that did most damage. Rooms where King stayed during his travels were bugged and recordings of his alleged sexual improprieties were made. The FBI released such details to the press.
On April 4th, 1968, Martin Luther King was shot dead by an assassin. His death sparked off riots in many cities and 46 people were killed during these. In March 1969, James Earl Ray was found guilty of King’s murder and sentenced to 99 years in prison. Many years after starting his sentence, Ray claimed that he was innocent and that he could not have killed King.
THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY
The Black Panther Party, originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, was a political organization founded by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in October 1966 in Oakland, California.
ABOVE AND BELOW : ORIGINAL OIL PAINTINGS BY OUR IN-HOUSE GLOUCESTERSHIRE ARTIST PAUL BRIDGMAN HERE ON DISPLAY AT THE JAIL …
ABOVE … A BRIEF INSIGHT INTO THE FIRST SERVING GLOUCESTERSHIRE POLICEMAN TO BE KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY IN 1861. SERGEANT SAMUEL BEARD WAS , AT THE TIME STATIONED HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL FOR SOME 16 YEARS . THE GLOUCESTERSHIRE POLICE FORCE WAS FORMED IN 1839, MAKING IT THE SECOND OLDEST COUNTY POLICE FORCE IN THE UK .
INCIDENTALLY , THE FIRST RECORDED DEATH OF A SERVING PARISH CONSTABLE (FORERUNNERS TO THE POLICE FORCE ) IN THE FOREST OF DEAN WAS HENRY THOMPSON IN THE PARISH OF RUARDEAN , 14 MAY 1817 , AGED 31 .
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE HISTORY OF THE GLOUCESTERSHIRE POLICE FORCE PLEASE CLICK ON THE TWO LINKSHERE OR HERE
BELOW …. A BRIEF LOOK AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL, FEATURING VARIOUS POLICE MANNEQUINS AND OTHER POLICE MEMORABILIA DISPLAYS .
HERE’S JUST A BRIEF PICTORIAL INSIGHT INTO SOME OF THE BRITISH POLICE MEMORABILIA AND EPHEMERA ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL WHICH COVERS THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE THROUGH THE AGES .
THIS COLLECTION IS BELIEVED TO BE ONE OF THE LARGEST PRIVATE COLLECTIONS OF POLICE MEMORABILIA IN THE UK . WE HAVE HUNDREDS OF VINTAGE HAND PAINTED TRUNCHEONS , RESTRAINTS , HELMETS, BADGES, UNIFORMS AND MUCH MORE .
SEE BELOW FOR PICTORIAL SLIDESHOW OF A FEW EXHIBITS ON DISPLAY
SEE BELOW VIDEO FOR EDUCATIONAL INSIGHT INTO THE HISTORY OF THE BRITISH POLICE
A SUPERB PIECE OF GLOUCESTERSHIRE POLICE CRIME SCENE MEMORABILIA ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
JUST ONE OF A GREAT MANY BRITISH POLICE MEMORABILIA ITEMS THROUGH THE AGES ON DISPLAY IN ONE OF THE UK’S LARGEST PRIVATE COLLECTIONS OF LAW AND ORDER MATERIAL .
BELOW IS AN IMAGE OF WHAT IS BELIEVED TO BE ONE OF THE VERY FEW SURVIVING VINTAGE GLOUCESTERSHIRE CONSTABULARY’S FINGERPRINT KITS (CIRCA 1940’S) . COMPLETE WITH IT’S ORIGINAL BOX, INKS, ROLLER, POWDERS AND BRUSHES ETC .ALSO VARIOUS APPROPRIATE DOCUMENTATION FOR FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE PURPOSES . FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PICTURES RELATING TO THIS ITEM CLICK HERE
Picture By: Jules Annan Picture Shows:GLOUCESTERSHIRE POLICE FINGERPRINT KIT CIRCA 1940’S Date 25TH September 2011 Ref: *World Rights Only* *Unbylined uses will incur an additional discretionary fee!*
A short history of British Police focusing on truncheon and armour – Arms in Action
ORIGINAL PAINTING BY GLOUCESTERSHIRE ARTIST PAUL BRIDGMAN DEPICTING WPC YVONNE FLETCHER, WHO WAS FATALLY SHOT OUTSIDE THE LIBYAN EMBASSY , ST JAMES SQUARE, LONDON IN 1984 . THIS PAINTING IS ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL.
PC DAVID RATHBAND WHO WAS SHOT AND BLINDED BY RAOUL MOAT PERSONAL SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BRITISH POLICE
The word “Police” means, generally, the arrangements made in all civilised countries to ensure that the inhabitants keep the peace and obey the law. The word also denotes the force of peace officers (or police) employed for this purpose.
In 1829 Sir Richard Mayne wrote:
“The primary object of an efficient police is the prevention of crime: the next that of detection and punishment of offenders if crime is committed. To these ends all the efforts of police must be directed. The protection of life and property, the preservation of public tranquillity, and the absence of crime, will alone prove whether those efforts have been successful and whether the objects for which the police were appointed have been attained.”
In attaining these objects, much depends on the approval and co-operation of the public, and these have always been determined by the degree of esteem and respect in which the police are held. One of the key principles of modern policing in Britain is that the police seek to work with the community and as part of the community.
Origins of policing
The origin of the British police lies in early tribal history and is based on customs for securing order through the medium of appointed representatives. In effect, the people were the police. The Saxons brought this system to England and improved and developed the organisation. This entailed the division of the people into groups of ten, called “tythings”, with a tything-man as representative of each; and into larger groups, each of ten tythings, under a “hundred-man” who was responsible to the Shire-reeve, or Sheriff, of the County.
The tything-man system, after contact with Norman feudalism, changed considerably but was not wholly destroyed. In time the tything-man became the parish constable and the Shire-reeve the Justice of the Peace, to whom the parish constable was responsible. This system, which became widely established in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, comprised, generally, one unarmed able-bodied citizen in each parish, who was appointed or elected annually to serve for a year unpaid, as parish constable. He worked in co-operation with the local Justices in securing observance of laws and maintaining order. In addition, in the towns, responsibility for the maintenance of order was conferred on the guilds and, later, on other specified groups of citizens, and these supplied bodies of paid men, known as “The Watch”, for guarding the gates and patrolling the streets at night.
In the eighteenth century came the beginnings of immense social and economic changes and the consequent movement of the population to the towns. The parish constable and “Watch” systems failed completely and the impotence of the law-enforcement machinery was a serious menace. Conditions became intolerable and led to the formation of the “New Police”.
The Metropolitan Police
In 1829, when Sir Robert Peel was Home Secretary, the first Metropolitan Police Act was passed and the Metropolitan Police Force was established. This new force superseded the local Watch in the London area but the City of London was not covered. Even within the Metropolitan Police District there still remained certain police establishments, organised during the eighteenth century, outside the control of the Metropolitan Police Office, viz:-
The Bow Street Patrols, mounted and foot, the latter commonly called the “Bow Street runners”.
Police Office constables attached to the offices of, and under the control of, the Magistrates.
The Marine or River Police.
By 1839 all these establishments had been absorbed by the Metropolitan Police Force. The City of London Police, which was set up in 1839, remains an independent force to this day.
HISTORY OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE
Time Line 1829 – 1849
Until 1829, law enforcement had been lacking in organisation. As London expanded during the 18th and 19th centuries the whole question of maintaining law and order had become a matter of public concern. In 1812, 1818 and 1822, Parliamentary committees were appointed to investigate the subject of crime and policing. But it was not until 1828 when Sir Robert Peel set up his committee that the findings paved the way for his police Bill, which led to the setting up of an organised police service in London.
The formation of the Metropolitan Police Force on 29 September 1829 by Sir Robert Peel.
Sir Charles Rowan and Richard Mayne are appointed as Justices of the Peace in charge of the Force.1830PC Joseph Grantham becomes first officer to be killed on duty, at Somers Town, Euston. The Metropolitan Police ranks were increased considerably to 3,300 men.1831Further riots. A crowd attacks Apsley House, home of the Duke of Wellington, and break all the windows. The police eventually restore order.1832Richard Mayne, the Commissioner, tries to clarify the roles of the Magistrates and the Commissioners as the Bow Street Runners continue their existance.1833Coldbath Fields Riot (Grays Inn Road). A major crowd disturbance was dealt with by the Metropolitan Police with controversial use of force.
PC Robert Culley was killed at this event, and the jury returned a verdict of Justifiable Homicide.
1834The Select Committee designated with the task of inquiring into the state of the Police of the Metropolis reported ‘that the Metropolitan Police Force, as respects its influence in repressing crime and the security it has given to persons and property, is one of the most valuable modern institutions’
1835In October a fire breaks out at the Millbank Penitentiary and 400 Metropolitan Police officers and a detachment of the Guards are called to restore order. This prompted the press to call for the police to be put in command at all large fires.
1836The Metropolitan Police absorb the Bow Street Horse Patrol into its control.
1837Select Committee appointed to look into the affairs of the police offices. They also propose that the City of London be placed under the control of the Metropolitan Police.
1838Select Committee finally reports and recommends incorporating of Marine Police and Bow Street Runners into the Metropolitan Police and the disbandment of the Bow Street Office and other Offices. These were all agreed and put into effect.
1839The two Justices of the Peace, Rowan and Mayne are termed Commissioners by the Metropolitan Police Act 1839. Enlargement of the Metropolitan Police District by the same Act
.1840Gould Interrogation case in which Police Sergeant Otway attempts induced self-incrimination in the accused, which is immediately discountenanced by the Courts and Commissioner Richard Mayne.
1841Formation of Dockyard divisions of the Metropolitan police
.1842Formation of the Detective Department
.1843The Woolwich Arsenal became part of the area to be patrolled by the Metropolitan Police
.1844Richard Mayne, Commissioner, called to give evidence to the Select Committee on Dogs. He stated that in the Metropolis there were a rising number of lost or stolen dogs. In the preceding year over 600 dogs were lost and 60 stolen. He declared the law to be in a very unsatisfactory state as people paid money for restoration of dogs. ‘People pay monies to parties whom they have reason to believe have either stolen or enticed them away in order to get the reward…’ Mayne believed it to be organised crime.
1845The Commissioners, in returns to the Home Office, states that the aim of the Force was to have one Policeman to 450 head of population.
1846Plain clothes officers were frequently used at this time, but a June order made clear that two officers per division would be employed on detective duties, but that police in plain clothes must make themselves known if interfered with in their duty.
1847Statistics for the year were; 14,091 robberies; 62,181 people taken in charge, 24,689 of these were summarily dealt with; 5,920 stood trial and 4,551 were convicted and sentenced; 31,572 people were discharged by the magistrates.
The Metropolitan Police were still, despite their good record on crime prevention, facing discipline problems amongst their officers on the 18 divisions, with 238 men being dismissed in the year.
1848Large scale enrolement of Special constables to assist the Metropolitan Police in controlling the Chartist Demonstrations
.1849Authorised strength 5,493. In reality 5,288 were available for duty. The population at this time in London was 2,473,758.
Time Line 1850 – 1869
Retirement of Sir Charles Rowan as joint Commissioner. Captain William Hay is appointed in his place.
The Great Exhibition with its special crowd problems forces the police to temporarily form a new police division. The total manpower of the force at this time was 5,551, covering 688 square miles.
Sir Charles Rowan, first joint Commissioner, dies. In his obituary note of 24 May The Times wrote: “No individual of any rank or station could be more highly esteemed or loved when living, or more regretted in death.”
Lord Dudley Stuart, MP for Marylebone and a persistent critic of the police, suggests in Parliament that the police are not worth the money they cost. He recommends that they be reduced in numbers, and a higher class of officers be recruited to control the constables.
Out of 5,700 in the Metropolitan Force, 2.5% were Scottish, 6.5% Irish. The Commissioner was not happy about employing these officers in areas of high Scottish or Irish ethnic concentrations.
Death of Captain William Hay. Sir Richard Mayne becomes sole Commissioner.
Detective Force increased to 10 men, with an extra Inspector and Sergeant.
The Commissioner Richard Mayne is paid a salary of £1,883, and his two Assistant Commissioners are paid salaries of £800 each.
First acquisition of Police van for conveying prisoners. These were horse drawn, and known as‘Black Marias’.
Police orders of 6 January state “It is a great gratification to the Commissioner that the number of police guilty of the offence of drunkenness during the late Christmas holidays has been much lower than last year… In A, F and R Division only one man was reported in each, and in H Division not one man was reported in the present or last year..”
Police begin the occasional use of hand ambulances for injured, sick or drunk people. Accommodation or ‘ambulance sheds’ are later provided for these in police station yards.
Police orders on the 25 January made allowance for one third of Metropolitan Police officers in Dockyards “to be relieved each Sunday, to give them an opportunity of attending Divine Service…”
The Metropolitan Police act as firemen at the British Museum. The Superintendent in charge said of them “From their manner of doing the work, I should be inclined to place considerable confidence in these men in an emergency.”
1862Further expansion in the Metropolitan Police with the formations of the X and W Divisions in the west, and Y Division in the north
1863Drunkenness is still a problem in the force, and in this year 215 officers were dismissed for this reason
.1864Execution of 5 pirates of the ship ‘Flowery Land’ at Newgate. The Metropolitan Police supply nearly 800 officers to keep the peace.
1865Further extensions of the Metropolitan Police District in terms of the area patrolled in north east London.
1866 3,200 police under the command of Commissioner Richard Mayne were used to control a serious riot in Hyde Park. 28 police were permanently disabled, and Mayne was hit by a stone which cut his head open. He was forced to call in the Military to restore order
.1867The Metropolitan Police are severely criticised after Commissioner Richard Mayne ignores a warning about the Clerkenwell bombing by the Fenians. Mayne offers his resignation, but it is refused.1868Death of Commissioner Sir Richard Mayne. Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Labalmondiere acts as Commissioner.
The standard height for Metropolitan Police officers is raised to 5ft 8ins, except for Thames Division, where it is 5ft 7ins.
As a result of frequent larcenies of linen, the Commissioner Edmund Henderson said, on the 21 April, “Constables are to call at the houses of all persons on their beats having wet linen in their gardens, and caution them of the risk they run in having them stolen…”
Police strike for the first time. Various men are disciplined or dismissed, although these latter are later allowed back in to the Force.
The Metropolitan Police acquire 9 new stations : North Woolwich, Rodney Road (Lock’s Fields), Chislehurst, Finchley, Isleworth, Putney, South Norwood, Harrow and Enfield Town.
A survey of recruiting over a 2 year period showed that of those who had joined the force; 31% came from land jobs, 12% from military services, and 5% from other police jobs. The remainder came mostly from manual jobs. The majority of recruits and serving officers came from outside of London.
New police offices at Great Scotland Yard are taken possession of on 4 October 1875 by the Detective and Public Carriage Departments.
8 January the following order was released : “Relief from duty during severe weather – dufing the present severe weather as much indulgence as possible is to be given to the men on night duty, due regard being had to public safety..”
Charles Vincent was appointed Director of Criminal Investigations, the reformed Detective Branch which became known as C.I.D.
Initial rules for dealing with Murder cases, released on 7 June, stated “the body must not be moved, nor anything about it or in the room or place interfered with, and the public must be excluded..”
Formation of the Convict Supervision Office for the assistance and control of convicts discharged upon license.
Possibly London’s most famous police station, Bow Street, was rebuilt in this year.
The growth of London and the area needing policing is illustrated in Tottenham, (Y Division) when 8 miles of new streets are formed in a year with nearly 4,000 houses on them.
The Metropolitan Police at Devonport Dockyard illustrate the diversity of the role of the force as the Police Fire Brigade has its busiest year since formation with 6 major fires
.1883Special Irish Branch formed
.1884A bomb explodes at Scotland Yard planted by the Fenians. The Special Irish Branch are hit.
1885The strength of the force at this time was 13,319, but statistics show that only 1,383 officers were available for beat duty in the day. The population of London at this time was 5,255,069.Public outrage at the explosions at the Tower of London and Houses of Parliament. Two men are sentenced to penal servitude for life as a result.
1891The Public Carriage and Lost Property Offices move from Great Scotland Yard to the new offices at New Scotland Yard on the 21 March.
1892Dismissals and rank and pay reductions were common at this point, and the case of Pc379A Best whose resignation on 21 July illustrates how the Metropolitan Police attempted to keep its men in order. He was “in possession of a tea-can, the property of another constable, obliterating the owners number, substituting his own name and number, telling a deliberate falsehood in connection therewith; and considered unfit for the police force
”1893PC George Cooke, a serving officer, is convicted for murder and hanged.
1894The Alphonse Bertillon system of identification comes into operation.1895To join the Metropolitan Police the following qualifications were necessary:
to be over 21 and under 27 years of age
to stand clear 5ft 9ins without shoes or stockings
to be able to read well, write legibly and have a fair knowledge of spelling
to be generally intelligent
to be free from any bodily complaint
The bodily complaints for which candidates were rejected included; flat foot, stiffness of joints, narrow chest and deformities of the face.
1896Public Carriage Office and Lost Property Offices amalgamate under the designation ‘Public Carriage Branch’.
1897Metropolitan Police Officers granted a boot allowance instead of being supplied with boots. Police boots at this time were loathed, only Sir Edward Bradford, the Commissioner, believing them suitable.
1898After a series of assaults and the murder of PC Baldwin in the vicinity of the Kingsland Road, there are calls for the Metropolitan Police to be armed with revolvers.
1899High rate of suicides amongst officers. This is blamed by certain commentators on harsh discipline and insensitive handling of the men.
As the century draws to a close it is worth noting that the Metropolitan Police on formation in 1829 had a force of about 3,000 men, and by 1899 16,000. The population of London had grown from 1,500,000 to 7 million.
1900Construction of a new floating police station at Waterloo Pier.Lord Belper Committee inquire into the best system of identification of possible criminals
.1901The Fingerprint Bureau commences operation after the findings of the Belper Report. Anthropometric measurements under the Bertillon system are still used, but begin to decline in importance.
1902The coronation of King Edward VII makes major demands on the police, resulting in 512 police pensioners being recalled for duty. Extra pay, leave and a medal were granted to all serving officers.
1903Sir Edward Bradford retires as Commissioner to be replaced by Edward Henry.
19046 new stations buildt at East Ham, Hackney, John Street, Muswell Hill, North Woolwich and Tower Bridge. 1 is near completion and 2 other started. Major works take place on 23 other stations.
1905An article in Police Review mentions that Pc William Hallett of Y Division, who had retired after 26 years as a mounted officer, had ridden 144,000 miles or more than 5 times around the world in the course of his duty.
1906The Metropolitan Police at this stage in their history are on duty for 13 days a fortnight and have an additional leave of 10 days.
1907Clash between the Metropolitan Police and 800 Suffragettes outside the House of Commons on 13 February. Mounted and Foot officers are used to disperse them, and allegations of brutality are made.
1908Police Review reports “the authorities at Scotland Yard have been seriously discussing the use of dogs as the constable companion and help, and Sir Edward Henry (Commissioner), who regards the innovation sympathetically, considers the only crucial objection to be the sentimental prejudices of the public.”
1909The Tottenham Outrage occurs, in the course of which PC William Tyler and a 10 year old boy are shot dead by anarchists.
Time Line 1910 – 1929
Radio Telegraphy used for the first time, resulting in the capture of Doctor Crippen.
The miners strike in South Wales results in many Metropolitan Police officers assisting to maintain law and order.
1911The Siege of Sidney Street results in armed Metropolitan Police officers taking to the streets with the military to deal with armed anarchist criminals.
1912Assassination attempt on the life of the Commissioner, Sir Edward Henry.
Establishment of the Metropolitan Police Special Constabulary on a permanent basis.
1913The Commissioner calls for legislation to be introduced to restrict the trade in pistols following the assassination attempt on his own life.
1914With the outbreak of war, 24,000 Special Constables are sworn in, and by the end of the year there are 31,000. Annual leave is suspended for the first year of the war.
Lord Trenchard retires as Commissioner, and Sir Philip Game is appointed in his place.
1936The Battle of Cable Street involves the Metropolitan Police in street battles with opposing political factions.
1937The 999 system is introduced.
1938Civil Defence starts with the formation of two Reserves in the event of war. The first are retired officers, the second Special Constables.
1939I.R.A. activity results in 59 explosions in the Metropolitan Police District. 55 people are convicted for these offences.
194098 Metropolitan Police officers killed during air raids.
Click here to read about the MPS officer murdered in Hyde Park during the war
1941Air raid bombings continue, and Holloway police station is destroyed. Somers Town, Sydenham and Brixton stations are too badly damaged to be used.
1942Police officers allowed to volunteer for the Armed Forces.
1943In an attempt to curb housebreaking, the Commissioner Sir Philip Game asks people not to keep furs, saying “they are no doubt warmer, and look nicer than a tweed coat, but a live dog is better than a dead lion.
”1944Looting reaches an all time record.
1945Sir Philip Game retires and is replaced as Commissioner by Harold Scott
.1946The Metropolitan and City Police Company Fraud Department is formed.
1947Metropolitan Police face a deficiency of 4,730 men as a result of the war.
1948Indictable crime rate falls to 126,000 crimes, but this is still 40% higher than before the war.
1949Lord Oakseys committee reports on police pay, recommending small increases and London weighting.
Time Line 1950 – 1969
The Metropolitan Police Roll of Honour is unveiled at Westminster Abbey by the Queen, displaying the names of officers killed in the 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 wars.
Commissioner Harold Scott introduces training of cadets aged 16 – 18 to become police officers.
The Dixon Report advocates many changes in the Metropolitan Police, including greater civilianisation.
Serious understaffing problems, with the force consisting of only 16,000 and needing an estimated 4,000 men, mainly Police Constables.
Formation of the Central Traffic Squad, consisting of 100 men.
Flying Squad makes over 1,000 arrests, a record since its formation.
New Information Room opens at New Scotland Yard.
Sir John Nott-Bower retires as Commissioner. He is replaced by Joseph Simpson.
Indictable offences reach over 160,000, the highest recorded to date.
Traffic Wardens introduced.
Criminal Intelligence Section and Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation branches established.
1961The Receivers Office moved from Scotland House to new premises at Tintagel House.
The Minicab arrives on the London scene, and the Metropolitan Police obtain 24 convictions for illegal plying for hire.
1962The rate of indictable crimes for this year reaches an all time high – 214,120.
The series ‘Police 5′, designed to prevent crime, begins on BBC.
1963The Commissioner, Joseph Simpson, stresses the need for the Beat system to reduce motorised patrols and deter incidents of crime.
The first computer to be used by the Met (an ICT 1301) was set up in the office of the Receiver for use on pay and crime statistics.
1964The worst year so far this century for crime, with over a quarter of a million indictable crimes.
Regional Crime Squads formed.
Police face major criticism and complaints as a result of the Challenor Case, in which a policeman was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic and made infamous for planting evidence
.1965Special Patrol Group formed consisting of 100 officers. It arrested 396 people in its first 9 months of operation.
1966The Commissioner’s Office and the Receiver’s Office are combined.
3 Metropolitan Police officers murdered at Shepherds Bush.
1967The headquarters is moved from the Norman Shaw Building to a new building in Broadway, just off Victoria Street. The name of New Scotland Yard is retained.
Norwell Roberts joins the Met as the first black police officer. He retired after 30 years service with the rank of Detective Sergeant and received the QPM in 1996.1968Sir Joseph Simpson dies in service, and is replaced as Commissioner b
1981Brixton Riots involve the Metropolitan Police in the largest civil disturbance this century.
1982Sir David McNee retires as Commissioner to be replaced by Sir Kenneth Newman.
1983With the aid of the MPS Policy Committee Sir Kenneth Newman devises a new statement of the Principles of Policing, and in doing so changes the emphasis from the primary objectives of policing established by Richard Mayne and Sir Charles Rowan in 1829.
1984PC Jon Gordon lost both legs and part of a hand in the IRA bomb attack on Harrods in 1983. On 10 December 1984 he resumed duty by walking unaided up the steps to his new office.
Whilst policing a demonstration in St James’s Square, WPC Yvonne Fletcher was shot in the back and mortally wounded by shots fired from the Libyan People’s Bureau. WPC Fletcher’s murder led to the creation of the Police Memorial Trust, an organisation dedicated to placing memorials at the locations of fallen officers
1985Tottenham Riots (also known as ‘Broadwater Farm’ riot) result in the murder of PC Keith Blakelock.
1986Identification Parade screens introduced at Clapham police station.
The Police and Criminal Evidence Act comes into force in January.
Mounted Branch celebrates its 150th anniversary.
1987Sir Kenneth Newman retires, and is replaced as Commissioner by Peter Imbert.
1988The Commissioner stresses the need for close community liaison between the Police and Consultative Groups to foster the police / public partnership.
1989‘Plus Programme’ launched to improve the corporate image and quality of the service of the Metropolitan Police. It significantly altered attitudes within the MPS, and included the Statement of Common Purpose and Values.
1997Installation of N.A.F.I.S. the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System.
1998The Metropolitan Police launch the Policing Diversity Strategy in response to the majority of issues raised into the Inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence. The aim is to provide better protection to ethnic communities from racial and violent crime and demonstrate fairness in every aspect of policing.
1999The handling of the Greek Embassy siege demonstrates the professionalism of the Metropolitan Police Service.
ABOVE: A VERY EARLY POSTCARD IMAGE OF LITTLEDEAN GAOL,SPELT HERE IN THE OLD FASHION WAY .
IT WAS ALSO FORMERLY USED AS A “HOUSE OF CORRECTION “, LATER TO BECOME A POLICE STATION,COURTHOUSE AND NOW IS THE HOME OF THE INFAMOUS CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION .
ABOVE: Original Victorian 3-handcuffed leather body belt and original leather bound handcuffs
ABOVE : EARLY VICTORIAN LITTLE DEAN PRISON WARDEN/GUARD TUNIC BUTTON ( A VERY RARE FIND FOR SURE )
Possibly of little significance to visitors …. however I love this item which has been recently discovered and acquired for display here . Intriguingly this early Victorian Prison Warden/Guard tunic button is worded LITTLE DEAN (AS TWO WORDS) WITH PRISON BENEATH (INSTEAD OF GAOL ) … as opposed to it’s early title as having been “Littledean Gaol”.
BELOW: ORIGINAL VICTIORAN STRAIGHT JACKET THAT WAS FOUND IN LITTLEDEAN JAIL’S ATTIC SPACE BY BUILDERS DURING RENOVATION WORK BACK IN 1986 AND SUBSEQUENTLY DONATED TO THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION FOR PERMANENT DISPLAY HERE AT THE JAIL
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT THROUGH THE AGES AS WELL AS AN INSIGHT INTO PRESENT DAY CORPORAL PUNISHMENTS TOO, AS FEATURED AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
ABOVE :AN ARRAY OF VARIOUS 19TH CENTURY HANDCUFFS, RESTRAINTS AND LEG IRONS HERE ON DISPLAY AT THE JAIL .
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN MALAYSIA FOR RAPE, ARMED ROBBERY , DRUGS ETC
ORIGINAL EARLY 16TH- 17TH CENTURY HANDMADE OAK “VILLAGE PUNISHMENT STOCKS” RESTORED IN THE 19TH CENTURY WITH ADDITIONAL SUPPORTING IRONWORK AND PRESERVED FOR POSTERITY ….. AS CAN NOW BE SEEN AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL,LITTLEDEAN, FOREST OF DEAN, GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK
Stocks are devices used in the internationally, in medieval, Renaissance and colonial American times as a form of physical punishment involving public humiliation. The stocks partially immobilized its victims and they were often exposed in a public place such as the site of a market to the scorn of those who passed by. Since the purpose of putting offenders in the stocks was to expose them to ridicule and mockery, passers-by were encouraged to throw mud, rotten eggs, moldy fruit and vegetables, smelly fish, offal, and excrement (both animal and human) at those being punished.
ABOVE AND BELOW : WITCHES DUCKING STOOL AND LIFTING PULLY ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
VARIOUS EARLY VICTORIAN LEATHER BOUND WHIPS AND CAT O’NINE TAILS USED WITHIN UK PRISONS ….. HERE ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
VARIOUS WHIPS, CAT O’NINE TAILS , BLUDGEON AND LEATHER BOUND HANDCUFFS USED WITHIN UK PRISONS HERE ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
CLOSE-UP IMAGE OF ROUND HANDLED LEATHER BOUND EARLY VICTORIAN WHIP USED WITHIN UK PRISONS
EARLY VICTORIAN BLACK CLOTH BOUND, ROUND HANDLED CAT O’NINE TAILS USED IN UK PRISONS
EARLY VICTORIAN FLAT HANDLED CAT O’NINE TAILS USED IN UK PRISONS
CLOSE UP IMAGE OF VICTORIAN LEATHER BOUND HAND RESTRIANTS AS USED HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
EARLY VICTORIAN LEATHER BOUND BODY RESTRAINT WITH ATTACHED HAND CUFFS USED IN UK PRISONS AND NOW ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
CLOSE UP OF ABOVE
CLOSE UP OF ABOVE
BELOW : ORIGINAL 1930’s LEATHER BODY BELT RESTRAINT COMPLETE WITH WRIST RESTRAINTS ACQUIRED FROM THE MONICA BRITTON MUSEUM COLLECTION AT FRENCHAY HOSPITAL , BRISTOL AND NOW ON DISPLAY HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL , GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK
BELOW: ORIGINAL 1930’s LEATHER RESTRAINT STRAPS ACQUIRED FROM THE MONICA BRITTON MUSEUM COLLECTION AT FRENCHAY HOSPITAL , BRISTOL AND NOW ON DISPLAY HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL , GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK
PRISON WARDEN INSCRIBED 18TH CENTURY TRUNCHEON AND EARLY VICTORIAN BODY RESTRAINT BELT HERE ON DISPLAY
INSCRIBED GEORGE 1ST PRISON WARDEN TRUNCHEON HERE ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
EARLY VICTORIAN BLUDGEON USED IN UK PRISONS …. HERE ON DISPLAY AT THE JAIL WITH PRISON WARDEN TRUNCHEON AND HIATT STEEL HANDCUFFS
EARLY VICTORIAN BLUDGEON USED IN UK PRISONS
CLOSE-UP OF HIATT STEEL HANDCUFFS
corporal punishment is a form of physical punishment that involves the deliberate infliction of pain as retribution for an offence, or for the purpose of disciplining or reforming a wrongdoer, or to deter attitudes or behaviour deemed unacceptable. The term usually refers to methodically striking the offender with an implement, whether in judicial, domestic, or educational settings.
Corporal punishment may be divided into three main types:
Corporal punishment of minors within domestic settings is lawful in all 50 of the United States and, according to a 2000 survey, is widely approved by parents.It has been officially outlawed in 29 countries.
Corporal punishment in school is still legal in some parts of the world, including 20 of the States of the USA, but has been outlawed in other places, including Canada, Kenya, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, and nearly all of Europe except the Czech Republic and France.
Judicial corporal punishment has virtually disappeared from the western world but remains in force in many parts of Africa and Asia.
He that spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes.
Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell.
It was certainly present in classical civilisations, being used in Greece, Rome, and Egypt for both judicial and educational discipline. Some states gained a reputation for using such punishments cruelly; Sparta, in particular, used them as part of a disciplinary regime designed to build willpower and physical strength. Although the Spartan example was extreme, corporal punishment was possibly the most frequent type of punishment. In the Roman Empire, the maximum penalty that a Roman citizen could receive under the law was 40 “lashes” or “strokes” with a whip applied to the back and shoulders, or with the “fasces” (similar to a birch rod, but consisting of 8–10 lengths of willow rather than birch) applied to the buttocks. Such punishments could draw blood, and were frequently inflicted in public.
In Medieval Europe, corporal punishment was encouraged by the attitudes of the medieval church towards the human body, flagellation being a common means of self-discipline. This had an influence on the use of corporal punishment in schools, as educational establishments were closely attached to the church during this period. Nevertheless, corporal punishment was not used uncritically; as early as the eleventh century Saint Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury was speaking out against what he saw as the excessive use of corporal punishment in the treatment of children.
From the 16th century onwards, new trends were seen in corporal punishment. Judicial punishments were increasingly turned into public spectacles, with public beatings of criminals intended as a deterrent to other would-be offenders. Meanwhile, early writers on education, such as Roger Ascham, complained of the arbitrary manner in which children were punished. Perhaps the most influential writer on the subject was the English philosopher John Locke, whose Some Thoughts Concerning Education explicitly criticised the central role of corporal punishment in education. Locke’s work was highly influential, and may have helped influence Polish legislators to ban corporal punishment from Poland’s schools in 1783.
During the 18th century, the concept of corporal punishment was attacked by some philosophers and legal reformers. Merely inflicting pain on miscreants was seen as inefficient, influencing the subject only for a short period of time and effecting no permanent change in their behaviour. Some believed that the purpose of punishment should be reformation, not retribution. This is perhaps best expressed in Jeremy Bentham’s idea of a panoptic prison, in which prisoners were controlled and surveyed at all times, perceived to be advantageous in that this system supposedly reduced the need of measures such as corporal punishment.
A consequence of this mode of thinking was a reduction in the use of corporal punishment in the 19th century in Europe and North America. In some countries this was encouraged by scandals involving individuals seriously hurt during acts of corporal punishment. For instance, in Britain, popular opposition to punishment was encouraged by two significant cases, the death of Private Frederick John White, who died after a military flogging in 1846, and the death of Reginald Cancellor, who was killed by his schoolmaster in 1860. Events such as these mobilised public opinion, and in response, many countries introduced thorough regulation of the infliction of corporal punishment in state institutions such as schools, prisons and reformatories.
In the 1870s, courts in the United States overruled the common-law principle that a husband had the right to “physically chastise an errant wife”. In the UK the traditional right of a husband to inflict moderate corporal punishment on his wife in order to keep her “within the bounds of duty” was similarly removed in 1891. See Domestic violence for more information.
In the United Kingdom, the use of judicial corporal punishment declined during the first half of the 20th century and it was abolished altogether in 1948, while most other European countries had abolished it earlier. Meanwhile in many schools, the use of the cane, paddle or tawse remained commonplace in the UK and the United States until the 1980s. In several other countries, it still is: seeSchool corporal punishment.
Domestic corporal punishment, i.e. of children and teenagers by their parents, is usually referred to colloquially as “spanking“, “whipping“, “smacking,” or “slapping.” One possible method of spanking is to have the child or teenager lying, stomach down, across the parent’s lap, with the parent bringing their open hand down upon the child’s buttocks. Alternatively, the youngster might be told to bend over, or lie face down across a bed. Spankings may be delivered over the trousers, over the undergarments, or upon the bare buttocks.
In an increasing number of countries it has been outlawed, starting with Sweden in 1979. In some other countries, corporal punishment is legal, but restricted (e.g. blows to the head are outlawed and implements may not be used, and/or only children within a certain age range may be spanked).
In the United States and all African and most Asian nations, “spanking,” “whipping,” “smacking,” or “slapping” by parents is currently legal; it is also legal to use certain implements such as a belt or paddle.
In Canada, spanking by parents or legal guardians (but nobody else) is legal, as long as the child is not under 2 years or over 12 years of age, and no implement other than an open, bare hand is used (belts, paddles, etc. are strictly prohibited). Provinces can legally impose tighter restrictions than the aforementioned national restrictions, but none currently does so.
In the UK, spanking or smacking is legal, but it may not leave a mark on the body and in Scotland since October 2003 it has been illegal to use any implements when disciplining a child.
In Pakistan, Section 89 of Pakistan Penal Code allows corporal punishment. The Government of Pakistan has yet to repeal this law.
Legal corporal punishment of school students for misbehaviour involves striking the student on the buttocks or the palm of the hand in a premeditated ceremony with an implement specially kept for the purpose such as a rattan cane or spanking paddle, or with the open hand.
Some countries retain judicial corporal punishment, including a number of former British territories such as Botswana, Malaysia, Singapore and Tanzania. In Malaysia and Singapore, for certain specified offences, males are routinely sentenced to caning in addition to a prison term. The Singaporean practice of caning became much discussed around the world in 1994 when American teenager Michael P. Fay was caned for vandalism.
A number of countries with an Islamic legal system, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan and northern Nigeria, employ judicial whipping for a range of offences. As of 2009, some regions of Pakistan are experiencing a breakdown of law and government, leading to a reintroduction of corporal punishment by ad hocIslamicist courts. As well as corporal punishment, some Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran use other kinds of physical penalties such asamputation or mutilation. However, the term “corporal punishment” has since the 19th century usually meant caning, flogging or whipping rather than those other types of physical penalty.
According to its proponents, corporal punishment offers several advantages over other kinds of punishment, such as that it is quicker to implement, costs nothing, and deters unruliness.
The American Psychological Association opposes the use of corporal punishment in schools, juvenile facilities, child care nurseries, and all other institutions, public or private, where children are cared for or educated. It claims that corporal punishment is violent and unnecessary, may lower self-esteem, and is liable to instil hostility and rage without reducing the undesired behaviour. The APA also states that corporal punishment is likely to train children to use physical violence.
The professor of philosophy, David Benatar, points out that using this last argument, fining people also teaches that forcing others to give up some of their property is an acceptable response to unwanted behaviour in others. “Why don’t detentions, imprisonments, fines, and a multitude of other punishments convey equally undesirable messages?” According to Benatar, the key difference lies in the legitimacy of the authority administering the punishment: “[T]here is all the difference in the world between legitimate authorities—the judiciary, parents, or teachers—using punitive powers responsibly to punish wrongdoing, and children or private citizens going around beating each other, locking each other up, and extracting financial tributes (such as lunch money). There is a vast moral difference here and there is no reason why children should not learn about it. Punishing children when they do wrong seems to be one important way of doing this.”
Kay Hymowitz in her book, Who Killed Discipline in School? states, “Ask Americans what worries them most about public schools and the answer might surprise you; discipline. For several decades now, poll after poll shows it topping the list of parents’ concerns. Hymowitz says that, “the public’s sense that something has gone drastically wrong with school discipline isn’t mistaken. Over the past thirty years or so, the courts and federal government have hacked away at the power of educators to maintain a safe and civil school environment.”
Different parts of the anatomy may be targeted:
The buttocks, whether clothed or bare, have often been targeted for punishment, particularly in Europe and the English-speaking world. Indeed, some languages have a specific word for their chastisement: spanking in English, fessée in French, nalgada in Spanish (both Romanesque words directly derived from the word for buttock). The advantage is that these fleshy body parts are robust and can be chastised accurately, without endangering any bodily functions; they heal well and relatively quickly; in some cultures punishment applied to the buttocks entails a degree of humiliation, which may or may not be intended as part of the punishment.
Chastising the back of the thighs and calves, as sometimes in South Korean schools, is at least as painful if not more so, but this can cause more damage in terms of scars and bruising.
The upper back and the shoulders have historically been a target for whipping, e.g. in the UK with the cat-o’-nine-tails in the Royal Navy and in some pre-1948 judicial punishments, and also today generally in the Middle East and the Islamic world.
Corporal punishment in official settings, such as schools and prisons, has typically been carried out as a formal ceremony, with a standard procedure, emphasising the solemnity of the occasion. It may even be staged in a ritual manner in front of other students/inmates, in order to act as a deterrent to others.
In the case of prison or judicial punishments, formal punishment might begin with the offender stripped of some or all of their clothing and secured to a piece of furniture, such as a trestle or frame,(X-cross), punishment horse or falaka. In some cases the nature of the offence is read out and the sentence (consisting of a predetermined number of strokes) is formally imposed. A variety of implements may be used to inflict blows on the offender. The terms used to describe these are not fixed, varying by country and by context. There are, however, a number of common types that are encountered when reading about corporal punishment. These include:
The rod. A thin, flexible rod is often called a switch.
The birch, a number of strong, flexible branches of birch or similar wood, bound together with twine into a single implement.
The rattan cane (not bamboo as it is often wrongly described). Much favoured in the British Commonwealth for both school and judicial use.
The paddle, a flat wooden board with a handle, with or without holes. Used in US schools.
The strap. A leather strap with a number of tails at one end, called a tawse, was used in schools in Scotland and some parts of northern England.
In some instances the offender is required to prepare the implement himself. For instance, sailors were employed in preparing the cat o’ nine tails that would be used upon their own back, while school students were sometimes sent out to cut a switch or rod.
In contrast, informal punishments, particularly in domestic settings, tend to lack this ritual nature and are often administered with whatever object comes to hand. It is common, for instance, for belts, wooden spoons, slippers, hairbrushes or coathangers to be used in domestic punishment, while rulers and other classroom equipment have been used in schools.
In parts of England, boys were once beaten under the old tradition of “Beating the Bounds” whereby a boy was paraded around the edge of a city or parish and would be spanked with a switch or cane to mark the boundary. One famous “Beating the Bounds” took place around the boundary of St Giles and the area where Tottenham Court Road now stands in central London. The actual stone that separated the boundary is now underneath the Centre Point office tower.
Corporal punishment, paraphilia and fetishism
The German psychologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing suggested that a tendency to sadism and masochism may develop out of the experience of children receiving corporal punishment at school. But this was disputed by Sigmund Freud, who found that, where there was a sexual interest in beating or being beaten, it developed in early childhood, and rarely related to actual experiences of punishment.
Capital punishment in the United Kingdom was used from the creation of the state in 1707 until the practice was abolished in the twentieth century. The last executions in the United Kingdom, by hanging, took place in 1964, prior to capital punishment being abolished for murder (in 1969 in Great Britain and in 1973 in Northern Ireland). Although not applied since, the death penalty remained on the statute book for certain other offences until 1998.
Sir Samuel Romilly, speaking to the House of Commons on capital punishment in 1810, declared that “…(there is) no country on the face of the earth in which there [have] been so many different offences according to law to be punished with death as in England.” Known as the “Bloody Code“, at its height the criminal law included some 220 crimes punishable by death, including “being in the company of Gypsies for one month”, “strong evidence of malice in a child aged 7–14 years of age” and “blacking the face or using a disguise whilst committing a crime”. Many of these offences had been introduced to protect the property of the wealthy classes that emerged during the first half of the 18th century, a notable example being the Black Act of 1723, which created 50 capital offences for various acts of theft and poaching.Background
Whilst executions for murder, burglary and robbery were common, the death sentences for minor offenders were often not carried out. However, children were commonly executed for such minor crimes as stealing. A sentence of death could be commuted or respited (permanently postponed) for reasons such as benefit of clergy, official pardons, pregnancy of the offender or performance of military or naval duty. Between 1770 and 1830, 35,000 death sentences were handed down in England and Wales, but only 7,000 executions were carried out.
There were prisons, but they were mostly small, old and badly-run. Common punishments included transportation — sending the offender to America, Australia or Van Diemens Land (Tasmania), or execution — hundreds of offences carried the death penalty. By the 1830s people were having doubts about both these punishments. The answer was prison: lots of new prisons were built and old ones extended. The Victorians also had clear ideas about what these prisons should be like. They should be unpleasant places, so as to deter people from committing crimes. Once inside, prisoners had to be made to face up to their own faults, by keeping them in silence and making them do hard, boring work. Walking a treadwheel or picking oakum (separating strands of rope) were the most common forms of hard labour.
In 1808 Romilly had the death penalty removed for pickpockets and lesser offenders, starting a process of reform that continued over the next 50 years. The death penalty was mandatory (although it was frequently commuted by the government) until the Judgement of Death Act 1823 gave judges the power to commute the death penalty except for treason and murder. The Punishment of Death, etc. Act 1832 reduced the number of capital crimes by two-thirds. Gibbeting was abolished in 1832 and hanging in chains was abolished in 1834. In 1861, several acts of Parliament (24 & 25 Vict; c. 94 to c. 100) further reduced the number of civilian capital crimes to five: murder, treason, espionage, arson in royal dockyards, and piracy with violence; there were other offences under military law. The death penalty remained mandatory for treason and murder unless commuted.
Juveniles under 16 could no longer be executed from 1908 under the Children Act 1908. In 1922 a new offence of Infanticide was introduced to replace the charge of murder for mothers killing their children in the first year of life. In 1930 a parliamentary Select Committee recommended that capital punishment be suspended for a trial period of five years, but no action was taken. From 1931 pregnant women could no longer be hanged (following the birth of their child) although in practice since the 18th century their sentences had always been commuted, and in 1933 the minimum age for capital punishment was raised to 18 under the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. The last known execution by the civilian courts of a person under 18 was that of Charles Dobel, 17, hanged atMaidstone together with his accomplice William Gower, 18, in January 1889.
In 1938 the issue of the abolition of capital punishment was brought before parliament. A clause within the Criminal Justice Bill called for an experimental five-year suspension of the death penalty. When war broke out in 1939 the bill was postponed. It was revived after the war and to everyone’s surprise was adopted by a majority in the House of Commons (245 to 222). In the House of Lords the abolition clause was defeated but the remainder of the bill was passed. Popular support for abolition was absent and the government decided that it would be inappropriate for it to assert its supremacy by invoking the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 over such an unpopular issue.
Instead, then Home Secretary, James Chuter Ede, set up a new Royal Commission (the Royal Commission on Capital Punishment, 1949–1953) with instructions to determine “whether the liability to suffer capital punishment should be limited or modified”. The Commission’s report discussed a number of alternatives to execution by hanging (including the US methods of electrocution and gassing, and the then-theoretical lethal injection), but rejected them. It had more difficulty with the principle of capital punishment. Popular opinion believed that the death penalty acted as a deterrent to criminals, but the statistics within the report were inconclusive. Whilst the report recommended abolition from an ethical standpoint, it made no mention of possible miscarriages of justice. The public had by then expressed great dissatisfaction with the verdict in the case of Timothy Evans, who was tried and hanged for murdering his baby daughter in 1949. It later transpired in 1953 that John Christie had strangled at least six women in the same house; if the jury in Evans’s trial had known this, Evans would probably not have been found guilty. There were other cases in the same period where doubts arose over convictions and subsequent hangings, such as the notorious case of Derek Bentley.
The Commission concluded that unless there was overwhelming public support in favour of abolition, the death penalty should be retained.
By 1957 a number of controversial cases highlighted the issue of capital punishment again. Campaigners for abolition were partially rewarded with the Homicide Act 1957. The Act brought in a distinction between capital and non-capital homicide. Only six categories of murder were now punishable by execution:
in the course or furtherance of theft
by shooting or causing an explosion
while resisting arrest or during an escape
of a police officer
of a prison officer by a prisoner
the second of two murders committed on different occasions (if both done in Great Britain).
The police and the government were of the opinion that the death penalty deterred offenders from carrying firearms and it was for this reason that such offences remained punishable by death.
The only known photograph of the death sentence being pronounced in England and Wales, for the poisoner Frederick Seddon in 1912
In 1965 the Labour MP Sydney Silverman, who had committed himself to the cause of abolition for more than 20 years, introduced a private member’s bill to suspend the death penalty, which was passed on a free vote in the House of Commons by 200 votes to 98. The bill was subsequently passed by the House of Lords by 204 votes to 104.
Following the abolition of the death penalty for murder, the House of Commons held a vote during each subsequent parliament until 1997 to restore the death penalty. This motion was always defeated, but the death penalty still survived for other crimes:
failure to suppress a mutiny with intent to assist the enemy.
However no executions were carried out in the United Kingdom for any of these offences, after the abolition of the death penalty for murder.
Nevertheless, there remained a working gallows at HMP Wandsworth, London, until 1994, which was tested every six months until 1992. This gallows is now housed in the Galleries of Justice inNottingham.
Wales: Vivian Teed, 24, in Swansea on 6 May 1958, for the murder of William Williams, sub-postmaster of Fforestfach Post Office.
Last death sentences
Northern Ireland and in the United Kingdom: William Holden in 1973 in Northern Ireland, for the capital murder of a British soldier during the Troubles. Holden was removed from the death cell in May 1973.
England: David Chapman, who was sentenced to hang in November 1965 for the murder of a swimming pool nightwatchman in Scarborough. He was released from prison in 1979 and later died in a car accident.
Scotland: Patrick McCarron in 1964 for shooting his wife. He hanged himself in prison in 1970.
Wales: Edgar Black, who was reprieved on 6 November 1963. He had shot his wife’s lover in Cardiff.
On 20 May 1998 the House of Commons voted to ratify the 6th Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights prohibiting capital punishment except “in time of war or imminent threat of war.” The last remaining provisions for the death penalty under military jurisdiction (including in wartime) were removed when section 21(5) of the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force on 9 November 1998. On 10 October 2003, effective from 1 February 2004, the UK acceded to the 13th Protocol, which prohibits the death penalty under all circumstances, so that the UK may no longer legislate to restore the death penalty while it is subject to the Convention. It can only now restore it if it withdraws from the Council of Europe.
As a legacy from colonial times, several islands in the West Indies still had the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as the court of final appeal; although the death penalty has been retained in these islands, the Privy Council would sometimes delay or deny executions. Some of these islands severed links with the British court system in 2001 in order to speed up executions.
In the Channel Islands, the last death sentence was passed in 1984; the last execution in the Channel Islands was in Jersey on 9 October 1959, when Francis Joseph Huchet was hanged for murder. The Human Rights (Amendment) (Jersey) Order 2006 amends the Human Rights (Jersey) Law 2000 to give effect to the 13th Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rightsproviding for the total abolition of the death penalty. Both of these laws came into effect on 10 December 2006. The 13th Protocol was extended to Guernsey in April 2004.
The last execution on the Isle of Man took place in 1872, when John Kewish was hanged for patricide. Capital punishment was not formally abolished by Tynwald (the island’s parliament) until 1993.Five persons were sentenced to death (for murder) on the Isle of Man between 1973 and 1992, although all sentences were commuted to life imprisonment. The last person to be sentenced to death in the UK or its dependencies was Anthony Teare, who was convicted at the Manx Court of General Gaol Delivery in Douglas in 1992; he was subsequently retried and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1994. In 2004 the 13th Protocol was adopted, with an effective date of 1 November 2006.
Like the Crown dependencies, the British overseas territories are constitutionally not part of the United Kingdom. However, the British government’s ultimate responsibility for good governance of the territories has led it over recent years to pursue a policy of revoking all statutory provision for the death penalty in those territories where it had up until recently been legal.
The last executions in an overseas territory, and indeed the last on British soil, took place in Bermuda in 1977, when two men, Larry Tacklyn and Erskine Burrows, were hanged for the 1973 murder of the then territory’s Governor Sir Richard Sharples.
The British government was unable to extend the abolition via Order in Council to Bermuda, the UK’s most autonomous overseas territory with powers of almost total self-governance — but warned that if voluntary abolition was not forthcoming it would be forced to consider the unprecedented step of ‘whether to impose abolition by means of an Act of Parliament’. As a result the Bermudian government introduced its own domestic legislation in 1999 to rectify the problem.
Further measures have subsequently been adopted to revoke technicalities in British overseas territories’ domestic legislation as regards use of the death penalty for crimes of treason and piracy. Since 2002, the death penalty has been outlawed under all circumstances in all the UK’s overseas territories.
Public support for reintroduction of capital punishment
A November 2009 television survey showed that 70% favoured reinstating the death penalty for at least one of the following crimes: armed robbery, rape, crimes related to paedophilia, terrorism, adult murder, child murder, child rape, treason, child abuse, or kidnapping. However, respondents only favoured capital punishment for adult murder, the polling question asked by other organisations such asGallup, by small majorities or pluralities: overall, 51% favoured the death penalty for adult murder, while 56% in Wales did, 55% in Scotland, and only 49% in England.
In August 2011, the Internet blogger Paul Staines – who writes a political blog as Guido Fawkes and heads the Restore Justice Camptign – launched an e-petition on the Downing Street website calling for the restoration of the death penalty for those convicted of the murder of children and police officers. The petition was one of several in support or opposition of capital punishment to be published by the government with the launch of its e-petitions website. As of August 12, an e-petition calling to retain the ban on capital punishment has received 20,000 votes, 17000 more than the e-petition calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty. Petitions attracting 100,000 signatures would prompt a parliamentary debate on a particular topic, but not necessarily lead to any Parliamentary Bills being put forward.
Also in August 2011, a representative survey conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion showed that 65 per cent of Britons support reinstating the death penalty for murder in Great Britain, while 28 per cent oppose this course of action. Men, respondents aged 35-to-54 and those over the age of 55 are more likely to endorse the change.
Notable executions in the United Kingdom
Note: This list does not include the beheadings of nobility.
1725, 24 May: Jonathan Wild, criminal overlord and fraudulent “Thief Taker General”, was hanged at Tyburn (over six months after Jack Sheppard’s and Blueskin’s executions) for receiving stolen goods and thus aiding criminals.
1931, 3 January: Victor Betts for murder committed during the course of a robbery. The case had established that a person need not be present when a crime is committed to be regarded as an accessory after the fact.
1946, 3 January: William Joyce, better known as “Lord Haw-Haw“, for treason in London’s Wandsworth Prison. He was an American citizen, but was convicted of treason because, as the holder of aBritish passport (albeit fraudulently obtained), he was held to have owed allegiance to the British sovereign. Theodore Schurch, hanged for treachery the next day, was the last person to be executed for an offence other than murder; he was executed at Pentonville. As a member of the armed forces he had been tried by court-martial.
1947, 27 February: Walter Rowland in Manchester for the murder of Olive Balchin despite maintaining his innocence. While he had been awaiting execution, another man confessed to the crime. A Home Office report dismissed the latter’s confession as a fake, but in 1951 he attacked another woman and was found guilty but insane.
1949, 12 January: Margaret Allen, aged 43, for killing a 70-year-old woman in the course of a robbery, the first woman to be hanged in Britain for 12 years.
1950, 9 March: Timothy Evans at Pentonville for the murder of his baby daughter Geraldine at 10 Rillington Place, North West London. He initially claimed to have killed his wife, but later withdrew the claim. A fellow inhabitant at the same address, John Christie, later found to be a sexual serial killer, gave key evidence against Evans. Christie was executed in 1953 for the murder of his own wife. Evans received a posthumous pardon in 1966. In 2004 the Court of Appeal refused to consider overturning the conviction due to the costs and resources that would be involved. See John Christie (murderer).
1950, 28 March: George Kelly at Liverpool for murder, but had his conviction quashed posthumously by the Court of Appeal in June 2003.
1952, 25 April: Edward Devlin and Alfred Burns, for killing a woman during a robbery in Liverpool. They claimed that they had been doing a different burglary in Manchester, and others involved in the crime supported this. A Home Office report rejected this evidence. Huge crowds gathered outside Liverpool’s Walton Prison as they were executed.
1952, 3 September: Mahmood Hussein Mattan, a Somali seaman, in Cardiff for murder. The Court of Appeal quashed his conviction posthumously in 1998 after hearing that crucial evidence implicating another Somali was withheld at his trial.
1953, 28 January: Derek Bentley at Wandsworth Prison as an accomplice to the murder of a police officer by his 16-year-old friend Christopher Craig. Craig, a minor, was not executed and instead served 10 years. Bentley was granted a posthumous pardon on 29 July 1993, and the Court of Appeal overturned his conviction on 30 July 1998.
1962, 4 April: James Hanratty at Bedford after a controversial rape-murder trial. In 2002 Hanratty’s body was exhumed and the Court of Appeal upheld his conviction after Hanratty’s DNA was linked to crime scene samples.