Crime in the East End has been rife for centuries. Take an intense concentration of people, add appallingly high levels of poverty together with cheap alcohol, and you have a recipe for social disaster. The importing of goods into London, specifically via London Docks encouraged individuals to rob the shipping companies of their cargoes as they were being unloaded – and very little stood in their way.
No police force operated anywhere in London before the 1750s. Until then, crime and civil disorder were dealt with by magistrates and volunteer parish constables, who had strictly limited jurisdiction, and it wasn’t until 1792 that formal, salaried police constables were introduced
The Metropolitan Police Force were formed in 1829, but it took the force until the mid-19th century to become established in the East End. One of the major East End ‘industries’ that serviced ships moored off the Pool of London was prostitution, and less than 60 years after its formation, constables in H Division in Whitechapel, headed by a seconded Inspector Frederick Abberline were to be faced with, and ultimately foiled by the still unsolved murders of Jack the Ripper….
To find out more, read on….
JACK THE RIPPER
Jack the Ripper is a name that will forever be associated with the East End of London. It is a name that has both fascinated and confounded generations of police, the public, and Ripperologists. Even today, over a century since the gruesome East End murders took place (more)
THE KRAY TWINS
Much has been written about the notoriety of the Kray Twins – from their early days of fighting and extortion to the later murders of rival gang members and small time crooks. The lifestyle and rise to fame of the East End ‘Firm’ (more)
THE SIDNEY STREET SIEGE
Just over one hundred years ago, deep in the East End, a pitched gun battle took place in Sidney Street, a thoroughfare just off the Whitechapel Road. The Siege of Sidney Street, which was often called the “Battle of Stepney”, was a notorious gunfight that (more)
THE BATTLE OF CABLE STREET
In late autumn 1936, the East End of London was the scene of the Battle of Cable Street, a nondescript road leading from Leman Street, between the British Union of Fascists, led by Oswald Mosley and anti fascist protesters (more)
In June, 1887, the Whitechapel Police burst through the door of 16 Batty Street. Upon entering the room, the police found a young woman lying naked, dead on her bed with Nitric Acid burns around her mouth. She was six months pregnant at the time (more)
THE RATCLIFFE HIGHWAY MURDERS
In just 2 weeks in Dec 1811, the East End was rocked by the vicious murders of seven victims, The killer spared no-one. Men, women and a three month old baby boy were brutally slaughtered in their own premises (more)
HENRY WAINWRIGHT – DISAPPEARANCE, DEATH AND DISMEMBERMENT
Henry Wainwright appeared on the surface to be a respectable and hard-working businessman, but for some years he had led a well hidden double life. And just what was the awful smell coming from his warehouse in the East End? (more)
THE LONDON BURKERS – THE EAST END’S OWN BODYSNATCHERS
Not content with digging up fresh corpses for dissection, Messrs Williams, Bishop, Shield and May began a murderous spree in the East End in order to supply the burgeoning requirement for bodies of various London Hospitals (more)