Assess the significance of developments in policing in influencing the effectiveness of law and order in the period 1830 – 1965.
There were many significant developments in policing which aided the effectiveness of law enforcement in Britain from the period of 1830 to 1965. Reasons as to why developments were necessary in this period; firstly between the years 1829 – 1850 there was a steady increase in crime. Secondly as time progressed criminals came up with ways to beat the policing system, therefore it was necessary for policing in Britain to develop, in order to keep on top of crime. Development factors such as; the establishment of the Metropolitan Police Force, passing of key legislation were key developments in policing
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It is apparent that other factors contributed in influencing effective law and order and not only developments in policing, for instance the reformation of prisons. Prisons in the 18th century have been criticised for their poor sanitation, poor food and living conditions. It was remarked that felons in Britain lived “worse than dogs or swine”. Humanitarian Elizabeth Fry campaigned for the separation of women and children from male prisoners, especially after she witnessed the appalling conditions in prisons. Her work was promoted throughout the House of Commons and with the support of Sir Robert Peel; they introduced a series of prison reform including the Gaols Act 1823. This showed the strong public opinion on issues regarding law and order, especially as intervention of influential individuals was evident. By 1840 the government had recognised that prisons needed to be modernised, such as the Pentonville prison in 1842. Developments such as these meant that wardens could control prisons better and new regimes could be exercised, such as the separate system, where inmates were kept in solitary confinement from the beginning of their sentence. This development aided effective law and order as there were reported cases of reformed criminals, however the system sent many insane or led them to