Internal politics at the Metropolitan Police and the detrimental impact of organisational dysfunction on the 1888 Jack the Ripper investigation

Bleakley, Paul ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2512-4072 (2016) Internal politics at the Metropolitan Police and the detrimental impact of organisational dysfunction on the 1888 Jack the Ripper investigation. The Victorian, 4 (1) . pp. 1-18. ISSN 2309-091X [Article]

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Abstract

The investigation into the Whitechapel murders of 1888 was perhaps the greatest challenge faced by the London Metropolitan Police throughout its history. Failing to catch the culprit – arguably the first modern serial killer – was not purely due to the actions of the heavily mythologised ‘Jack the Ripper’; instead, the investigation was hindered by the internal politics that existed within both the force itself and its relationship with the Home Office. A prolonged feud between Police Commissioner Charles Warren and Assistant Commissioner James Monro led to a crisis of leadership within the organisation that inevitably trickled down to affect the morale and functioning of the investigation team. Monro’s resignation resulted in a vacuum of leadership at the CID, undoubtedly contributing to a lack of direction and mistakes being made by investigating officers. The Metropolitan Police were essentially a dysfunctional organisation that were incapable of forming a united front in order to catch the individual responsible for at least five brutal murders. Research highlights several critical issues that would have – in hindsight – improved the chances of a successful investigation; these include managerial relations, the absence of key figures at critical moments of the investigation and poor decision-making leading to the destruction of evidence.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 27874
Notes on copyright: Published version: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Paul Bleakley
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 11:58
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2019 04:24
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/27874

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