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Policing MoralsThe Metropolitan Police and the Home Office 1870–1914$
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Stefan Petrow

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198201656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198201656.001.0001

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(p.3) Prologue
Policing Morals

Stefan Petrow

Oxford University Press

For Victorians, morality was significant as it was deemed as a necessary part of life in order to hold and keep social stability. Morality in the 19th century was also seen as a protector of family institutions, properties, and social values such as honesty, decency, self-discipline, respect, and diligence. This book examines the role of the Metropolitan Police in enforcing morality through set laws in late-Victorian and Edwardian London. In this book much focus is directed to the legislation of laws that tended to curb habitual criminality, prostitution, drunkenness, and betting. The book also looks into the efforts exerted by moralists to increase the policing powers of the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office bureaucracy; the capacity of the Metropolitan to curb, enforce, and resist these powers based on practical and moral considerations; how policing methods were altered to accumulate more power; and how successful the implementation of these policing morals turned out to be.

Keywords:   morality, Metropolitan Police, social stability, policing powers, policing methods, Home Office

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