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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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Identification and Elimination

Identification and Elimination

Chapter:
(p.83) 4 Identification and Elimination
Source:
Policing Morals
Author(s):

Stefan Petrow

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198201656.003.0005

Close supervision provided the authorities, particularly the police department, the chance to check on the activities of criminals. Accumulating information on past convictions of criminals and rapidly and accurately identifying those reconvicted was an essential task that formed the basis of supervision. This chapter focuses on the methods employed by the Metropolitan Police under the supervision of the Home Office in classifying and categorizing information using scientific techniques. The chapter begins with a discussion of the registration of criminals. This is followed by an examination on how criminals were identified by photography, anthropometry, and fingerprinting. The chapter also discusses the sub-branches that were created from the main developments for identifying criminals. The closing section of this chapter tackles and surveys the debate, culminating in the Prevention of Crime Act 1908, on how best to punish habitual criminals. This section focuses on the erosion of individual liberty in the late-Victorian and Edwardian years.

Keywords:   Metropolitan Police, registration of criminals, registration, identified, identifying criminals, Crime Act, photography, anthropometry, fingerprinting

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