The public house was the most popular institution among the working class of London despite the existence of other meeting-places. Women and men alike used the pubs as an important social centre, however, pubs were deemed susceptible to becoming centre of disorder and crime and centres for drugging and condoning the masses of undisciplined malcontents into apathy towards their wretched conditions. This led to differing views on the role of pubs in society and the possible negative effects they might impart within society. This chapter examines the political context of policing drunkenness. In 1905, the Metropolitan Police believed that since 1854, the fatal facility of the pubs was a serious social fact — a premise that made the Metropolitan Police perform frequent and daily inspections of the pubs. The growing concern over the perceived social threat of the pubs also led to the creation of stricter laws such as the Licensing Act and the Habitual Crimes Act in the hope of curbing drunkenness. The chapter also discusses the emergence of clubs in England and the different policing methods, legislations, and licensing methods introduced to control and supervise clubs.
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