Shropshire Routes to Roots
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Victorian crime and detection: Timeline
Before the eighteenth century, the arresting and punishment of criminals was a very uncertain? affair. There was no police force as we know it today, and the only punishment for serious offences was hanging.
In 1777, John Howard's report on the prisons started to change things. More appropriate systems of punishment were introduced, and by the 1830s proper police forces were being set up.
In the Victorian Period, even more changes were made to create a justice system which bears many similarities with the one we use today. Police detective work improved, and punishments were more flexible, made to fit the scale of the crime.
The twentieth century saw moves away from capital punishment (the death penalty) and corporal punishment (things like whipping or the stocks). Today, prison, community sentences, fines or electronic tagging are the main means of punishment.
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