Scandal at Scotland Yard

In an older post I blogged about a policing scandal that led to the establishment of an official detective unit within the Metropolitan Police in 1842. Today, I thought I’d write about another policing scandal, called the Turf Fraud Scandal or the Trial of the Detectives. The fraud led to two trials in 1877 and…

Coroners vs. Police

I’m heading to the North American Conference on British Studies this weekend in Portland (or perhaps I’m heading to weird and wonderful Portlandia* where there just happens to also be a conference…). I’m giving a paper on mid-nineteenth-century coroners on Saturday (program here), but thought I’d share an interesting tidbit here on the blog. I…

The Real PIs of Victorian London

After a month’s hiatus from the blogosphere/Twitterverse I have returned to the land of the living with a little post about private investigators (or PIs). I came across private investigators during the early stages of my research. They were one of the groups who popped up among the (many) results of my keyword search for…

The Birth of Detectives in the Met

As my previous post on European police suggested, many Britons equated centralized policing with government tyranny and espionage. To avoid such criticisms, when the Metropolitan Police was established in 1829 there was no detective branch.[1] The police commissioners and the Home Office felt that it would be better to make the prevention of crime the…