Goal #1 Objective D

Objective D:
Without the use of the course text or class notes, the student will identify the origins of criminal investigation.

The industrial revolution has brought many good things to the development of mankind and our way of life.

Unfortunately, along with the good came some problems.

Industrialization brought with it a shift in the way people lived. Before the industrial revolution, the economy was primarily based on agriculture. People lived in the countryside and there was little opportunity for crime.

With the industrial revolution, people moved (what Osterburg calls the peasant class) from the country to the city. This is called "urbanization."

As the industrialized areas filled with people, the opportunity for crime between people increased. As the opportunity increased, so did the frequency of crime.


Since the problems of urbanization had not been encountered on this scale before, there were no immediate solutions.

England had used "parish constables" and night watchmen as their first line of social protection since 1253 AD. By the early 19th Century it was evident that this was not longer effective in protecting the public.

The Social Response to Industrialization Problems

Many private entrepreneurs (Pinkerton was the most notable) tried to move to capitalize on the situation by offering their services for hire, but is was evident that this was not the solution.

In 1748, Henry Fielding, Magistrate of Middlesex and Westminister Prepared the first police survey. The survey revealed the following needs:

Fielding established Bow Street Station offering:

Individual "Bow Street Runners" frequently had a back ground in criminal activity. At the time, this was considered a qualification to identifying and catching criminals. They were expected to mingle with and watch criminals. They frequently had direct ties to the underworld.

In 1829, Sir Robert Peel became the prime minister of England. Peel introduced the Metropolitan Police Act to Parliament. This act determined there was a need for a protective body of well trained men to fight crime and handle chaotic situations. Peel formed the Metropolitan Police of London, regarded as the world's first modern police force. The men were known as BOBBIES. Peelian reforms increased LE status and changed policing.

By the 1840s a group of plain clothes officers had formed within the Metropolitan Police and were beginning to focus on the task of conducting the detective function.

Other countries in Europe were having similar experiences to the English.

Beyond Europe, the newly formed United States was also having a diverse crime problem.

Prior to 1800, there were no formal police departments in the US.

In 1844, the City of New York became the first city in the nation to have a paid, full-time, 24 hour per day police department. Boston followed suit in 1855.

Ethical problems haunted early detectives. In 1880 Thomas Byrnes, a New York City Police Officer, was appointed Detective Bureau Chief. Byrnes had a selection of informants and close ties to New York's underworld. Soon Byrnes began selecting whose criminal activity would be tolerated and whose would not. Additionally, he provided efficient and effective service to the wealthy, but was less responsive to the other socio-economic classes.

If a wealthy person reported an item missing, his word would circulate on the street. If the offender did not return the valuable, underworld enforcers would frequently hand out harsh penalties.

Byrnes was removed from office in 1895.

On the federal level, formal criminal investigators first developed in the 1870 creation of the Department of Justice, which was tasked with the detection and prosecution of federal crimes. Federal investigators frequently were employed part-time from The Pinkerton Agency and from other federal agencies with very limited jurisdictions (i.e. Secret Service, Postal Inspections, etc.).

Early federal investigators were pulled into political conflicts between Congress and President Theodore Roosevelt. Much legislation regulating and controlling federal agencies was promulgated as a result.

In 1923, Calvin Coolidge became President of the United States, due to the death of President Harding. Coolidge's new Attorney General, Harlan Fiske appointed a Justice Department file clerk named J. Edgar Hoover to direct the relatively new "Bureau of Investigation."

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