Simon Webb

Bombers, Rioters and Police Killers

Civil disorder, violent crime and terrorism were all considerably worse during the Victorian period than they are today, though ironically many regard this era of British history as a being a by-word for stability and order. Simon Webb reveals the disorder and violent crime endemic in Victorian Britain; a time when the citizens faced problems eerily similar to those with which we have to contend today. Whether a rise in armed robberies and muggings; debates about the arming of the police; bag searches due to fears about terrorists planting bombs in museums and railway stations; or anxiety about the rioting on the streets of our cities; our Victorian ancestors faced precisely the same difficulties well over a century ago. Attacks on Police Officers: Between 2003 and 2013 not a single Metropolitan police officer was murdered, yet during a typical decade in the Victorian period, 1860 to 1870, nine officers were shot, stabbed or beaten to death in London. Victorian Gun Crime: So prevalent was the use of guns by criminals in Victorian Britain, that officers were routinely armed. The sight of a police constable with a revolver at his hip was a common one during the 1880s and 1890s. Terrorism: Bombs had exploded on the London Underground in 1883 and 1885, and the first death in a tube bombing occurred in 1897.
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