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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Police Officials and Procedures > General Police Discussion

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  #1  
Old 11-30-2014, 02:42 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Default Leaving one's beat

Perhaps this has already been discussed but no-one has mentioned it in the recent Mizen posts and I have been pondering its implications.

The evidence of PC Thain at the Nichols inquest was that he "was not allowed to leave his beat unless he was called".

Can any of the police experts on the board tell me what this actually means? Called by whom? Another constable? And, where a member of the public reported a dead body outside of a constable's beat, were they allowed to leave their beat to go to where the body was? If not, what were they supposed to do?

And, if not, could this provide a possible motive for Mizen lying about having been told that he was wanted by a policeman in Buck's Row?

One thing that I have always found odd is PC Neil's evidence that he "heard a constable passing Brady-street, and he called to him". We know from Mizen's account that he wasn't passing Brady-street at all but was heading directly for Buck's Row. Was he doing so without having been called? So did Neil kindly provide him with an explanation for leaving his beat? But if that was the case there was no need for Mizen to lie because Neil has already covered for him! But had Mizen already filed a report that Cross had told him he was wanted by another policeman, before he knew what Neil would say?

Anyway, if anyone knows the answer or, alternatively, could point me in the direction of the document which contains the regulation stating that a constable could not leave his beat unless called I would be very grateful.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:34 PM
gnote gnote is offline
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Some good questions David, and certainly not one i'm qualified to answer.

Just to your last point about a "document which contains the regulation stating that a constable could not leave his beat unless called"

Would it really matter what officers were supposed to do? Even under heavy pressure from direct superiors of the military/police/government it's not hard to find examples of individuals who didn't quite adhere to protocol 100%.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:41 PM
Monty Monty is offline
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Never seen so many questions in a post.

"The evidence of PC Thain at the Nichols inquest was that he "was not allowed to leave his beat unless he was called".

Can any of the police experts on the board tell me what this actually means? "

Just as you state, a constable was not permitted to leave his beat unless the circumstances warranted it, either an emergency or he was ordered to.

If such an emergency occurs off his beat, he would tend to the situation, calling constables from nearby or the nearest station, for aid, usually by sending members of the public as runners or using their lamp. The use of a whistle was the last option, as it often drew crowds which would need controlling.

Once reserve constables have arrived, and the situation managed by a senior officer, the beat constable would return to his beat, and continue until his shift ends.

There was no need for anyone to lie when it came to protocol. The likely reason why Mizen did lie may be due to the fact he seems to have completed his knocking up prior to inspecting the Bucks Row scene, and besides, he probably felt that it was J divisions issue, rather than his H divisions.

Monty


PS All of this is in my new book....plug, plug, plug.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:53 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Thank you very much Monty.

As I interpret your answer, Thain's reported evidence at the inquest was not entirely accurate; he should have said that he was not allowed to leave his beat unless called or unless an emergency, in his opinion, warranted it. I'm sure you will correct me if I have misunderstood.

I wasn't aware that I had broken the world record for questions in one post (!) but, at the risk of exceeding my annual quota, I do have one more for you if you don't mind: Would an officer in 1888 have been in any kind of trouble (be it neglect of duty charge, disciplinary proceedings, reprimand, slap on wrist etc.) if a member of the public had simply told him there was a body of a woman lying in Bucks Row and that officer had knocked up a single house - on the basis that he was already in the process of doing so - before going straight to Bucks Row?
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:32 AM
Monty Monty is offline
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Hey David,

Re Thain, yes.

Re Mizen, yes again. Knocking up was a role taken on from the old days oF the watch system, and was permitted only if it didn't interfere with regular duties.

I suspect that Mizen felt the woman was a drunk, which would have been a bind for him to deal with, so he dallied his response, hoping that a J division PC would pick her up. He venture out to Bucks Row was, possibly, a mere courtesy just to cover himself.

Monty
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:48 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty View Post
Re Mizen, yes again. Knocking up was a role taken on from the old days oF the watch system, and was permitted only if it didn't interfere with regular duties.
Thank you Monty, much appreciated. The only comment I would make is that if Mizen's regular duties required him to leave his beat when called for by another constable, then I can't see what motive there was for him to lie about being told he was called for by a policeman. He admitted that he continued to knock up despite having been told that another policeman wanted him in Bucks Row. Yet there was no outcry or criticism. And I can't see why inventing a policeman calling him to Bucks Row makes it any better for him - in fact, it possibly makes it worse!
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