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  • The system was,if the patrol officer got there first he would leave the chalk mark,if the sergeant got there first he would rub it out.

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    • Thanks Harry.

      I wonder if that was Sergeant Kirby?
      PC Neil's inquest evidence mentions him.
      "I had in the meantime rang the bell at Essex Wharf and asked if any disturbance had been heard. The reply was "No". Sergeant Kirby came after and he knocked"

      There's something slightly puzzling about this evidence. If Neil had already asked at Essex Wharf why did Sgt Kirby knock?
      Or was it simply that Kirby didn't know Neil had already asked, and thus just a simple duplication of effort?

      I don't exclude the possibility that Kirby didn't believe Neil for some reason. Or just double checking. Who knows?

      Anyway, my line of thinking wasn't towards erasing marks, more the opposite. Policemen with chalk in their pockets. I think you can see where I'm heading.

      Cheers.

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      • Regards

        Herlock






        "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact!"

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        • Lol. It just reminded me of many experiences at work, summed up as if you want something doing, do it yourself.
          I would expect a beat sergeant to know his men, so I just wondered what this evidence is saying, if anything at all, about the reliability of PC Neil and what it meant in the wider context of the events in Bucks Row.

          Apologies for the GSG speculation. Wrong thread.

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          • What police officers carry changes slightly with the march of time. There is nothing unusual about police officers having chalk in their pockets though. For many years a special greasy yellow 'chalk' was used to mark the position of vehicles at road accidents prior to moving them.

            There has never been a problem with officers leaving their beats provided that it was for a good and sufficient reason. As others have posted, responding to an assistance call would have been such. In fact not leaving your beat to help a colleague in urgent need of assistance would have been seen as reprehensible, then as now.
            Regards, Bridewell.

            Comment


            • Indeed. I found this initial report in the London Chronicle 29/9/98.

              A Cowardly Policeman Dismissed.

              A few days ago a complaint was made to a constable that a man had stolen a valuable silk scarf from the neck of a little girl in Bermondsey. The man on being pointed out was arrested, when a scene of great violence ensued. Meanwhile another constable had been sent for, but instead of assisting his comrade he allowed the struggle to proceed. Assistance was ultimately rendered by some passers by and the prisoner, who has been several times convicted and is a dangerous character, was taken into custody. The constable was so badly maltreated that he has been incapacitated from duty ever since. On Monday notice appeared in the police orders intimating that the constable had been called upon to resign for "Cowardice in failing to render assistance when called upon by another constable, who was in charge of a violent prisoner, by whom he was seriously assaulted" and further staring that the discharged constable was considered unfit for the police force.

              So that's pretty clear cut. A very different example to the Bucks Row situation obviously. Or does it show there was little room for ambiguity and personal judgement?

              All the best.

              Comment


              • Chalk

                Interesting that policemen would carry chalk, especially in context with the Goulston Street graffiti message.
                I understand constables could walk from their fixed point position - no more than twenty-five yards and remain in sight of the fixed point at all times.
                David Wilson Professor of Criminology:
                'Connection, connection, connection. There is no such thing as coincidence when you are dealing with serial killers.'

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                • Originally posted by martin wilson View Post
                  Indeed. I found this initial report in the London Chronicle 29/9/98.

                  A Cowardly Policeman Dismissed.

                  A few days ago a complaint was made to a constable that a man had stolen a valuable silk scarf from the neck of a little girl in Bermondsey. The man on being pointed out was arrested, when a scene of great violence ensued. Meanwhile another constable had been sent for, but instead of assisting his comrade he allowed the struggle to proceed. Assistance was ultimately rendered by some passers by and the prisoner, who has been several times convicted and is a dangerous character, was taken into custody. The constable was so badly maltreated that he has been incapacitated from duty ever since. On Monday notice appeared in the police orders intimating that the constable had been called upon to resign for "Cowardice in failing to render assistance when called upon by another constable, who was in charge of a violent prisoner, by whom he was seriously assaulted" and further staring that the discharged constable was considered unfit for the police force.

                  So that's pretty clear cut. A very different example to the Bucks Row situation obviously. Or does it show there was little room for ambiguity and personal judgement?

                  All the best.


                  Thanks for sharing this Martin, very interesting!!! How did you happen across it?

                  Comment


                  • Hi Station Cat.

                    I subscribed to the British Newspaper Archive.
                    I'm getting a bit better at digging through it, I've found that I have to be a bit creative when it comes to the search terms, as 'Jack the Ripper' gets you the stuff that is familiar, so I have to think of what terms would appear in the article text. This appeared under 'policeman disciplined dismissed' iirc.
                    I don't discount incompetence, but applying filters to cut down on the numbers usually results in the original article disappearing, so at the moment I've got a load of bookmarked articles.

                    I'll keep plodding on, atm I'm looking through a murder in Islington in 1894, probably more relevant as it involved a woman found in the street and cross division policemen attending.

                    All the best.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                      Funnily enough, my next book (yeah, 80s pop music) contains no fewer than seven mentions of "Jack the Ripper". I kid you not. Pure coincidence actually.

                      But if that doesn't make you want to buy it when it comes out next year, nothing will!
                      As this was first mentioned in this thread, just a follow-up to say that anyone who desperately wants to read a book about Spandau Ballet and the New Romantics (which is surely everyone) can now order my new book entitled New Romantics Who Never Were: The Untold Story of Spandau Ballet.

                      Then you can find why it contains - by pure coincidence - so many mentions of Jack the Ripper!!!

                      https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Romanti.../dp/0957091729

                      Only available as paperback at the moment, Kindle version to follow in due course.

                      Comment


                      • In a jungle of the senses, Tinkerbell and Jack The Ripper....

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                        • In her witness statement, Mrs Fanny Mortimer, said that she heard "The Measured stamp of a policeman's beat". Does that mean policemen walked in a certain manner and you could pick out, that it was a policeman passing by? Could it also mean that policeman walked to a certain tempo, so that they met up at the same place, assuming that nothing significant had happened during the course of the beat?

                          Comment


                          • Hi BB, quite probably both. Beat constables (opposed to 'fixed point') were trained to walk a 'measured tread' of precisely 2.5 miles per hour. That way their duty inspector would know their approximate location at any given moment. So their distinctive mechanical march was very much by design. (Source: Scotland Yard Investigates by Stewart Evans and Donald Rumbelow, two ex-coppers, and great historians of the case).

                            Comment


                            • There were numerous press articles criticising the militarisation of the police under Warren, and suggesting they should spend less time on the parade ground practising their marching. The fixed beat time was said to give savvy criminals a distinct advantage. Although to be fair there are one or two mentions of individual PCs varying their beat or doubling back occasionally.
                              Police issue boots often came in for ridicule, notably from Punch, seemingly being built more for robustness than stealth or comfort - "The boots of Policemen have long been objects remarkable for their excessive clumsiness and disproportion." And also suggesting that they were more suited to kicking ruffians to the station than sneaking up on burglars (or killers) as "The tramp of the Bobbeian boots may readily be recognised full half a mile away". While this is doubtless hyperbole, the contemporary papers do contain many articles and letters imploring the police to wear rubber soled boots so they could move silently and thus avoid alerting criminals to their approach.

                              Comment


                              • Here's an example of a PC (Watkins in an interview with the Star 1st Oct) mentioning a variation of his beat, both the direction and an alternate route (which he didn't use)

                                "I was working left-handed last night," said the police officer. "Sometimes I go into Mitre-square through the Church-passage, but last night I entered from Mitre-street. It was just half-past one when I turned out of Aldgate and passed round the next corner into the square. At that time there was nothing unusual to be seen." I looked carefully in all the corners, as I always do,

                                TURNING MY LANTERN
                                light in every direction. I am positive there was nothing wrong at that time."
                                "And when did you pass through the square again?" asked the reporter.

                                "At about a quarter before two."

                                "Had you met any person on your rounds?"

                                "Not a soul."

                                "Nor heard any noise?"

                                "Not a sound, but the echo of my own footsteps."

                                "You entered the square the same way?"

                                "Just the same."

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