History-How much did the CID improve investigative policing in the years 1880-1950?
In this essay I will argue as to how much the CID improved in the 70 years between 1880-1950. There were many changes not only in the way that it was run and the tactical improvements made but also in forensic science and fingerprinting.
A prime example of how improvements in the investigative skills within the CID were needed was the case of Jack the Ripper in 1888. There were some improvements made in this investigation like the first ever attempt in the UK to use sniffer dogs to track down any evidence such as a weapon or bloody clothing. Unfortunately due to the fact that the dogs and their handlers had not been adequately trained in this area, the method was unsuccessful. This was a factor that investigators should have taken into consideration when considering using sniffer dogs as a method showing that in the beginning the CID still lacked many things that today would be considered common sense. Fortunately the CID was successful in the use of autopsies luckily giving very vital evidence to inspectors. Plain clothed police were also used to patrol the streets however due to the lack of police women there were no officers to use as bait for Jack so it was almost impossible to catch him in the act. Despite the fact that the CID chose many new methods to track down the killer there were many mistakes made and procedures that weren’t followed that lead to the murderer never being caught. There were no accurate images of the crime scenes to investigate as photography was still in its early stages and sketches weren’t always accurate. Also the two police forces that were working on the case did not work together; this meant that vital evidence was not shared.
Despite the mistakes made in the Ripper case, the case of Buck Ruxton; 1935, was a real turning point in the way that the CID investigated murders. This case showed a huge improvement in forensics and the way that it was...