Crime And Punishment In Victorian Era Essay

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Crime and Punishment in the Victorian Era According to BBC History, Jack the Ripper was responsible for five brutal murders in the Whitechapel area of London between August and November 1888. During the Victorian Era, crime was common in the United Kingdom. Theft, prostitution, and fraud were common crimes during the era. Being accused and found guilty of a crime may have led to hard labor, where many died before their sentence was over, or executed. Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens, was written and takes place in the Victorian Era, giving an insight to some of the crimes that occurred in Victorian England. The United Kingdom under Queen Victoria had all kinds of crime along with unfair punishments to the criminals. There were all types…show more content…
According to the British Library, most crimes committed by juveniles was petty theft. Most of the theft occurred through pickpocketing, specifically silk handkerchiefs that had a high resale value. In Oliver Twist, juvenile theft is depicted with Fagin and his young followers, who pickpocketed people all over London. It is believed that over 5,000 handkerchiefs were stolen weekly just in Field Lane in London (bl.uk). Crowded places such as fairs, marketplaces and public executions were particularly profitable for young thieves. In the county of Middlesex, during the first quarter of the nineteenth century, three in every four petty thefts reported were committed by people under twenty-five years old. Between 1830 and 1860, over half of the defendants tried for pickpocketing were younger than twenty years old. Social investigators argued that poverty was largely responsible for corrupting youth, leaving them desperate in the streets to find any way to obtain money (bl.uk). This is seen in Oliver Twist, as Fagin takes advantage of the poor youth by having them steal handkerchiefs in the streets. After 1800, children between the ages of seven and fourteen were considered incapable of forming criminal intentions. However, they could be found guilty if proven that there was criminal intent. Children convicted of serious felonies faced the full extent of the law, which included imprisonment,

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