Saturday, 13th October 1888
THE POLICE ENGAGED
The report of Sir Charles Warren, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police for the year 1887 has just been issued as a Parliamentary paper, and is particularly interesting now in view of the Whitechapel murders. In the first paragraph it is stated that the authorised strength of the force at the end of the year was 30 superintendents, 820 inspectors, 1,363 sergeants, and 11,868 constables; total 14,081; being an increase of two superintendents, 168 inspectors and 196 sergeants, and a decrease of 89 constables since Dec 31 in the preceding year. Excluding those who are employed on special duties for various Governmental departments, public companies, or private individuals, the number of police available for service in the metropolis is 12,460; but making further allowance for those who are on leave in accordance with the regulations, absences from sickness, or employment on station and outside protection duties, there remain 8,773 police available for duty in the streets. About 60 percent of this number is required for night duty, viz, from ten pm to six am. During the day the ordinary beat duty of the whole of the metropolis devolves some 1,537 men; in addition to 464 constables on "fixed points" and 79 at hackney carriage standings. The Metropolitan Police District extends over a radius of fifteen miles from Charing-cross, exclusive of the City, and embraces an area of 68,831 square miles. "It will be seen," says Sir Charles, "that there is great need for a very considerable augmentation, and this has been so reported to the superintendents." The Commissioner proceeds: "The rapid increase both in buildings and population which has taken place in the Metropolitan Police District of late years has outrun the increase which it has been possible to make in the police force. It will be seen that since 1849, when the authorised strength of the police was 5,493, of whom 5,288 were available for police purposes, there have been built 500,852 new homes, while 3,463 are in the course of erection, 1,833 miles of new streets have been added to the charge of the police, and the population has increased from 2,473,758 to 5,476,447. To meet this the available strength of the police force for ordinary duties, exclusive of those employed for the protection of public buildings in consequence of the dynamite scare is 8,773.
The inquest on the woman murdered in Mitre square was resumed on Thursday. Evidence was given of considerable importance as to the chalk inscription found on the wall in Goulstone street about three quarters of an hour after the murder - "The Jews are not the men that will be blamed for nothing" - showing the murderer's immediate object to be to create a false scent by availing himself of the existing prejudice against the Jews. Here also it was that he dropped a bit of the woman's apron, bloodstained as if to revive the suggestion of "Leather Apron." The London City police, in whose territory the murder was committed, were about to have the inscription photographed, but as the place was in the Metropolitan Police district, they were unable to prevent the action of the Metropolitan Police authorities who, apprehensive of an attack upon the Jews, had the inscription rubbed out. It is alleged that it was Sir Charles Warren himself, who visited the scene soon after the murder, that ordered the rubbing out of the inscription. The medical witnesses expressed a belief yesterday that the murderer had no design upon any particular organ of the victim, and did not possess any great anatomical skill. A verdict of wilful murder by some person unknown was returned. A man was arrested in Belfast yesterday on suspicion. He gave his name as John Euster, and said he had been from Glasgow, but refused any further particulars. He had in a black bag a dagger knife, three razor, a lady's necklace, and £19.