In the late Victorian era, Whitechapel was considered to be the most notorious criminal rookery in London. The area around Flower and Dean Street was described as "perhaps the foulest and most dangerous street in the whole metropolis"; Dorset Street was called "the worst street in London". Assistant Police Commissioner Robert Anderson recommended Whitechapel to "those who take an interest in the dangerous classes" as one of London's prime criminal "show places". Robbery and violence were commonplace. The district was characterised by extreme poverty, sub-standard housing, homelessness, drunkenness and endemic prostitution. These factors were focused in the institution of the common lodging-house, which provided cheap communal lodgings for the desperate and the destitute, among whom the Whitechapel murder victims were numbered. All the identified victims lived in the heart of the rookery in Spitalfields, including three in George Street (later named Lolesworth Street), two in Dorset Street, two in Flower and Dean Street and one in Thrawl Street.
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