Police work and criminal prosecutions relied heavily on confessions, witness testimony, and apprehending perpetrators in the act of committing an offence or in the possession of obvious physical evidence that clearly linked them to a crime. Forensic techniques, such as fingerprint analysis, were not in use. Policing in London was—and still is—divided between two forces: the Metropolitan Police Service with jurisdiction over most of the urban area, and the City of London Police, with jurisdiction over about a square mile (2.9 km2) of the city centre. The Home Secretary, a senior minister of the United Kingdom government, controlled the Metropolitan Police, whereas the City Police were responsible to the Corporation of London. Beat constables walked regular, timed routes.
Eleven deaths in or near Whitechapel between 1888 and 1891 were gathered into a single file, referred to in the police docket as the Whitechapel murders. Much of the original material has been either stolen or destroyed.[8
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