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Thursday, 22 July 2010

Constable Hash Looked The Part and Whitechapel Tells Where It All Began!

The Police Forces in SL are very popular and many people like to be virtual police officers. I met a constable in Virtual London recently who was spot on with his uniform and he looked very smart. Hash Rieko’s uniform was the best modern day version I’d seen, his avatar had that clean cut look about it too and I was impressed. Hash was very nice and very knowledgeable about both SL and real life politics and we had a great chat, thanks Hash!

Over in the Whitechapel 1888 sim you will find a Police Station from that era which tells a brief history of Frederick George Abberline, a Police Inspector who was brought in to lead the squad in an attempt to capture Jack the Ripper. The Police Station is really well built, complete with wanted posters on the wall and you can walk through to the cells where a drunk called Smith is locked up waiting to appear before the Beak (Magistrate) for being drunk and disorderly!

Being drunk and disorderly would probably have applied to many of the first members of the Metropolitan Police (the very first Police Force in Britain), as many of the officers were an unsavoury bunch of people. The Met Police was created by the then Home Secretary Robert Peel who came into office in 1822. He introduced the Metropolitan Police Act in 1829, creating four Police Inspector jobs and a hundred and forty-four Police Constable posts across 17 areas (divisions) of London. The policemen were nicknamed Peelers or Bobbies after Robert Peel and their uniform consisted of a long navy blue coat and a tall hat (the hat could be used to stand on to see over walls!). They were supplied with a wooden truncheon as a weapon to keep control. The police were very unpopular as many were drunks and bullies and the first officer to be taken on was sacked after only 4 hours for being legless. Only 600 officers kept their jobs from the 2,800 recruited. Over the decades however the Metropolitan Police became a fine example of how a police force should be, gaining admiration and respect from all over the world.

Frederick George Abberline never did catch the Ripper, but you can go over and see what an 1888 police station looked like and don’t forget, if a Peeler sees you are drunk and disorderly you could end up with poor old Smith waiting for his punishment from the Beak!

Janey Bracken

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