chapter  5
The Jenny Darbies: the New Police
Pages 46

From the last quarter of the eighteenth century through to the 1820s problems of crime and order maintenance were regarded as particularly acute: the end of the transportation of convicts to the colonies in North American in the 1770s; the Gordon Riots which paralysed London for five days in 1780; the radicalism generated in England by Wilkes and the American and French Revolutions which combined during the French Wars (1793-1815) with food riots, rising numbers of people claiming poor relief and the disruption of foreign trade to create the fear that a politicized working class might welcome, rather than seek to repel, invaders from France.1