Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History

Creating an Orderly Society: The Hobart Municipal Police 1880-1898

Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History (1998), 75, (1), 175–194.

Abstract

The late 19th century witnessed a remarkable decline in urban crime and disorder in Australia, England, and America. Historians have suggested various reasons for this decline including the spread of education, the introduction of social reforms, and greater economic prosperity. Another key factor was the development of more numerous and efficient police forces. As the importance of these factors differed from city to city, local studies of particular cities are needed to help understanding of the wider processes at work. This article examines the role of the Hobart municipal police in helping to make Hobart an orderly city. It considers the reform of the police after the Chiniquy riots of 1879, the role of Superintendent Frederick Pedder in enforcing a new code of conduct on the police and the improved working conditions enjoyed by the police. The article considers how successfully the municipal police dealt with disorder created by the Salvation Army, prostitutes, and pubs. The conclusion examines why centralisation of the police was introduced in 1898.

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Details

Author details

Petrow, Stefan

Table of Contents

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