1. The City of London Police are responsible for keeping order in the one square mile of the City of London.
  2. The murder of Catherine Eddowes, on 30th September, 1888, took place in Mitre Square, located in the City of London..
  3. This meant that the investigation into her murder was conducted by officers from the City of London Police..
  4. The acting Commissioner at the time of the murder was Major Henry Smith.


A photograph of the City of London Police.


The City of London Police is a totally different force to the Metropolitan Police and has the responsibility of enforcing the law throughout the one square mile of the City of London.

Today the resident population of The City of London consists of 8043 people. However, since The City is primarily a working district, this population is swollen on weekdays by an influx of some 300,000 commuters - not to mention the tens of thousands of tourists who arrive to visit The City's attractions which include St Paul's Cathedral, The Tower of London and Tower Bridge.


When Sir Robert Peel established the Metropolitan Police in 1829 The City of London resisted his attempts to consolidate the policing of The City and greater London with one force. Instead, the City chose to continue with traditional Constables to enforce the law in the one square mile.

Reform of the City Police began in 1832 when a daytime duty of 1 Superintendent, 3 Inspectors, 10 Sergeants and 85 constables was established. At night, however, the policing of The City of London reverted to the traditional Ward Constables and Watchmen.


By 1839, following the success of Peel's Metropolitan Police and the evident inadequacy of the City force, the City's numbers were expanded so that it could take over the duties of both Police and Watchmen day and night, and The City of London Police was formally established by the City of London Police Act

The first City of London Police Commissioner was Daniel Whittle-Harvey, who presided over a force of some 500 men.


In 1842 the Force relocated its headquarters from the Corporation’s Guildhall to number 26 Old Jewry, which is where it was based at the time of the Jack the Ripper murders and where it would remain until 2002, when it transferred to its current location on nearby Wood Street. As the forces duties and responsibilities increased, so to did the number of its officers.

A major aspect of policing in the City in the latter half of the 19th century was the need to control the huge increase in the amount of traffic on The City's streets, which, in turn, had led to an ever growing number of accidents, several of which had according to contemporary City of London Police documents "terminated fatally."

As a result, in 1865, an extra fifty men were drafted into the ranks on the grounds that, "...the duties of patrolling beats could not be left and that it was essential for public safety that constables should be posted to wherever two crowded streets meet, so as to prevent as far as practicable those accidents which are now of frequent occurrence..."

By the time of the Jack the Ripper murders in 1888, the City Police Commissioner was Sir James Fraser. He presided over a force that consisted of, 1 Chief Superintendent, 1 Superintendent, 14 Inspectors, 92 Sergeants, and 781 Constables.

However, since Fraser was on leave on the 30th of September, 1888, when the murder of Catherine Eddowes took place in Mitre Square, in the City of London, Major Henry Smith took charge of the investigation as the Acting City of London Police Commissioner.

Police Officers