“13 yards off the big gate and 37 yards up the West Walls”: Crime scene investigation in mid-nineteenth century Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter



External departments

  • Newcastle University


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrime and the Construction of Forensic Objectivity from 1850
EditorsAlison Adam
ISBN (Electronic)9783030288372
ISBN (Print)9783030288365
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2019

Publication series

NamePalgrave Histories of Policing, Punishment and Justice
Publication type

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The chapter explores the role of the uniformed police in crime detection in connection with a murder case in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1863. The care and skill demonstrated in the police handling of the crime scene runs counter to the popular perception of constables as unskilled men whose chief function was crime prevention rather than investigation. Research into nineteenth-century policing has often focused on London, but the actions of the Newcastle police in this case indicate a level of sophistication in policing and a methodical, almost scientific, approach to crime scene analysis that has perhaps not previously been appreciated.