The Growth of the C.I.D.
EVERY PUBLIC SERVICE governed by regulations is destined to become hidebound and sterile unless it keeps pace with changes. This is specially true of the police, who are in constant touch with all classes of the population. Manners change, and unless the directors of a service are quick to change with them, the service becomes out of date. It was so with the Criminal Investigation Department at Scotland Yard. To the present generation it would seem incredible that for twenty-two years there were but eight men in plain clothes to investigate every case of crime committed in London and that when, in 1864, the number was increased, it was only raised to fifteen.
It is scarcely surprising that criticism of the police was growing. In the early years the commissioner had been overwhelmed with applications to join the force; in the sixties there was difficulty in obtaining good recruits. The pay had fallen below the pay of some other forces. There was, besides, discontent regarding pensions and the long hours of duty, and the status of a policeman was still considered lower than that of any other functionary. The public was becoming alarmed. Garrotters were making the streets unsafe at night, and crimes of violence were increasing. This, no doubt, was due to the new factor of the ex-prisoner, who was being liberated on ticket of leave in England without any proper system of supervision.