British photographic history

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With crimes ranging from theft to child cruelty and rape, these photographs capture Victorian criminals immediately after arrest, and provide fascinating detail of their wretched existence – with charge sheets going as far as listing missing fingers or hands and any diseases the delinquents suffered from.

Previously unseen by the general public, the images were all captured between 1877 and 1930, and published in the Police Gazette trade magazine. They are believed to be among the first mug shots collected in Britain.

The Prevention of Crime Act 1871 made it a legal requirement that all people arrested for a crime must have their photographs taken.

Temporary Exhibition at The Prison & Police Museum,St Marygate, Ripon
until 30th November 2013. Details can be found here.

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Comment by Nicholas Brewer on August 20, 2013 at 17:24

Yes that would be good lets find some work to go and look at.

Comment by Michael Wong on August 20, 2013 at 15:54

Yes it does, Nick. Shame it's all the way up north.

Hope all well with you and catch up soon too ....

Comment by Nicholas Brewer on August 20, 2013 at 11:11

Looks interesting

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