There were two main police forces involved in the hunt to catch Jack the Ripper - the Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police.
Since the murders of Mary Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride and Mary Kelly, took place in Whitechapel and Spitalfields, their murder sites came under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police and it was they who investigated these four murders.
Catherine Eddowes, who was murdered on 30th September 1888, was killed in Mitre Square, which is in the City of London. As a consequence her killing came under the jurisdiction of the City of London Police and was duly investigated by the officers of this particular force.
This section on the police investigation of the murders provides information about the most important officers connected with the case and looks at both how the police handled their investigation and how their handling of it was perceived by the press and general public.
Sir Charles Warren was the Metropolitan Police Commissioner based at Scotland Yard. Although he is often portrayed as being an incompetent Colonel Blimp like figure, he was in fact a very able officer.
James Monro was the Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner up until August 31st 1888 when he resigned his position as a result of a personality clash with Sir Charles Warren. He later took over from Warren as the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
Superintendent Thomas Arnold was the head of H Division, Whitechapel, at the time of the Jack the Ripper atrocities, albeit he was away on leave during the earlier murders of Martha Tabram and Annie Chapman. He returned just prior to the murder of Elizabeth Stride, on 30th September, 1888.
Inspector Edmund Reid was the head of the H Division detectives who investigated the Jack the Ripper murders in the area where they occurred. He was a very able officer and was referred to by one contemporary as "one of the most remarkable men of the century."
The previous year (1887), Inspector Frederick George Abberline had been promoted out of the district where the murders occurred. However, his unrivalled knowledge of the area and its criminal underworld meant that he was sent back in September 1888 to take charge of the on the ground investigation into the murders.
Although not involved in the investigation in the autumn of 18888, Macnaghten would later become one of the most important officers involved with the case. Indeed it was he who made the emphatic statement that Jack the Ripper had "five victims and five victims only."