Brenda W. Clough (bwclough) wrote in little_details,
Brenda W. Clough

Search Warrants Victorian London

I know that in modern America, the police need a search warrant to search your house or even your car. (I believe they can search your person without paperwork, if they can cite probable cause. Clearly it is not possible to rake in a judge and get a warrant if the criminal is fleeing on foot.)

My novel is set in London in 1861. Could the police search a man's hotel room, if they thought he might be a jewel thief? What about his person -- could they go through his pockets? This guy is a baronet, though a shady one, so he has some status.

Googling on 'search warrants' turns up tons of hits, none of them of the least bit use! I am reduced to reading Sherlock Holmes short stories, but Holmes was notoriously loosy-goosey about legalities.
Tags: 1860-1869, uk: government: law enforcement, uk: history: victorian era

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