A brief account of why the commissioners of the Metropolitan Police, having denied the need for a specialist group of detectives, were forced to create such a group in 1842, just three years after the disbandment of the runners, when the constables of the new force fumbled the investigation of several murder cases. The Home Office permitted the establishment of a detective department not much larger than John Fielding had commanded eighty years earlier. It concludes by noting that the runners entered into the popular culture, at least their name continues to have some resonance.
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