How effective was the Metropolitan police force and how would we find out?

This enquiry-led activity focuses on students considering the possible evidence base, as well as knowing how to evaluate existing evidence intelligently.  It starts with a humorous cartoon which is slowly-revealed and carefully analysed.  Its value as evidence for the enquiry is then scrutinised.  This sets the tone for students to set up their own line of enquiry.

Learning objectives

  • Students are able to infer meaning from a cartoon and comment on the significance of the date.
  • They are able to evaluate a political cartoon.
  • They are able to suggest possible sources of evidence to be used when setting up their own enquiry.
  • They analyse a range of possible sources of evidence in terms of usefulness.

Step 1

As a motivating starter students are shown a cartoon from 1830 showing a policeman talking to a water pump!  Many of you may be familiar with it if you have used Colin Shephard and Rosemary Rees’ book GCSE Crime and Punishment investigations, published by Hodder in 2005, (where it appears as a black and white image).  The book offers excellent help in cartoon analysis on page 5 and asks five specific questions of the cartoon.  The approach I have taken builds on what

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