COMMERCIAL STREET POLICE STATION
Commercial Street Police Station, in Shoreditch, was the station where many of the police officers investigating the Jack the Ripper murder spree were based. Probably it’s most famous detective was Frederick George Abberline, who played a key role in attempting to solve the Whitechapel murders.
What happened at Commercial Street Police Station in relation to the Jack the Ripper crimes?
The Commercial Street Police Station was where many of the police officers investigating the murders were based. One of the most fascinating investigations occurred in the case of Annie Farmer, the reason being that the victim of the attack survived and was able to give an account of what happened.
Annie Farmer was attacked in a lodging house in George Street, which was very close to a previous murder scene. A man had attempted to cut her throat, but Annie Farmer was able to scream to raise the alarm and the attacker fled.
She was taken to Commercial Street Police Station, where she was placed in a comfortable room and given time to sober up before being interviewed. The cut to her throat was only superficial, so once she had been attended to by the doctor she was able to give a description of her assailant.
Her description of the perpetrator which was circulated by the police was as follows:
‘Wanted for attempted murder on 21 November. A man, aged 36 years; height, 5 feet 6 inches; complexion, dark, no whiskers, dark moustache; dress, black jacket and trousers, round black felt hat; respectable appearance; can be identified.’
The circumstances of the case gave the public reason to believe that the attacker could be Jack the Ripper, although the police felt the attack was probably not the work of the prolific murderer they were desperately looking for.
Where was the Commercial Street Police Station?
Burhan Uddin House
The site of the Commercial Street Police Station can be found on Commercial Street in Shoreditch in the East End of London. The building is not only of significance because it is where the murders were investigated, but also because it is one of few buildings related to the Ripper case which is still standing. The closest tube station to Commercial Street Police Station is Aldgate East, which is just a few minutes’ walk away.
As well as being a significant area for the Ripper crimes and subsequent investigations, there are also a number of other attractions to keep visitors to this bustling area entertained. The Whitechapel Art Gallery, The Old Truman Brewery and nearby Brick Lane are all popular attractions for tourists and the local Shoreditch crowd alike.
What is the Commercial Street Police Station in the present day?
The Commercial Street Police Station is now a residential block called Burhan Uddin House, although the façade of the building remains largely unchanged.
How has the Commercial Street Police Station changed since 1888?
Built on the western side of Commercial Street in 1874, the police station initially had a three-storey frontage to Commercial Street only, but an extra storey and an Elder Street wing were added in 1906. The police station remained in operation until it was converted into flats, although you can still see a sign saying ‘Police Station’ above the door.