Larrikins had also crashed another dance party a couple of days earlier. The police were informed, but were helpless to intervene. Whenever they tired to arrest a larrikin, the others would either cause chaos elsewhere as a distraction or shower the cops with stones. At one point, they severely injured a woman who happened to be near an officer. While today we limit our riots to important concerns, like protesting institutional violence or celebrating a big sports victory, "we really want to piss off these dancers who are politely minding their own business" used to be due cause.
In Victorian England, Attacking The Police Was A National Pastime
The modern public's relationship with the police is complicated, but both sides are best friends compared to how things were in Victorian England. In the 1870s and '80s, baiting police officers was practically the national hobby. Methods of trolling included setting booby traps with tripwires, leading bobbies on merry chases, and straight up attacking police officers out of the blue.
In 1880, a drunk by the name of Joseph Broxup played an extended game of runaround with the police, quickly attacking them and then shutting doors in their faces when they chased him. This was a bit of a trend, as a Leeds constable named Prewer seemed to spend all of his time haplessly chasing around after people and then getting his ass kicked.
The Crown Court of England and WalesYou can’t look this good without making some enemies.
Other miscreants would get their dogs to attack police officers, sometimes for the sheer hell of it. Police were technically allowed to enter private property to do their jobs, but people were so resistant to the idea that constables were reluctant to investigate domestic violence, because often the only thing the abuser and the victim could agree on was that the police should fuck off. The police would even get shit for doing objectively helpful things, like returning mislaid property or pointing out doors that had accidentally been left unlocked and open.
Maybe this was all because the police themselves were less a Thin Blue Line and more Police Academy, spending a good chunk of time getting drunk instead of showing up for their shifts. It seems like sober policemen were more the exception than the rule, although given that the alcohol probably dulled the pain inflicted by random passersby for no apparent reason, maybe we're confusing cause and effect here.
And you know why you can't "pretend" to be a ghost anymore? Ghost costumes have gotten too darn adorable, that's why.
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For more, check out 5 Underreported Jerk Moves By Famous Historical Figures and 29 Insane Pastimes That Prove History Was Terrifying.
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