|H Division's actual CID officers, pictured in 1889|
Last September, BBC One commissioned a new, eight-part period drama called Ripper Street. Created by Richard Warlow (a writer on Waking the Dead), the series "is set in the East End of London in 1889, during the aftermath of the" Whitechapel Murders. The original press release states that "the action centres around the notorious H Division - the police precinct from hell - which is charged with keeping order in the chaotic streets." Produced by Tiger Aspect, the series "explores the lives of characters trying to recover from the Ripper's legacy, from crimes that have not only irretrievably altered their lives, but the very fabric of their city. At the drama's heart our detectives try to bring a little light into the dark world they inhabit."
Just last week it was announced that Spooks actor (and husband of Keeley Hawes), Matthew Macfadyen will head the cast of Ripper Street, and the programme begins production soon for transmission later this year.
From it's inception in1829, the Metropolitan Police was divided into seventeen districts for administrative purposes, and each was identified by a letter. In 1888, H Division covered Whitechapel, and it's jurisdiction included three Ripper murder sites: Hanbury Street (Annie Chapman), Berner Street (Elizabeth Stride), and Miller's Court (Mary Kelly). The four police stations within the district where at Leman Street (the divisional HQ), Commercial Street (the area CID office), Arbour Square, and King David Lane.
The officer in charge of detectives on the ground during the Whitechapel Murders, was Inspector Frederick Abberline (1843-1929) - he had worked in H Division from 1873-1887. Since 1965, H Division has covered Tower Hamlets.