In 2017 I worked with the interactive audioguide company Detour to make a walk that takes listeners back to 18th century Wapping, to find out why this quiet corner of London by the river Thames gave birth to the very first police force in the world.
Here’s the blurb I wrote for it on the website!:
Today, Wapping may strike a first-time visitor as a quiet, cobblestoned corner of riverside London, with estate agents taking up most of the high street space. But, over 200 years ago, Wapping was the place where the world’s very first police force was founded. Why and how did policing as we know it start right here? Joz Joslin, a former marine police officer, will walk you through Wapping’s criminal history while weaving in his personal stories of fighting crime on these very banks. He will show you the giant wharves and warehouses that formed the main entrance to London’s trading routes and explain how this trading made the area wealthy. And where there’s wealth, there’s usually crime. You’ll discover how Wapping in the 1700s became the breeding ground for every type of thievery imaginable. Raise a pint in one of London’s oldest pubs and hear about the botched escape attempt of a famous judge. Then walk to the river’s edge to find out how one of the most notorious pirates of all time, Captain Kidd, met his grisly end on the shores below.
You can listen to it and walk it!, when you download it from here: