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Jerome Caminada - The Garibaldi of Detectives

Jerome Caminada was the father of the Manchester C.I.D (Criminal Investigation Department). Although not a direct resident of Ancoats he was an exemplary member of the wider Italian community in Manchester, and became the city's most successful detective in the Victorian period.

Caminada was born of Italian and Irish parents, in Deansgate, in the heart of the city, in 1844. In Feb 1868, age 24, he joined the Manchester City Police as an ordinary constable. After 3 years he was promoted to sergeant and transferred to the newly formed detective department. Caminada's thirty year career brought him into contact with every conceivable type of criminal, from juvenile pickpockets to the army officer who tried to sell secrets to a foreign power. His cases varied from exposing quack doctors by posing as a patient, or hiding in a piano to catch a thief in the Free Trade Hall, to the famous hansom cab murders, which he solved in just 21 days.

Jerome Caminada retired as the first detective superintendent in 1899, and he was a awarded a special pension. Throughout his career he was responsible for the imprisonment of 1,125 people. He became a Manchester city councillor and published his book, '25 Years of Detective Life' in 1901. He died at his home in Moss Side in 1914, age 70.

Of the many tributes he received, it is said that the one he would have valued most came from Judge Parry, who said: "A man of resource, energy and initiative, and never stultified by a petty aderence to regulations. He was the Garibaldi of detectives". Jerome Caminada was very proud of his father and his Italian Ancestry. His father Francesco originated from Lombardy in northern Italy, and Jerome would have been delighted with his comparison to the great Italian patriot.

 

 
The famous detective, Jerome Caminada*

All text and images (unless marked *) Anthony Rea 2010
not to be used without permission. All rights reserved