Term Paper: History of the Police

Pages: 2 (794 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper

History Of the Police

Police History

In the mid-fifteenth century the term police, derived from the French word "porice" meaning public order assured by the state, entered the English language. In 1798 the modern usage of police as the civil force responsible for maintaining public order and enforcing the law came into recorded usage when the Marine Police were established to protect merchant shipping on the River Thames in London. By 1828 the law enforcement unit established in London had grown to over 450 paid officers and was sometimes called the New Police. Even so, there was still no centrally organized system of law enforcement at that time and Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel began efforts to establish what was to become the London Metropolitan Police. Peel had successfully organized the Royal Irish Constabulary while serving in Ireland and was intent on the reformation of law enforcement in England. At first Parliament was reluctant to pursue Peel's ideas because of the fear of the consequences of introducing a military style force along French lines; however in 1929 the London Metropolitan Police Act was passed providing funds for the establishment of a 1,000 officer force governed by strict standards of conduct and discipline (Grant & Terry, 2012).

The new department was organized along military lines, with officers being subject to clear chains of command and rules of conduct. Officers were required to wear uniforms and carry badges with an identification number to promote accountability and professionalism. Moreover, as opposed to being private citizens charged by law to assist in the apprehension of offenders, officers were direct employees of the state. Peel established 12 principles of policing: 1) the police must be stable, efficient, and organized along military lines; 2) the police must be under government control; 3) the absence of crime will best prove the efficiency of the police; 4) the distribution of crime news is essential; 5) the deployment of police strength both by time and area is essential; 6) No quality is more indispensable to a policeman than a perfect command of temper; a quiet determined manner has more effect than violent action; 7) good appearance commands respect; 8) the securing and training of proper persons is at the root of efficiency; 9) public security demands that every police officer be given a number; 10) police headquarters should be centrally located and easily accessible to the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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