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Sir Robert Peel and the London Citywide Police

Sir Robert Peel discovered that founding a city-wide police force was no easy task, but persisted and prevailed in doing so. He modeled the force after the Irish Constabulary and his model was first used in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States.

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Sir Robert Peel founded the first citywide police force in London, England in 1829. The "Bobbies" (named after Peel) formed .8 % of the entire work force, wore uniforms and were organized in a military manner. The preface of the London Metropolitan Police duty manual when Rowan and Mayne were commissioners, stated,
It should be understood, at the outset, that the object to be obtained is the prevention of crime. To this great and every effort of the police is to be directed. The security of person and property, the preservation of public tranquility, and all other objects of a police establishment will thus be better affected than by the detection and punishment of the offender after he has succeeded in committing the crime.
Every member of the police force, as the guide for personal and professional conduct should constantly keep this in mind. Officers and police constables should endeavor by such vigilance and activity as may render it impossible for anyone to commit a crime within that portion of the town under their charge (Rowan and Mayne, 1829; Reith, 1956; Thibault, Lynch & McBride, 2004)
This clearly establishes the tradition of "proactive policing" in the first modern police force. At the time the industrial revolution had caused the population to migrate into cities. There were private and special police, merchant police, parochial police for churchgoers and ...

Solution Summary

The history of Sir Robert Peel's ideas and their effects on American policing are summarized.