Present Day Policing

As of today, there are 48 police services in the UK. In England and Wales there 43 territorial police services. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own nationally run police forces, and there are three specialised; British Transport, Ministry of Defence and Civil Nuclear police services. In total the current personnel levels of police officers […]

Municipal Corporations Act Passed

In 1835, the Municipal Corporations Act was passed in parliament which required 178 Royal Boroughs to set up professional police services. This was followed in 1839 which allowed areas to set up their local police service at county level. The first to establish this was Wiltshire. Although not yet a legal requirement by 1851, at […]

MET Police Formed

In 1829 the home secretary Robert Peel introduced the Metropolitan Police Act which formed the basis of the Metropolitan Police Force widely considered as the first organised English police service. The common nickname for police constables in the UK ‘Bobbies’ can be traced back to the formation of the MPS, as Bobby is short for […]

First Modern-Day Police Service Formed

Perhaps the first indication of a modern-day police service in England was first seen in 1749. Created by magistrate Henry Fielding, ‘The Bow Street Runners’. Formed initially of six men and working from no 4 Bow Street, (Bow Street Magistrates Office). The primary reason for their formation was to help prevent the growing issues of […]

Police are Paid to Patrol England

In England by the early to mid 1700s due to an increase in crime during the night hours, town authorities’ local improvement acts authorised for watchmen and constables to be paid to patrol the streets at night to combat increasing crimes rates. In 1737, a further parliament act was passed which improved and organised the […]

The first Police Service is formed

The first statutory police service in the UK was thought to be formed in Scotland in 1611. These were called the High Constables of Edinburgh. Their duty was to patrol the streets of Edinburgh to prevent crime and bring any perpetrators to justice. Today, High Constables of Edinburgh are still present within a ceremonial function […]

The role of ‘Constable’ is born

By the 1200s, these law enforcement officials were given the title of Watchmen, later followed by Constables. These were governed by individual town authorities. Watchmen and Constables were unpaid roles and each man took the post for a period of one year. However, all subjects of the crown were still responsible for reporting crime. If […]

First Documented Policing in the UK

The earliest forms of law enforcement in the UK date back to the Middle Ages, where it was expected that all subjects of the crown helped to maintain law and order within their communities based on the ancient laws of Great Britain. This originated from the ‘Posse Comitatus’ formed during the 9th century coupled with […]