The New Police Model Essay

The New Police Model

` The whole process of establishing the new police model was complex with many challenges ranging from diverse opinions to lack consensus on the contentious issues. The new police model has a long trailing history which can be traced back to 1829 when Sir Robert Peel introduced the metropolitan Police Act as an Act of Parliament which was endorsed by the United Kingdom parliament.[1] Clearly, the challenge was striking a balance between liberty and order.[2] The need for a reliable policing system cannot be undermined because it increased the reliability of police in responding to crimes as well as eliminating competition and conflict between the different branches of police. However, the policing process had great impacts on the political, administrative and social economic structure to the United Kingdom. This is because it was established when the whole world was experiencing high population growth rates, evolution of industrialization, advancements in medicine, and agriculture as well as urbanization. This factors contributed to an increase in crime and hence the need to restructure the policing system. This paper seeks to give an introduction of the new policy model and its format. It also pays particular attention to its contribution in the contemporary society.

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Before the conceiving and establishment of the metropolitan police force, the government in the United Kingdom faced a lot of challenges in dealing with crime, which was increasingly becoming high due to industrial revolution, which gave birth to urbanization and advancements in agriculture which led to the increase in population.[3] As a consequence therefore, the society was put under pressure and a collective mode of living emerged and hence collective organizations, which facilitated in the growth of violence and social disorders at large. As a challenge, the government had limited resources to combat crimes, riots and disorders. The old system, which consisted of the constables and local watchmen, could not handle these problems efficiently in the parishes and small market towns neither were the bow street runners who guarded the London city. In an attempt to keep order, the authorities used troops and local militias. Spies were employed to investigate people who were suspected to be disloyal to the government. Although all this effort bore some fruits, crime and disorder still remained a challenge to the government.

In that interest, Sir Robert Peel who was the Home Secretary established a committee of inquiry in 1828 to investigate the policing system and the reasons behind the increase in crime cases in the society. The report of the committee recommended that there was need for comprehensive reforms of the police. The main proposals of the report were extension of the police and establishment of central police office, which was to be under the authority of two magistrates with no other responsibilities to do.[4]

 In 1829, the recommendations of the report were established as the Metropolitan Police Act 1829. Consequently, lawyer Richard Mayne and Colonel Charles Rowan were appointed the first two police magistrates preceded by a plan to recruit over 1000 more police officers. The newly established metropolitan police were armed with nightsticks but were all in uniform.

Although the London people found it hard to recognize the metropolitan police immediately after it was introduced, effort was made to win the public approval through the establishment of the parliamentary committee of inquiry which investigated the 1833 Cold Bath Field riots. The results of the investigation were reported in their favor as a result of which their reliability and purpose become acknowledged by the public. The main reason as to why the public was opposing the formation of the metropolitan police was that they believed that if the metropolitan police was established for the benefit of the people, they should have been involved in the processes. Still, they were afraid that the metropolitan police force was a government project aimed to arrest people who where against the government, eliminate protests and deny the public the freedom of speech. Either, they believed that the origin of the idea of organized police force was borrowed from foreign countries and hence it was not applicable to their country. Further to this, the police were hated because many of them were of poor quality, drunkards and bullied people.

The metropolitan police where popularly known as peelers after their founder and were identified by their blue long coats and big huts. The blue color was chosen with an interest of resembling the Royal Navy rather than the red color which was popular with the Army and could instill fear to the public because of the way they dealt with protests.

The legislation of the metropolitan police was limited to the London area with an exception of the London city and provinces. All the police where under one authority and directed by the Home Secretary. The headquarters of the police where in Whitehall Place which later become the Scotland Yard. The police occupation became a full time with payments done weekly and wearing of uniform became inevitable. Recruitment of the police as well as training was done procedurally carefully by the commissioners. Funds for the payment of the police were mobilized from special Parish Rate collected by the people who were looking after the poor.

 However, the responsibility of the police was centered on protection and detection of crime only. Prevention of crime was achieved through the establishment of preventive patrols and payments to the police for their responsibilities such as prevention of crime or protection of property was not allowed. In addition to the above mentioned responsibilities of the police, they inherited the watchmen duties such as providing emergency services in cases of fire, lighting street lights and other public services.

The organizational structure of the metropolitan police as it was designed by Sir Robert Peel consisted of many position with the highest authoritative position held by the Home Secretary who was a cabinet minister of the British government. Reporting to the home secretary were the two magistrates and the receiver for metropolitan district who was in charge of the police accounts and management of property like buildings.[5] Reporting to the magistrates where three assistants who where in charge of criminal affairs, administration and disciplinary within the police and traffic which was inclusive of all forms of carriage. The chief constables and superintendents featured under this level and served in various divisions. Another chain of command proceeded from the assistant of the magistrates in charge of administration and disciplinary.

Indeed, the establishment of the metropolitan police in 1829 was a fundamental step in the development of the modern policing system. The modern society relies heavily on the police as the only government organization which is given the mandate to prevent crime and disorders in the society. The applicability of the 1829 metropolitan policing also evidenced in the modern uniformed police whose main crime prevention mechanism is through patrolling as it was dictated by the founders. Still to be noted here is the organizational structure of the modern police which is centralized under one authoritative position with a clear defined chain of command which ensures that no police is answerable to more than one senior police. Further to this, the first commissioners of the metropolitan police insisted that the sole responsibility of the police was to prevent crime and the modern policing have adapted the same principle of protecting crime in the country. Still to be noted here is the selecting process and behavior of the policemen. As dictated by the police founders, modern policemen are required to be people of high moral standards, high integrity, professionals and very neutral.[6]

In conclusion therefore, the modern policing have its origin from the metropolitan police of 1829 despite the fact that several changes have been made in the organizational structure to accommodate various challenges imposed by the diversified society. Several factors, which have contributed to the transformation of the modern society, such as the advancement in technology have too diversified the nature and complexity of crimes. [7]As a consequence therefore, new and more specialized divisions of the police have been established to combat those crimes effectively. However, the efforts of Sir Robert Peel in conceiving, establishing and designing of the organizational structure of the metropolitan police must be appreciated because effectiveness it had in controlling crime in the United Kingdom and its effectiveness in the modern society.

Bibliography

Brogden, M., ‘The Emergence of the Police-The Colonial Dimension’, Brit. J. Criminol, Vol. 27. no.1, 1987, pp. 4-14.

Fleming, J., ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses: Relations between Police Commissioners and their Political Masters’, Australian Journal of Public Administration. Vol. 63. no.3, 2004, pp. 60-74.

[1]Mike Brogden, ‘The Emergence of the Police-The Colonial Dimension’, Brit. J. Criminol, Vol. 27. no.1, 1987, pp. 4.
[2] Mike Brogden, ‘The Emergence of the Police-The Colonial Dimension’, Brit. J. Criminol, Vol. 27. no.1, 1987, pp. 5.

[3] Mike Brogden, ‘The Emergence of the Police-The Colonial Dimension’, Brit. J. Criminol, Vol. 27. no.1, 1987, pp. 5.
[4] Mike Brogden, ‘The Emergence of the Police-The Colonial Dimension’, Brit. J. Criminol, Vol. 27. no.1, 1987, pp. 7.

[5] Mike Brogden, ‘The Emergence of the Police-The Colonial Dimension’, Brit. J. Criminol, Vol. 27. no.1, 1987, pp. 12.

[6] Jenny Fleming, ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses: Relations between Police Commissioners and their Political Masters’, Australian Journal of Public Administration. Vol. 63. no.3, 2004, pp. 67.
[7] Jenny Fleming, ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses: Relations between Police Commissioners and their Political Masters’, Australian Journal of Public Administration. Vol. 63. no.3, 2004, pp. 67.