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On This Day… The Creation Of London’s Metropolitan Police Force

Written by: George Chittenden : 21 Jul 2019

It was on this day, 19th June back in 1829 when Sir Robert Peel’s Metropolitan Police Act received Royal assent. The act was the brainchild of Robert Peel, the man who is regarded as the father of modern British policing and one of the founders of the modern Conservative Party. Peel served two separate terms as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and two terms as Home Secretary. Prior to the introduction of the Metropolitan Police Act 1829, people in Great Britain referred to the Statute of Winchester of 1285 as their primary legislation.

So, Britain was well over-due a reform in the legislation regarding the policing of the country. The 1829 act created the first modern police force, the Metropolitan Police of London and the officers were often referred to as ‘Peelers’ in honour their founding father Robert Peel. The Peelers replaced the chaotic system of parish constables and watchmen in the city of London, and its success was used as a model for police departments throughout England.

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