Metropolitan Police Force Established
The 29th of September 1829 AD
Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel , concerned by the increasing lawlessness in various parts of London – as ever crime statistics caused alarm – passed the Metropolitan Police Act on June 19 1829, paving the way for the force to be created. Men were eventually recruited from September 21 onwards, Peel himself having devised the structure: there were to be two commissioners, eight superintendents (in charge of the eight divisions into which London was split – the City , however, was exempted from the authority of the force), 88 sergeants, and 895 constables.
The idea of men patrolling to reduce crime was received in a luke-warm fashion, mainly because of the cost that would be borne by those in each area they manned, and some cried that it was an end to our civil liberties - plus ca change...
After much preparation – the men were provided with tailcoats adorned with eight military looking brass buttons, and leather top hats and boots – the order to man the stations taken over from the old watch was issued on September 29 1829, and the first patrols began at 6pm the next day – daytime duties were not considered necessary at first.
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From B. McLaughlin on 20th February 2012
Wrong info re the first U.K. Police force being the Met in 1829. The first one was the City of Glasgow in 1800. (Passed by U.K. parliament.)
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