Sir Robert Peel and American Policing Kristi Pursley CJA/214 August 15, 2011 Don Redden Sir Robert Peel and American Policing The history of policing dates back several thousand years ago when there was no order or peace and inhumane acts upon citizens was the norm with religious, political, or military police acting as the law. Policing was unstable and unorganized. Citizens took the law into their own hands and served as judge, jury, and executioner. There was not such a thing as being “innocent until proven guilty. If the community believed an individual was guilty of a crime then the community would handle the offense themselves. American policing stems from the English heritage; crime prevention and control, preventive patrol, and the quasi-military organizational method became the policing structure. The English colonists brought a criminal justice system as part of their cultural baggage (Walker & Katz, 2008, p. 24). In addition, American policing also used other features from the British system. A member of England’s elite social and political class fought to improve the structure of the law enforcement for more than 30 years.
History expresses itself and acknowledges this member as the “father” of modern policing, otherwise known as Sir Robert Peel (Walker & Katz, 2008, p. 25). After the collapse of the England law enforcement in the early nineteenth century, Sir Robert Peel took a stand to control order and organization in the law enforcement system. He fought for many years for this and finally convinced the English Parliament to create the London Metropolitan Police in 1829. The officers became known as “Bobbies” in honor of Sir Robert Peel.
The London Police Department set in motion three new elements that became the structure for modern policing; mission, strategy, and organizational structure. The mission was to prevent crime before it started rather than to respond after the crime has already taken place, known as crime prevention. The strategy was to have officers continually patrolling the fixed “beats” and allow them to be noticed to deter crime, also known as preventive patrol. The organizational structure came from the London military introducing, uniforms, rank designations, and the authorian system of command and discipline, otherwise known as Quasi-military style.
Although Sir Robert Peel was not an officer of the law, he directed London’s police department with “Peel’s Nine Principals. ” These principals were to act as the basis to control the police force in England and help to restore peace to the citizens. Peel believed it was better to try to prevent crimes and reform criminals. Peel’s Nine Principals read as follows: 1) The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder. 2) The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions. ) Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public. 4) The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force. 5) Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law. 6) Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient. ) Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. 8) Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary. ) The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it (Bloy, 2011). The United States admired Sir Robert Peel’s principals of policing and therefore adopted it to incorporate into their legal justice system of law enforcement. The government tried to incorporate Sir Robert Peel’s Principals into different cities with no luck or gratitude. In 1838, Boston became the first city to incorporate these principals and have the first organized policing in the United States. In 1845, New York City followed suit.
Soon thereafter, Philadelphia followed suit but it did not follow the principals, destroying different forms of policing. Finally, Philadelphia collaborated their policing style to be organized and uphold order by way of Sir Robert Peel’s Nine Principals. Sir Robert Peel, known as the ‘father’ of modern policing, set the foundation for organization and structure in modern day policing in London. The United States followed behind shortly thereafter to enlist a police force for order, organization, and service. Peel set up “Peel’s Nine Principals” which the United States still abides by to this day.
The ‘father’ of policing has helped our government to overcome harsh judgment, corruption, and harsh actions, and has made it possible for citizens of this society to bond with local law enforcement. This has allowed our law enforcement to handle situations appropriately and incorporate bigger agencies to handle more diverse problems throughout the country. References Dr. Bloy, M. (2011, January 6). The Peel Web. Retrieved August 9, 2011 from www. historyhome. co. uk. Walker, S. , & Katz, C. M. (2008). The Police in America (6th Ed. ). New York, New York: McGraw-Hill.