Crime and Punisment - Policing

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Justice of the Peace

These were normally wealthy men who were members of the gentry.

They were not paid. 

There nickname was a JP but because they were open to bribery, they became known as 'Trading Justices'.

They met up with eah other every 3 months for quarter sessions and tried serious criminals.

They appointed Constables every 12 months.

There job consisted of licensing ale houses, checking buildings and bridges, deciding how many times a cagrant should be flogged and they made sure everyone was attending church on Sunday.

They normally worked from 3-10 years.

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They would be appointed every year.

Everyone in the local community would take their turn, they did not get paid.

Not getting paid lead to many wealthy people paying other people to do their job for them.

They would take criminals to the JP's.

They were not enthusiastic about their job.

They organised watchmen.

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They were nicknames 'Charleys' because Charles II hired many of them in his reign.

They were poorly paid and this attracted old, feeble men who were crippled, blind or weak.

They would patrol the streets to give the public some assurance.

They would stand in Sentry boxes and called out the time.

Som people liked abusing the Watchmen by pusing them over in their Sentry boxes, this became known as 'milling a Charley'.

They carried a staff and lantern.

They would be told what to do by Constables and JP's.

They peeked through shop windows.

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Bow Street Runners

Created by Henry and John Feilding in 1748.

They were an improvement as they were fitter.

They would record criminals in their log books.

They would become undercover dectectives and mixed with criminals in flash dens - theybecame untrusted by the public because of this.

The first police station was set up in Bow Street, making reporting crime easier.

The Hue and Cry Gazette newspaper was created to inform the public of criminals.

Horse and foot patrols were created to stop highway robberies and footpadders.

Crime decreased in London but increased in other parts of the country.

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Metropolitan police

Set up Robert Peel - home secretary - in 1829.

They were nicknamed 'Peelers' or 'Bobbies' because of Robert Peel.

They were undoubtedly influenced by the Bow Street Runners.

They had uniforms which consisted of a top hat with an iron rim inside, which was used to standing on and looking over peoples walls.

They carried a truncheon as a weapon and a rattle to alert other Peelers.

They would sort out traffic and walk the beat.

They would deter crime and call out the time.

Many of the public originally didn't trust them because they were often found drunk.

However they weren't afraid to sack members of the police force to get the most effective police.

They were split up into 17 divisions and organised into inspectors, sergants and constables.

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...Metropolitan Police...dates

1789 - River thames police set up

1805 - Robin Redbreasts were set up (patrolled main roads and highways)

1829 - Metropolitan police set up.

In 1839 was the Rural Constabulary act, which was when all rural places had to have their police force.

In 1842 the detective department was set up.

In 1856 was the County Borough Police Act, which was when all towns and cities had to have their own police force.

1878 the CID replaced the dectective department.

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Modern Police

They were largely improved because of specialisation and technolgy.

Specialisation mean't that there were a lot of different sectors the police were set up into. For instance, the fraud squad, anti-terrorist squad, SOCCO and CEOP.

Technology lead to blood samples being discovered in 1901. 

In 1935 the national lab was set up.

Radio communications lead to Dr. Crippen being caught in 1910.

CCTV has allowed survellance without the need to physically being there.

2 way radio, mobiles and the internet has mean't that communication is made easier.

Transport like the cars (1919) and motorbikes (1930's) has mean't that the rapid response call was introduced. Helicopters allow the police to follow car chases without endangering the public.

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Tudor and Stuart Police:  Watchmen, Constables, Justice of the Peace.

Industrial Era:    Bow street runners, Metropolitan Police.

Modern day: Modern Police.


Overall, policing methods have improved over time as they have become more organised, specialised, there have been big improvements in technology and they have become effective at deterring crime.

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Miss E

Very good resource with the histiry of policing from early justices introduced by Henry II to the modern day police forces. Well summarised, you could go on to use this for testing, colour-code it or create your own mind map.

Ciara Fleming

great information, very useful but has some spelling and grammatical errors.


I love this site, it's really helped me with my history 

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