Metropolitan Police founded

(160 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Note

In the eighteenth-century, despite increasing urbanisation, the English were remarkably reluctant to establish a police force, seeing the institution as associated with repression and expense. Parliament represented the landed classes, and they dealt with rural crime by draconian measures (see the Black Acts) which awarded death or transportation for modest acts of theft. In rapidly expanding London Henry and John Fielding's establishment of the Bow Street Runners was a rare exception to the general practice of catching cirminals by means of a “hue and cry”, or by a complainant lodging charges with a magistrate or judge.

It was Sir John Peel who first …

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Editors. "Metropolitan Police founded". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 December 2007
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]