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The Evolution of Policing in the UK Essay

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The dictionary definition of the police is “the organized civil force of a state, concerned with maintenance of law and order, the detection and prevention of crime, etc,” (Collins English Dictionary, 2002). This definition states the minimum of what the police actually do. Providing support for families, protecting society from criminals and responding to calls 24 hours a day 7 days a week are just some of the other roles that police have to deal with. In this essay the evolution of the police will be discussed as well as how the police are facing challenges.

The police are continuously developing and have been ever since the beginning of informal policing which saw that everyone who lived in a society had to be responsible for keeping the peace (Engel, R. 2012). The evolution of policing first began in Anglo Saxon times in which introduced a Tything. A Tything were a group of 10 families that would discuss concerns and mutual protection (A history of policing, 1998). During this time, the second development stage had occurred; this was assigning certain members of society into informal roles of policing (Engel, R. 2012). This led the way for a more centralised system which saw a few modifications in the structure by the Normans. A local court system was introduced into this system (A history of policing, 1998). It wasn’t until the 18th century in which formal policing began to emerge and was the last stage of developing the police. Specific members of the public would be given formal responsibility of looking after the community (Engel, R. 2012). 1829 saw the innovation of the Metropolitan police as a result of the industrial revolution which lead to an escalation in crime as well as the final development stage of policing (...


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...he-police_1.> Last accessed: 31st December 2013.

Dempsey, J. Forst, L (2011). An Introduction to Policing. 6th ed. London: Cengage Learning. p129-130.

Engel, R. (2012). Police: History - Early Policing In England. Available: http://law.jrank.org/pages/1647/Police-History.html. Last accessed 6th January 2014.

Fahy, Sir P. (2013). Why do you have a police force?. [Online] Available: Last accessed 3rd January 2014.

Metropolitan Police. (N.D). The role of the PCSO. [Online] Available: < http://www.met.police.uk/pcso/.> Last accessed 30th December 2013.

Rogers, C. Lewis, R (2007). Introduction to Police Work. 1st ed. Devon: Willan . p4.

Warwickshire Police. (2003). PCSOS. [Online] Available: Last accessed 30th December 2013.



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