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Founder of the Metropolitan Police

The police force, as we know it today, did not exist until 1856. Before then, most places had only an unpaid parish constable to keep order.

'Peelers' or 'Bobbies'

The first policemen, known as 'Peelers' or 'Bobbies', were set up in London in 1829 by Robert Peel, the then Home Secretary, after 'The Metropolitan Police Act' of 1829. The act provided permanently appointed and paid Constables.

The first thousand of Peel’s police began to patrol the streets of London on 29th September 1829.

Who was Robert Peel?

Robert Peel was born on 5 February 1788 in Bury, Lancashire. He became a British MP and later, Prime Minister. He was most concerned about public safety and criminal reform, and was responsible for establishing the first police force in London. Since that time British police have raditionally been know as 'Bobbies'.

Police Uniform

The uniform was carefully selected to make the ‘Peelers’ look more like ordinary citizens, rather that a red-coated soldier with a helmet.

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image: soldier

The 'Peelers' wore a long blue coats and strengthened tall hats, which protected them from blows to the head and they could use to stand on to look over walls. Their only weapon was a wooden truncheon carried in a long pocket in the tail of their coat They also carried a pair of handcuffs and a wooden rattle to raise the alarm. By the 1880s this rattle had been replaced by a whistle.


Find out about British Policemen today

Also on this day.....

UNICEF Day for Change
A national non-uniform day. Day for Change gives pupils the opportunity to wear what they want for the day in return for a small donation to UNICEF.


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