Saturday, September 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Bobby

As a career Peace Officer (ret.) with a historical bent, I am interested in the background of a lot of cop stuff.


The
London Metropolitan Police was established on September 29, 1829, by Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel. His names provided early nicknames, "Peelers" or "Bobbies," for members of the force. It was the third official non-paramilitary city police force in the world. The predecessors were the City of Glasgow Police (1789) and the Paris Police (1667 –1789 under the monarchy, and reformed under Napolean I in 1800.)

Most police historical references of which I'm aware tend to stress the London “Met” as being “the origin of modern municipal police.” This takes a bit of creative interpretation, but it is accepted useage. There were earlier efforts to provide a police presense in London, but they were not organized on a citywide basis.




London Bobby on traffic duty, 1950s

12 comments:

Mr. Bruce said...

Um...Paris police disbanded 1889, but re-instated under Napoleon I in 1800?

Wikipedia entry for Parisian prefecture of police says disbanded 1789, and re-instated et cetera.

Mr. Bruce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Bruce said...

Sorry. Blasted double-entry!

JPG said...

Thanks for pointing that out, Mr. Bruce. I corrected the year, plus fixed a couple of links. ;)

Matt G said...

Dig the high-visibility white traffic-direction cuffs! Probably even more effective than the traditionaly white gloves.

Robert Peel reportedly required that his "Bobbies" wear their uniforms at all times, even while off-duty, lest people think that they were being spied upon.

His excellent 9 Pprinciples Of Policing are still taught in academies today.

Tom said...

I can't tell for sure but it appears that the Officer in the photo is wearing shoes which are in very poor repair. Photo glitch or were the Bobby's of the 1950's poorly paid? Or, perhaps they were still recovering from the war and shoe factories had not caught up yet.

Strings said...

Ok... that was a cool lil' bit of info. Always wondered where the term "Bobby" came from...

Tam said...

You wouldn't count the Scythian archers of classical Athens?

I especially liked the way they answered the order to go "round up a jury"... :)

phlegmfatale said...

man, it must have been a bear keeping those long white cuffs clean, eh?

"guner" said...

i'm a bit surprised that the traffic scene behind the bobby doesn't have the obligatory austin a-40 and/or morris minor 1000.
"gunner"

Assrot said...

Very interesting stuff. I've never been in Law Enforcement although I am ex-military. Out of 9 kids I am the oldest and the only one that did not go into Law Enforcement. Two of my kids are now Military and my baby is in Law Enforcement. I'm always fascinated by the history and the stories they tell me. It's even better to hear it from a retired Law Enforcement officer. Good little article. Keep 'em comin' Johnny.

Joe

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