19 Jun: Making The Metropolitan Police

Sir Robert Peel received royal assent for the Metropolis Police Improvement Bill on 19th June, 1829 – leading to the creation of London’s first professional police force, who were soon nicknamed ‘Bobbies’ in tribute.

The Met’s first constables hit the streets that Autumn, dressed in tailcoats (to signify their role as servants of the people), and top hats (strengthened with an iron ring for protection), and all in blue to distinguish them from the red colouring used by the Army.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly unpick ‘Policing By Consent’; reveal the recruitment criteria for new members of the force; and explain why officers became known as ‘PC Plod’…

Further Reading:

• ‘The Metropolitan Police: an introduction to records of service 1829-1958’ (The National Archives): https://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/the-metropolitan-police-an-introduction-to-records-of-service-1829-1958-2/

• ‘The establishment of the Metropolitan Police – Enforcing law and order’ (BBC Bitesize): https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zy9sn9q/revision/4

• ‘The founding of the police force | History – The Strange Case of the Law’ (BBC Teach, 2017): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KA2dbDtFnA