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Metropolitan Police 1829

The early years of the C19th saw a London riddled with crime. Petty thieving, beatings and murders, along with rioting, meant that London was a particularly unsavoury and unsafe place especially at night.
Although there were foot patrols, whose main role it was to protect property, there was no overall organised policing unit.
Sir Robert Peel was Home Secretary in 1829 when he decided action must be taken and he persuaded Parliament to provide a new police force for London, excluding the City and the Thames, for they already had their own uniformed patrols.
On the 29th September 1829 the Metropolitan Police Force was formed.
It would have 8 Superintendents paid £200 p.a, 20 inspectors paid £100 p.a, 88 sergeants paid 3s 6d a day and 895 constables paid 3s a day.
There were considerable problems with those recruited, many were drunks or unfit and unruly and in the first 6 months just over 50% were required to leave the service.
They wore a uniform of coat and top hat and therefore did not look too militarian. Each officer was issued with a warrant number and a divisional letter which denoted where they worked.
It’s headquarters was 4 Whitehall Place, with a back entrance for special visitors via Scotland Yard.
Old watch houses and new properties formed the new stations.
At first the public did not embrace the new force, it was paid for from local parish monies and people were uncertain about powers given to men of dubious character, that perception changed as time wore on and the force of men became better skilled at the difficult job they had to do.

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