[1829] - Metropolitan Police Act puts ‘Peelers’ on the streets of London

The Metropolitan Police Act of 1829 marked the establishment of the Metropolitan Police force, thereby replacing the previous system of parish constables and watchmen. The Act, whose chief architect was the Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, inaugurated an organized police force for London with seventeen separate divisions, each with four inspectors and 144 constables (known as ‘Peelers’ or ‘Bobbies’). The force got off to an inauspicious start: the first constable appointed was sacked for drunkenness after less than four hours in his job.

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