Fielding’s Legacy: Police Reform in the 1780s

J. M. Beattie

in The First English Detectives

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199695164
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738746 | DOI:
Fielding’s Legacy: Police Reform in the 1780s

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This chapter is concerned with the consequences of a serious crime wave in the years following the war in America and the government’s decision to introduce preventive measures to diminish the level of offences in London. They took up ideas that John Fielding had advocated in creating two new institutions. The first was a force of patrolmen, based at Bow Street, to guard the streets and roads coming into London. The second arose from a determination to improve the quality of the magistrates who were crucial to the effective prosecution of crime. An initial attempt failed as too radical; a more modest proposal that created seven public offices on the model of Bow Street passed in 1792, transforming the policing of London

Keywords: prevention; patrol; Reeves; legislation; public/police offices

Chapter.  19221 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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