Article

History of Police

Peter Neyroud

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0145
History of Police

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“Police history” predates the evolution of the “police” as a permanent occupational group within a bureaucratic institution, providing the primary state response to crime and disorder. That was primarily a development of the 19th century and a reaction to the rapid social change of the industrial revolution and rapid urbanization. Prior to 1800, governments maintained order by a variety of means, local and national. One of the key historical debates concerns the effectiveness of these approaches and the degree of continuity between the premodern and modern police models. Around 1800 a small number of distinctively different types of police institution emerged. The French, under Napoleon, instituted the Gendarmerie, a state military police model. It evolved from the “Marechaussee,” which had had a dual military and civil function since the 16th century. The model was exported across Europe by Napoleon. The British developed two models. The first, set up to answer similar challenges to the Gendarmerie in France, was the Royal Irish Constabulary model. It was close to the state military model, but distinctively styled as part of the civil power of the state and subordinated to the Magistracy. The Irish model was subsequently exported to Britain’s colonies and became the basis of forces such as the Indian Police Service. The Metropolitan Police was consciously created as a local force with a uniform that was deliberately different from the military and a mission that focused on prevention of crime rather than the repression of disorder. This state civilian model became the basis for all UK forces on the mainland and the principal influence on the development of East Coast US policing in the 1840s. As the three models have developed and evolved in different political systems over the years since 1800, they have both diverged and converged in various ways. There has been significant convergence in the basic disciplines of policing. However, the governance of the police, the use of force, and the management of public disorder have, in many cases, remained quite distinct in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. This bibliography has been organized by national histories. This is, in some ways, the easiest way to organize the material, but it also presents some difficulties in showing some of the crosscutting issues and challenges.

Article.  10563 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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