It’s 1829 in London, England.
The start of the first professional police force has just begun. By 1829, the first Metropolitan Police were patrolling the streets of London. Throughout the 17 divisions, they had 4 inspectors and 144 constables, or policemen, in each division. They went by the name of Peeler’s or Bobbie’s, rather than policemen. The force’s headquarters was at Scotland Yard, and it answered to the Home Secretary.
As part of your first assignment, you were chosen to patrol the public streets and arrest any drunks or thieves seen wandering around. You wander in confusion as to where all of your “gear” is and complain to your superior. Their only weapon in that time was a truncheon, a short, thick club, although they also carried a rattle to raise an alarm. The ‘Peelers’ wore a long blue coats and strong tall hats, which protected them from strikes to the head and they could also use to stand on to look over walls. At first, the quality of officers was poor. Out of the first 2,800 new policemen, only 600 eventually kept their jobs.
The first ever Metropolitan policeman (who was actually given the number 1), was fired after only four hours for being drunk on the job. Things eventually settled down for better. Every new police officer was issued to read the “General Instructions,” instructed to future law enforcement agents how to be the proper officer. These “Peelian Principles,” which may not have been developed by Robert Peel himself demonstrated that all officers must:” Prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.”” Recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.”” Recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.”” Recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
“”Use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary.”The remaining five unlisted principles outlined certain viewpoints which made sure the officer’s were in the correct state of mind as they entered the job and put a good basis upon them. Once officer’s had made it clear that this knowledge was implanted deep into their minds, they could be trusted to be out on the streets and able to protect citizens and family of which valued most.
It took about 20 years for the 1856 Police act to take place. However, when it did occur, great changes happened. The first ever system of government inspection took place and forced the rest of the country to set up police forces. This change made legislation organise police forces which are then subject to the government’s own control, create a system of inspection already in use in factories and education, make grants depend on the efficiency of a police force, and lastly switch the emphasis of police from the prevention of crime, to its detection.By 1900, the force had grown to about 16,000 officers, into 21 divisions. All these officers were responsible for nearly 700 miles of area. Few divisions attempted to steer away from being primarily-dedicated to patrol.
During this time is when Forensic Science and detectives began to come into play. One of the first examples to really bring Forensic Science into play in law enforcement was the Stratton Brothers case. The Stratton brothers were the first men to be convicted in Great Britain for murder using fingerprint evidence.
In 1905, Alfred and Albert Stratton made their way to a paint shop in the early morning. Once there, they decided to fool the owners of this establishment by pretending to need something. Living right upstairs in a small flat, the owners made their way down the stairs half-asleep after hearing the sounds of knocking. Once the owner, Mr. Thomas Farrow, opened the door.
He was swiftly attacked by both men. The men then made their way up the stairs and attacked Ms. Ann Farrow who was laying in her bed. It was learned that Mr. Farrow woke up from being unconscious and attempted to harm the men once more, but he was killed before he got to do any damage.
The men grabbed a cash box containing all the money the paint shop had made within the week, and then sprinted out of the shop. Doing this, the men left behind two stocking masks, identical to the commonly-seen black ski mask seen in modern day movies. The bodies were found later that day by a worker who was clocked in to work, and to his surprise found the shop still unopened. Mr. William Jones peeked through a few windows and found a few knocked over chairs. He then notified a nearby neighbor and both men barged through the door, to see Mr.
Farrow dead on the floor. They rushed upstairs and saw Mrs. Farrow laying in bed, alive however badly beaten. Officer’s arrived on scene and staff transported Mrs. Farrow to the hospital. After finding the cash box which contained all of the stores money, an on-duty officer brought back the cash box to Scotland Yard. It was estimated to have had 13 pounds, which was a good amount of money back then.
Once the box was brought back to Scotland Yard, it underwent experiments to find fingerprints of who may have touched it. Although technology for finding fingerprints back then was not as good, they found a suspicious grease stain already embedded into the cash box. Multiple witness made statements that they saw two men running away which matched the description of the two brothers, who had already had a bad criminal record. Police fingerprinted the two brothers and found a identical match between the grease smudge and the fingerprint. The court had to listen to a case in which their only key evidence was the fingerprints.
After some time, the judge sentenced both men to be hung. This execution went down as the first ever conviction using fingerprint technology. Throughout the late 1900’s, police work began to change dramatically with the great improvements of technology. When Radar was initially introduced to baseball games, people saw the multiple other types of uses in this type of technology. Once it had expanded over to law enforcement, police began to use this equipment to determine the speed of vehicles. This dramatically helped officers in their efforts of making sure citizens were driving the correct speed limit. This was one of the most revolutionary pieces of technology to change police work as it also emphasized the use of speed limit signs as they were most likely heavily ignored before this invention.
By the time the 1990’s hit, officers were already analyzing city information throughout their vehicle computer’s. Officers were very professional and had about all of the information they really needed to do the job successfully. From license plate databases, to all other pieces of information to research a suspect and his history. However, with the power of innovation never going away, people continuously began to fund and research even more advanced tools for the agents of law enforcement to use. Body cameras were also an exceedingly important tool for most officer’s own safety. Once body cameras were funded into most police departments, their use became much more powerful. During the 1992 Rodney King riots California national army guardsmen were walking around with their guns hanging, and many angry civilians were rioting and causing mayhem through the streets of Los Angeles. Once these body cameras were installed however, it made sure cops were taking responsibility for their actions and it also encouraged them to make smarter decisions.
Up to now in 2018, law enforcement has continuously expanded and adapted to modern day dilemmas, as quickly as they were created. Nowadays, drones are used in all lines of work. Unmanned drones can help police officers in ways that other officers can’t. They can even give out real-time information to dispatchers so the police force can get vital information about crimes in progress, as it happens.
This can help better plan responses and save lives.On another note, drones can capture videos of crimes as they happen, giving evidence in future court cases. License Plate Recognition cameras excel in finding vehicles with warrants or bad history’s.Having these cameras placed to the outside of patrol vehicles, license plate readers are becoming more successful among bigger departments.
Using these License Plate reader cameras connected to vehicle information databases, the cameras instantly check the vehicle license plates on every vehicle that comes within the area around it..Instead of having to call in license plates to online dispatchers one by one in order to check for stolen vehicles , officers can be notified that they are right behind a stolen car. Tag readers have the potential to increase the number of vehicles recovered and criminals apprehended. Cybercrime is a growing trend in today’s society. Online theft, hacking, bullying, vandalism and all other types of illegal infringement occurs online everyday.
With not enough manpower and accessibility to reach out to whoever is behind the actual threats, it makes it very hard for law enforcement officers to track down who is really behind the computer. From online unknown groups such as Anonymous, that trace down vandals and wrong-doing humans and ruin their life by any means they can attain to the good-hearted modern day robin hood. As another way for law enforcement officers to successfully detain uncooperative criminals, police vehicles have begun developing an addition that looks as if it came out of a harry potter film. However, this grappler device will latch from the front of police cars forward a few meters until the rope it is holding surrounds the suspects tires.
Once doing so, the vehicle will safely halt to a screeching stop, and the vehicle will no longer be usable. After this measure, cops will easily be able to detain a criminal trapped in a car surely. High speed police chases, although glorified on TV, is extremely dangerous and thousands of people die every year from crashes and other unexpected injuries.
The deaths of innocent bystanders should not be risked and any suspect on the loose in a motor vehicle should be stopped as soon as possible. Police technology has surely stepped it’s way up throughout all of history. From the 1800’s simple witness and fingerprint system to the 1900’s detective based systems to the modern day Criminal Justice system. As humans evolve, their minds will constantly innovate more and more advanced usage of the modern day technology to change and improve past devices or tools. Everything about the Criminal Justice system and Law Enforcement officers have changed however, they still follow the basic moral principles of any cop, “to protect and serve”. In the future, when technology has evolved to nationwide autonomous vehicles and more 3D radar information based around us, it will still even continue to grow by then.