Police in the UK
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The police are a constituted body of
persons A person (plural, : people) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established form of social relations such as kinship, ownership of pr ...
empowered by a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, U ...
, with the aim to enforce the law, to ensure the
safety Safety is the state of being "safe", the condition of being protected from harm or other danger. Safety can also refer to risk management, the control of recognized hazards in order to achieve an acceptable level of risk. Meanings There are ...
,
health Health, according to the World Health Organization, is "a state of complete physical, Mental health, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity".World Health Organization. (2006)''Constitution of the World H ...
and possessions of citizens, and to prevent
crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay: "Crime, definitions of", in C ...
and
civil disorder Civil disorder, also known as civil disturbance, civil unrest, or social unrest is a situation arising from a mass act of civil disobedience (such as a Political demonstration, demonstration, riot, Strike action, strike, or unlawful assembly) in ...
. Their lawful powers include
arrest An arrest is the act of apprehending and taking a person into custody (legal protection or control), usually because the person has been suspected of or observed committing a crime. After being taken into custody, the person can be Interro ...
and the use of force legitimized by the state via the
monopoly on violence In political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. ...
. The term is most commonly associated with the police forces of a
sovereign state A sovereign state or sovereign country, is a polity, political entity represented by one central government that has supreme legitimate authority over territory. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defin ...
that are authorized to exercise the police power of that state within a defined legal or territorial area of responsibility. Police forces are often defined as being separate from the
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
and other organizations involved in the defense of the state against foreign aggressors; however,
gendarmerie Wrong info! --> A gendarmerie () is a military force with law enforcement duties among the civilian population. The term ''gendarme'' () is derived from the medieval French expression ', which translates to "Man-at-arms, men-at-arms" ...
are military units charged with civil policing. Police forces are usually public sector services, funded through taxes. Law enforcement is only part of policing activity. Policing has included an array of activities in different situations, but the predominant ones are concerned with the preservation of order. In some societies, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, these developed within the context of maintaining the class system and the protection of
private property Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property and personal property, which is owned by a state entity, and from collective ...
. Police forces have become ubiquitous in modern societies. Nevertheless, their role can be controversial, as they may be involved to varying degrees in
corruption Corruption is a form of dishonesty or a criminal offense which is undertaken by a person or an organization which is entrusted in a position of authority, in order to acquire illicit benefits or abuse power for one's personal gain. Corruption m ...
, brutality and the enforcement of authoritarian rule. A police force may also be referred to as a police department, police service,
constabulary Constabulary may have several definitions: *A civil, non-paramilitary (police) force consisting of police officers called constables. This is the usual definition in the United Kingdom, in which all county Law enforcement in the United Kingdom, poli ...
,
gendarmerie Wrong info! --> A gendarmerie () is a military force with law enforcement duties among the civilian population. The term ''gendarme'' () is derived from the medieval French expression ', which translates to "Man-at-arms, men-at-arms" ...
,
crime prevention Crime prevention is the attempt to reduce and deter crime and criminals. It is applied specifically to efforts made by governments to reduce crime, enforce the law, and maintain criminal justice. Studies Criminologists, commissions, and research b ...
, protective services,
law enforcement agency A law enforcement agency (LEA) is any government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws. Jurisdiction LEAs which have their ability to apply their powers restricted in some way are said to operate within a jurisdiction Ju ...
, civil guard, or civic guard. Members may be referred to as
police officer A police officer (also called a policeman and, less commonly, a policewoman) is a Warrant (law), warranted law employee of a police, police force. In most countries, "police officer" is a generic term not specifying a particular rank. In ...
s, troopers,
sheriff A sheriff is a government official, with varying duties, existing in some countries with historical ties to England where the office originated. There is an analogous, although independently developed, office in Iceland that is commonly transla ...
s,
constable A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in criminal Police, law enforcement. The office of constable can vary significantly in different jurisdictions. A constable is commonly the rank of an officer within the police. Ot ...
s, rangers,
peace officer A law enforcement officer (LEO), or peace officer in North American English, is a Public sector, public-sector employee whose duties primarily involve the Law enforcement, enforcement of laws. The phrase can include campaign disclosure specialist ...
s or civic/civil guards. Ireland differs from other English-speaking countries by using the Irish language terms ''Garda'' (singular) and ''Gardaí'' (plural), for both the national police force and its members. The word ''police'' is the most universal and similar terms can be seen in many non-English speaking countries. Numerous
slang Slang is vocabulary (words, phrases, and usage (language), linguistic usages) of an informal register, common in spoken conversation but avoided in formal writing. It also sometimes refers to the language generally exclusive to the members of p ...
terms exist for the police. Many slang terms for police officers are decades or centuries old with lost etymologies. One of the oldest, ''cop'', has largely lost its slang connotations and become a common colloquial term used both by the public and police officers to refer to their profession.


Etymology

First attested in English in the early 15th century, originally in a range of senses encompassing '(public) policy; state; public order', the word ''police'' comes from
Middle French Middle French (french: moyen français) is a historical division of the French language that covers the period from the 14th to the 16th century. It is a period of transition during which: * the French language became clearly distinguished from t ...
('public order, administration, government'), in turn from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
, which is the
romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because it entails a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise analysis of all aspects of langu ...
of the
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycenaean Greek (), Greek Dark ...
() 'citizenship, administration, civil polity'. This is derived from () 'city'.


History


Ancient


China

Law enforcement in ancient China was carried out by "prefects" for thousands of years since it developed in both the Chu and Jin kingdoms of the
Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in History of China, Chinese history from approximately 770 to 476 BC (or according to some authorities until 403 BC) which corresponds roughly to the first half of the Eastern Zhou period. The period' ...
. In Jin, dozens of prefects were spread across the state, each having limited authority and employment period. They were appointed by local magistrates, who reported to higher authorities such as governors, who in turn were appointed by the emperor, and they oversaw the civil administration of their "prefecture", or jurisdiction. Under each prefect were "subprefects" who helped collectively with law enforcement in the area. Some prefects were responsible for handling investigations, much like modern police detectives. Prefects could also be women. Local citizens could report minor judicial offenses against them such as robberies at a local prefectural office. The concept of the "prefecture system" spread to other cultures such as Korea and Japan.


Babylonia

In
Babylonia Babylonia (; Akkadian: , ''māt Akkadī'') was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in the city of Babylon in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq and parts of Syria). It emerged as an Amorites, Amorite-ruled ...
, law enforcement tasks were initially entrusted to individuals with military backgrounds or imperial magnates during the Old Babylonian period, but eventually, law enforcement was delegated to officers known as , who were present in both cities and rural settlements. A was responsible for investigating petty crimes and carrying out arrests.


Egypt

In
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization in Northeast Africa situated in the Nile Valley. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100Anno Domini, BC (according to conventional Egyptian chronology) with the ...
evidence of law enforcement exists as far back as the Old Kingdom period. There are records of an office known as "Judge Commandant of the Police" dating to the fourth dynasty. During the
fifth dynasty The Fifth Dynasty of ancient Egypt (notated Dynasty V) is often combined with Dynasties Third Dynasty of Egypt, III, Fourth Dynasty of Egypt, IV and Sixth Dynasty of Egypt, VI under the group title the Old Kingdom of Egypt, Old Kingdom. The Fifth ...
at the end of the Old Kingdom period, officers armed with wooden sticks were tasked with guarding public places such as markets, temples, and parks, and apprehending criminals. They are known to have made use of trained monkeys, baboons, and dogs in guard duties and catching criminals. After the Old Kingdom collapsed, ushering in the
First Intermediate Period The First Intermediate Period, described as a 'dark period' in ancient Egyptian history, spanned approximately 125 years, c. 2181–2055 BC, after the end of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, Old Kingdom. It comprises the seventh Dynasty, Seventh (altho ...
, it is thought that the same model applied. During this period,
Bedouins The Bedouin, Beduin, or Bedu (; , singular ) are nomadic Arabs, Arab tribes who have historically inhabited the desert regions in the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, the Levant, and Mesopotamia. The Bedouin originated in the Syrian Desert ...
were hired to guard the borders and protect trade caravans. During the Middle Kingdom period, a professional police force was created with a specific focus on enforcing the law, as opposed to the previous informal arrangement of using warriors as police. The police force was further reformed during the
New Kingdom New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz Albums and EPs * ''New'' (album), by Paul McCartney, 2013 * ''New'' (EP), by Regurgitator ...
period. Police officers served as interrogators, prosecutors, and court bailiffs, and were responsible for administering punishments handed down by judges. In addition, there were special units of police officers trained as priests who were responsible for guarding temples and tombs and preventing inappropriate behavior at festivals or improper observation of religious rites during services. Other police units were tasked with guarding caravans, guarding border crossings, protecting royal
necropolis A necropolis (plural necropolises, necropoles, necropoleis, necropoli) is a large, designed cemetery with elaborate tomb monuments. The name stems from the Ancient Greek ''nekropolis'', literally meaning "city of the dead". The term usually im ...
es, guarding slaves at work or during transport, patrolling the
Nile River The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin language, Nobiin: Áman Dawū is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa. It flows into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile is the longest river in Africa and has historically been considered ...
, and guarding administrative buildings. By the Eighteenth Dynasty of the New Kingdom period, an elite desert-ranger police force called the
Medjay Medjay (also ''Medjai'', ''Mazoi'', ''Madjai'', ''Mejay'', Egyptian ''mḏꜣ.j'', a nisba of ''mḏꜣ'',) was a demonym A demonym (; ) or gentilic () is a word that identifies a group of people (inhabitants, residents, natives) in relation ...
was used to protect valuable areas, especially areas of pharaonic interest like capital cities, royal cemeteries, and the borders of Egypt. Though they are best known for their protection of the royal palaces and tombs in Thebes and the surrounding areas, the Medjay were used throughout Upper and
Lower Egypt Lower Egypt ( ar, مصر السفلى '; ) is the northernmost region of Egypt, which consists of the fertile Nile Delta between Upper Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea, from El Aiyat, south of modern-day Cairo, and Dahshur. Historically, t ...
. Each regional unit had its own captain. The police forces of ancient Egypt did not guard rural communities, which often took care of their own judicial problems by appealing to village elders, but many of them had a constable to enforce state laws.


Greece

In
ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a northeastern Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean civilization, existing from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, classical antiquity ( AD 600), th ...
, publicly owned slaves were used by magistrates as police. In
Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is a coastal city in the Mediterranean and is both the capital and largest city of Greece. With a population close to four million, it is also the seventh largest c ...
, the Scythian Archers (the 'rod-bearers'), a group of about 300 Scythian slaves, was used to guard public meetings to keep order and for
crowd control Crowd control is a public security practice in which large crowds are managed in order to prevent the outbreak of crowd crushes, affray, fights involving Public intoxication, drunk and disorderly people or riot control, riots. Crowd crushes in ...
, and also assisted with dealing with criminals, handling prisoners, and making arrests. Other duties associated with modern policing, such as investigating crimes, were left to the citizens themselves. Athenian police forces were supervised by the
Areopagus The Areopagus () is a prominent rock outcrop An outcrop or rocky outcrop is a visible exposure of bedrock or ancient superficial deposits on the surface of the Earth. Features Outcrops do not cover the majority of the Earth's land surface ...
. In
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek: Σπάρτα, ''Spártā''; Attic Greek: wikt:Σπάρτη, Σπάρτη, ''Spártē'') was a prominent city-state in Laconia, in ancient Greece. In antiquity, the city-state was known as Lacedaemon (, ), while the nam ...
, the
Ephor The ephors were a board of five magistrates in ancient Sparta. They had an extensive range of judicial, religious, legislative, and military powers, and could shape Sparta's home and foreign affairs. The word "''ephors''" (Ancient Greek ''ép ...
s were in charge of maintaining public order as judges, and they used Sparta's
Hippeis ''Hippeis'' ( grc, ἱππεῖς, singular ἱππεύς, ''hippeus'') is a Ancient Greece, Greek term for cavalry. In Ancient Athens, ancient Athenian society, after the Solonian Constitution, political reforms of Solon, the ''hippeus'' was th ...
, a 300-member royal guard of honor, as their enforcers. There were separate authorities supervising women, children, and agricultural issues. Sparta also had a secret police force called the
crypteia The Crypteia, also referred to as Krypteia or Krupteia (Ancient Greek, Greek: κρυπτεία ''krupteía'' from κρυπτός ''kruptós'', "hidden, secret"), was an ancient Sparta, Spartan state institution involving young Spartan men. It was ...
to watch the large population of
helots The helots (; el, εἵλωτες, ''heílotes'') were a Wikt:subjugate, subjugated population that constituted a majority of the population of Laconia and Messenia – the territories ruled by Sparta. There has been controversy since Classical ...
, or slaves.


Rome

In the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings aro ...
, the army played a major role in providing security. Roman soldiers detached from their legions and posted among civilians carried out law enforcement tasks. Local watchmen were hired by cities to provide some extra security. Magistrates such as '' tresviri capitales'', and investigated crimes. There was no concept of public prosecution, so victims of crime or their families had to organize and manage the prosecution themselves. Under the reign of
Augustus Caesar Augustus (born Gaius Octavius; 23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14), also known as Octavian, was the first Roman emperor; he reigned from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. He is known for being the founder of the Roman Pri ...
, when the capital had grown to almost one million inhabitants, 14 wards were created; the wards were protected by seven squads of 1,000 men called , who acted as night watchmen and firemen. Their duties included apprehending petty criminals, capturing runaway slaves, guarding the baths at night, and stopping disturbances of the peace. The primarily dealt with petty crime, while violent crime, sedition, and rioting was handled by the Urban Cohorts and even the
Praetorian Guard The Praetorian Guard (Latin language, Latin: ''cohortēs praetōriae'') was a unit of the Imperial Roman army that served as personal Bodyguard, bodyguards and military intelligence, intelligence agents for the Roman emperors. During the Roman R ...
if necessary, though the vigiles could act in a supporting role in these situations.


India

Law enforcement systems existed in the various kingdoms and empires of
ancient India According to consensus in modern genetics, anatomically modern humans first arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago. Quote: "Y-Chromosome and Mt-DNA data support the colonization of South Asia by ...
. The
Apastamba Dharmasutra ''Āpastamba Dharmasūtra'' (Sanskrit: आपस्तम्ब धर्मसूत्र) is a Sanskrit text and one of the oldest Dharma-related texts of Hinduism that have survived into the modern age from the 1st-millennium BCE. It is one of ...
prescribes that kings should appoint officers and subordinates in the towns and villages to protect their subjects from crime. Various inscriptions and literature from ancient India suggest that a variety of roles existed for law enforcement officials such as those of a constable, thief catcher, watchman, and detective. In ancient India up to medieval and early modern times,
kotwal The Kotwal also spelled as Cotwal, or Kotval was a title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualificat ...
s were in charge of local law enforcement.


Persian Empire

The
Persian Empire The Achaemenid Empire or Achaemenian Empire (; peo, wikt:𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, , ), also called the First Persian Empire, was an History of Iran#Classical antiquity, ancient Iranian empire founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC. Bas ...
had well-organized police forces. A police force existed in every place of importance. In the cities, each ward was under the command of a Superintendent of Police, known as a , who was expected to command implicit obedience in his subordinates. Police officers also acted as prosecutors and carried out punishments imposed by the courts. They were required to know the court procedure for prosecuting cases and advancing accusations.


Israel

In ancient Israel and Judah, officials with the responsibility of making declarations to the people, guarding the king's person, supervising public works, and executing the orders of the courts existed in the urban areas. They are repeatedly mentioned in the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
Hebrew: ''Tān ...
, and this system lasted into the period of Roman rule. The first century Jewish historian
Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century Roman Jews, Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for ''The Jewish War'', who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Judea (Roman province), Roman ...
related that every judge had two such officers under his command.
Levite Levites (or Levi) (, he, ''Lǝvīyyīm'') are Jewish males who claim patrilineal descent from the Tribe of Levi. The Tribe of Levi descended from Levi, the third son of Jacob and Leah. The surname ''Halevi'', which consists of the Hebre ...
s were preferred for this role. Cities and towns also had night watchmen. Besides officers of the town, there were officers for every tribe. The temple in Jerusalem had special temple police to guard it. The
Talmud The Talmud (; he, , Talmūḏ) is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (''halakha'') and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the center ...
mentions various local police officials in the Jewish communities of the Land of Israel and Babylon who supervised economic activity. Their Greek-sounding titles suggest that the roles were introduced under Hellenic influence. Most of these officials received their authority from local courts and their salaries were drawn from the town treasury. The Talmud also mentions city watchmen and mounted and armed watchmen in the suburbs.


Africa

In many regions of pre-colonial
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area ...
, particularly West and Central Africa, guild-like
secret societies A secret society is a club or an organization whose activities, events, inner functioning, or membership are concealed. The society may or may not attempt to conceal its existence. The term usually excludes covert groups, such as intelligence ...
emerged as law enforcement. In the absence of a court system or written legal code, they carried out police-like activities, employing varying degrees of coercion to enforce conformity and deter antisocial behavior. In ancient
Ethiopia Ethiopia, , om, Itiyoophiyaa, so, Itoobiya, ti, ኢትዮጵያ, Ítiyop'iya, aa, Itiyoppiya officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the ...
, armed retainers of the nobility enforced law in the countryside according to the will of their leaders. The
Songhai Empire The Songhai Empire (also transliterated as Songhay) was a state that dominated the western Sahel/Sudan in the 15th and 16th century. At its peak, it was one of the largest African empires, states in African history. The state is known by its hi ...
had officials known as ''assara-munidios'', or "enforcers", acting as police.


The Americas

Pre-Columbian civilizations in the Americas also had organized law enforcement. The city-states of the
Maya civilization The Maya civilization () of the Mesoamerican people is known by its ancient temples and Glyph, glyphs. Its Maya script is the most sophisticated and highly developed writing system in the Pre-Columbian era, pre-Columbian Americas. It is also ...
had constables known as , as well as
bailiff A bailiff (from Middle English baillif, Old French ''baillis'', ''bail'' "custody") is a manager, overseer or custodian – a legal officer to whom some degree of authority or jurisdiction is given. Bailiffs are of various kinds and their offi ...
s. In the
Aztec Empire The Aztec Empire or the Triple Alliance ( nci, Ēxcān Tlahtōlōyān, Help:IPA/Nahuatl, jéːʃkaːn̥ t͡ɬaʔtoːˈlóːjaːn̥ was an alliance of three Nahua peoples, Nahua altepetl, city-states: , , and . These three city-states ruled ...
, judges had officers serving under them who were empowered to perform arrests, even of dignitaries. In the
Inca Empire The Inca Empire (also Quechuan and Aymaran spelling shift, known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire), called ''Tawantinsuyu'' by its subjects, (Quechuan languages, Quechua for the "Realm of the Four Parts",  "four parts together" ) wa ...
, officials called enforced the law among the households they were assigned to oversee, with inspectors known as () also stationed throughout the provinces to keep order.


Post-classical

In medieval
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
, , or 'holy brotherhoods', peacekeeping associations of armed individuals, were a characteristic of municipal life, especially in Castile. As medieval Spanish kings often could not offer adequate protection, protective municipal leagues began to emerge in the twelfth century against
banditry Banditry is a type of organized crime committed by outlaws typically involving the threat or use of violence. A person who engages in banditry is known as a bandit and primarily commits crimes such as extortion, robbery, and murder, either as an ...
and other rural criminals, and against the lawless
nobility Nobility is a social class found in many societies that have an aristocracy (class), aristocracy. It is normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty. Nobility has often been an Estates of the realm, estate of the realm with many e ...
or to support one or another claimant to a crown. These organizations were intended to be temporary, but became a long-standing fixture of Spain. The first recorded case of the formation of an occurred when the towns and the peasantry of the north united to police the pilgrim road to
Santiago de Compostela Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Galicia (Spain), Galicia, in northwestern Spain. The city has its origin in the shrine of Saint James the Great, now the Cathedral of Santiago de ...
in Galicia, and protect the pilgrims against robber knights. Throughout the Middle Ages such alliances were frequently formed by combinations of towns to protect the roads connecting them, and were occasionally extended to political purposes. Among the most powerful was the league of North Castilian and Basque ports, the Hermandad de las marismas: Toledo, Talavera, and Villarreal. As one of their first acts after end of the
War of the Castilian Succession The War of the Castilian Succession was the military conflict contested from 1475 to 1479 for the succession of the Crown of Castile The Crown of Castile was a medieval polity in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the t ...
in 1479,
Ferdinand II of Aragon Ferdinand II ( an, Ferrando; ca, Ferran; eu, Errando; it, Ferdinando; la, Ferdinandus; es, Fernando; 10 March 1452 – 23 January 1516), also called Ferdinand the Catholic (Spanish: ''el Católico''), was King of Aragon and List of Sardin ...
and Isabella I of Castile established the centrally-organized and efficient ''Holy Brotherhood'' as a national police force. They adapted an existing brotherhood to the purpose of a general police acting under officials appointed by themselves, and endowed with great powers of summary jurisdiction even in capital cases. The original brotherhoods continued to serve as modest local police-units until their final suppression in 1835. The
Vehmic court The Vehmic courts, ''Vehmgericht'', holy vehme, or simply Vehm, also spelt ''Feme'', ''Vehmegericht'', ''Fehmgericht'', are names given to a "proto-vigilante Vigilantism () is the act of preventing, investigating and punishing perceived offenses ...
s of Germany provided some policing in the absence of strong state institutions. Such courts had a chairman who presided over a session and
lay judge A lay judge, sometimes called a lay assessor (law), assessor, is a person assisting a judge in a trial. Lay judges are used in some civil law (legal system), civil law jurisdictions. Lay judges are appointed volunteers and often require some legal i ...
s who passed judgement and carried out law enforcement tasks. Among the responsibilities that lay judges had were giving formal warnings to known troublemakers, issuing warrants, and carrying out executions. In the medieval Islamic
Caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
s, police were known as . Bodies termed existed perhaps as early as the Caliphate of
Uthman Uthman ibn Affan ( ar, عثمان بن عفان, ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān; – 17 June 656), also spelled by Colloquial Arabic, Turkish language, Turkish and Persian language, Persian rendering Osman, was a second cousin, son-in-law and nota ...
. The Shurta is known to have existed in the
Abbasid The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ; ar, الْخِلَافَةُ الْعَبَّاسِيَّة, ') was the third caliphate to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was founded by a dynasty descended from Muhammad's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib ...
and
Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the ...
s. Their primary roles were to act as police and
internal security Internal security is the act of keeping peace within the border Borders are usually defined as geographical boundaries, imposed either by features such as ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, ...
forces but they could also be used for other duties such as customs and tax enforcement, rubbish collection, and acting as bodyguards for governors. From the 10th century, the importance of the Shurta declined as the army assumed internal security tasks while cities became more autonomous and handled their own policing needs locally, such as by hiring watchmen. In addition, officials called were responsible for supervising
bazaar A bazaar () or souk (; also transliterated as souq) is a marketplace consisting of multiple small Market stall, stalls or shops, especially in the Middle East, the Balkans, North Africa and India. However, temporary open markets elsewhere, suc ...
s and economic activity in general in the medieval Islamic world. In
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
during the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the Post-classical, post-classical period of World history (field), global history. It began with t ...
, there were two
Great Officers of the Crown of France The Great Officers of the Crown of France (french: Grands officiers de la couronne de France) were the most important officers of state in the French royal court during the ''Ancien Régime'' and Bourbon Restoration in France, Bourbon Restoratio ...
with police responsibilities: The
Marshal of France Marshal of France (french: Maréchal de France, plural ') is a French military distinction, rather than a military rank, that is awarded to General officer, generals for exceptional achievements. The title has been awarded since 1185, though bri ...
and the Grand Constable of France. The military policing responsibilities of the Marshal of France were delegated to the Marshal's provost, whose force was known as the Marshalcy because its authority ultimately derived from the Marshal. The marshalcy dates back to the
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years' War (; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of Kingdom of England, England and Kingdom of France, France during the Late Middle Ages. It originated from disputed claims to the French Crown, ...
, and some historians trace it back to the early 12th century. Another organisation, the
Constabulary Constabulary may have several definitions: *A civil, non-paramilitary (police) force consisting of police officers called constables. This is the usual definition in the United Kingdom, in which all county Law enforcement in the United Kingdom, poli ...
( fro, Connétablie), was under the command of the
Constable of France The Constable of France (french: Connétable de France, from Latin for 'count of the stables') was lieutenant to the King of France, the first of the original five Great Officers of the Crown of France, Great Officers of the Crown (along with Sen ...
. The constabulary was regularised as a military body in 1337. Under Francis I (reigned 1515–1547), the was merged with the constabulary. The resulting force was also known as the , or, formally, the Constabulary and Marshalcy of France. The English system of maintaining public order since the Norman conquest was a private system of
tithing A tithing or tything was a historic English legal, administrative or territorial unit, originally ten hides (and hence, one tenth of a hundred). Tithings later came to be seen as subdivisions of a manor or civil parish. The tithing's leader or ...
s known as the mutual pledge system. This system was introduced under
Alfred the Great Alfred the Great (alt. Ælfred 848/849 – 26 October 899) was King of the West Saxons from 871 to 886, and King of the Anglo-Saxons from 886 until his death in 899. He was the youngest son of King Æthelwulf, King of Wessex, Æthelwulf and his ...
. Communities were divided into groups of ten families called tithings, each of which was overseen by a chief tithingman. Every household head was responsible for the good behavior of his own family and the good behavior of other members of his tithing. Every male aged 12 and over was required to participate in a tithing. Members of tithings were responsible for raising "hue and cry" upon witnessing or learning of a crime, and the men of his tithing were responsible for capturing the criminal. The person the tithing captured would then be brought before the chief tithingman, who would determine guilt or innocence and punishment. All members of the criminal's tithing would be responsible for paying the fine. A group of ten tithings was known as a "hundred" and every hundred was overseen by an official known as a reeve. Hundreds ensured that if a criminal escaped to a neighboring village, he could be captured and returned to his village. If a criminal was not apprehended, then the entire hundred could be fined. The hundreds were governed by administrative divisions known as
shire Shire is a traditional term for an administrative division of land in Great Britain and some other English-speaking countries such as Australia and New Zealand. It is generally synonymous with county. It was first used in Wessex from the beginn ...
s, the rough equivalent of a modern
county A county is a geographic region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
, which were overseen by an official known as a shire-reeve, from which the term
sheriff A sheriff is a government official, with varying duties, existing in some countries with historical ties to England where the office originated. There is an analogous, although independently developed, office in Iceland that is commonly transla ...
evolved. The shire-reeve had the power of , meaning he could gather the men of his shire to pursue a criminal. Following the Norman conquest of England in 1066, the tithing system was tightened with the
frankpledge Frankpledge was a system of joint suretyship common in England throughout the Early Middle Ages and High Middle Ages. The essential characteristic was the compulsory sharing of responsibility among persons connected in tithings. This unit, under ...
system. By the end of the 13th century, the office of constable developed. Constables had the same responsibilities as chief tithingmen and additionally as royal officers. The constable was elected by his
parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bisho ...
every year. Eventually, constables became the first 'police' official to be tax-supported. In urban areas,
watchmen ''Watchmen'' is an American comic book Limited series (comics), maxiseries by the British creative team of writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons and colorist John Higgins (comics), John Higgins. It was published monthly by DC Comics in 1986 a ...
were tasked with keeping order and enforcing nighttime curfew. Watchmen guarded the town gates at night, patrolled the streets, arrested those on the streets at night without good reason, and also acted as firefighters. Eventually the office of
justice of the peace A justice of the peace (JP) is a judicial officer of a lower or ''puisne'' court, elected or appointed by means of a commission (letters patent) to keep the peace. In past centuries the term commissioner of the peace was often used with the same ...
was established, with a justice of the peace overseeing constables. There was also a system of investigative "
juries A jury is a sworn body of people (jurors) convened to hear evidence and render an impartiality, impartial verdict (a Question of fact, finding of fact on a question) officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a sentence (law), penalty o ...
". The Assize of Arms of 1252, which required the appointment of constables to summon men to arms, quell breaches of the peace, and to deliver offenders to the sheriff or reeve, is cited as one of the earliest antecedents of the English police. The Statute of Winchester of 1285 is also cited as the primary legislation regulating the policing of the country between the
Norman Conquest The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west a ...
and the
Metropolitan Police Act 1829 The Metropolitan Police Act 1829 (10 Geo.4, c.44) is an Act of Parliament (UK), Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, introduced by Robert Peel, Sir Robert Peel, which established the London Metropolitan Police (with the exception of the C ...
. From about 1500, private watchmen were funded by private individuals and organisations to carry out police functions. They were later nicknamed 'Charlies', probably after the reigning monarch King Charles II. Thief-takers were also rewarded for catching thieves and returning the stolen property. They were private individuals usually hired by crime victims. The earliest English use of the word ''police'' seems to have been the term ''Polles'' mentioned in the book ''The Second Part of the Institutes of the Lawes of England'' published in 1642.


Early modern

The first centrally organised and uniformed police force was created by the government of King Louis XIV in 1667 to police the city of
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,165,423 residents in 2019 in an area of more than 105 km² (41 sq mi), ma ...
, then the largest city in Europe. The royal edict, registered by the of Paris on March 15, 1667, created the office of ("lieutenant general of police"), who was to be the head of the new Paris police force, and defined the task of the police as "ensuring the peace and quiet of the public and of private individuals, purging the city of what may cause disturbances, procuring abundance, and having each and everyone live according to their station and their duties". This office was first held by Gabriel Nicolas de la Reynie, who had 44 ('police commissioners') under his authority. In 1709, these commissioners were assisted by ('police inspectors'). The city of Paris was divided into 16 districts policed by the , each assigned to a particular district and assisted by a growing bureaucracy. The scheme of the Paris police force was extended to the rest of France by a royal edict of October 1699, resulting in the creation of lieutenants general of police in all large French cities and towns. After the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, ...
, Napoléon I reorganized the police in Paris and other cities with more than 5,000 inhabitants on February 17, 1800, as the
Prefecture of Police In France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific ...
. On March 12, 1829, a government decree created the first uniformed police in
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
, known as ('city sergeants'), which the Paris Prefecture of Police's website claims were the first uniformed policemen in the world. In feudal Japan,
samurai were the hereditary military nobility and officer caste of History of Japan#Medieval Japan (1185–1573/1600), medieval and Edo period, early-modern Japan from the late 12th century until their abolition in 1876. They were the well-paid retai ...
warriors were charged with enforcing the law among commoners. Some Samurai acted as magistrates called , who acted as judges, prosecutors, and as chief of police. Beneath them were other Samurai serving as , or assistant magistrates, who conducted criminal investigations, and beneath them were Samurai serving as , who were responsible for patrolling the streets, keeping the peace, and making arrests when necessary. The were responsible for managing the . and were typically drawn from low-ranking samurai families. This system typically did not apply to the Samurai themselves. Samurai clans were expected to resolve disputes among each other through negotiation, or when that failed through duels. Only rarely did Samurai bring their disputes to a magistrate or answer to police. Assisting the were the , non-Samurai who went on patrol with them and provided assistance, the , non-Samurai from the lowest outcast class, often former criminals, who worked for them as informers and spies, and or , chōnin, often former criminals, who were hired by local residents and merchants to work as police assistants in a particular neighborhood. In
Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic countries, Nordic c ...
, local governments were responsible for law and order by way of a royal decree issued by Magnus III in the 13th century. The cities financed and organized groups of watchmen who patrolled the streets. In the late 1500s in Stockholm, patrol duties were in large part taken over by a special corps of salaried
city guard A city guard, city watch, town guard, or town watch, was a law enforcement and security formation found in many countries and historical periods, usually subordinate to the local municipal government. Historically, many cities had their own guar ...
s. The city guard was organized, uniformed and armed like a military unit and was responsible for interventions against various crimes and the arrest of suspected criminals. These guards were assisted by the military, fire patrolmen, and a civilian unit that did not wear a uniform, but instead wore a small badge around the neck. The civilian unit monitored compliance with city ordinances relating to e.g. sanitation issues, traffic and taxes. In rural areas, the King's bailiffs were responsible for law and order until the establishment of counties in the 1630s. Up to the early 18th century, the level of state involvement in law enforcement in Britain was low. Although some law enforcement officials existed in the form of constables and watchmen, there was no organized police force. A professional police force like the one already present in France would have been ill-suited to Britain, which saw examples such as the French one as a threat to the people's liberty and balanced constitution in favor of an arbitrary and tyrannical government. Law enforcement was mostly up to the private citizens, who had the right and duty to prosecute crimes in which they were involved or in which they were not. At the cry of 'murder!' or 'stop thief!' everyone was entitled and obliged to join the pursuit. Once the criminal had been apprehended, the parish constables and night watchmen, who were the only public figures provided by the state and who were typically part-time and local, would make the arrest. As a result, the state set a reward to encourage citizens to arrest and prosecute offenders. The first of such rewards was established in 1692 of the amount of £40 for the conviction of a
highwayman A highwayman was a robbery, robber who stole from travellers. This type of theft, thief usually travelled and robbed by horse as compared to a footpad who travelled and robbed on foot; mounted highwaymen were widely considered to be socially s ...
and in the following years it was extended to burglars, coiners and other forms of offense. The reward was to be increased in 1720 when, after the end of the
War of the Spanish Succession The War of the Spanish Succession was a European great power conflict that took place from 1701 to 1714. The death of childless Charles II of Spain in November 1700 led to a struggle for control of the Spanish Empire between his heirs, Phili ...
and the consequent rise of criminal offenses, the government offered £100 for the conviction of a highwayman. Although the offer of such a reward was conceived as an incentive for the victims of an offense to proceed to the prosecution and to bring criminals to justice, the efforts of the government also increased the number of private thief-takers. Thief-takers became infamously known not so much for what they were supposed to do, catching real criminals and prosecuting them, as for "setting themselves up as intermediaries between victims and their attackers, extracting payments for the return of stolen goods and using the threat of prosecution to keep offenders in thrall". Some of them, such as
Jonathan Wild Jonathan Wild, also spelled Wilde (1682 or 1683 – 24 May 1725), was a London London is the capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with a population of just under 9 million ...
, became infamous at the time for staging robberies in order to receive the reward. In 1737, George II began paying some London and Middlesex watchmen with tax monies, beginning the shift to government control. In 1749, Judge
Henry Fielding Henry Fielding (22 April 1707 – 8 October 1754) was an English novelist, irony writer, and dramatist known for earthy humour and satire. His comic novel ''The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, Tom Jones'' is still widely appreciated. He and ...
began organizing a force of quasi-professional constables known as the
Bow Street Runners The Bow Street Runners were the law enforcement officers of the Bow Street Magistrates' Court in the City of Westminster. They have been called London's first professional police force. The force originally numbered six men and was founded in 1 ...
. The Bow Street Runners are considered to have been Britain's first dedicated police force. They represented a formalization and regularization of existing policing methods, similar to the unofficial 'thief-takers'. What made them different was their formal attachment to the Bow Street magistrates' office, and payment by the magistrate with funds from the central government. They worked out of Fielding's office and court at No. 4 Bow Street, and did not patrol but served
writ In common law, a writ (Anglo-Saxon ''gewrit'', Latin ''breve'') is a formal written order issued by a body with administrative or judicial jurisdiction; in modern usage, this body is generally a court. Warrant (legal), Warrants, prerogative wri ...
s and arrested offenders on the authority of the magistrates, travelling nationwide to apprehend criminals. Fielding wanted to regulate and legalize law enforcement activities due to the high rate of corruption and mistaken or malicious arrests seen with the system that depended mainly on private citizens and state rewards for law enforcement. Henry Fielding's work was carried on by his brother, Justice John Fielding, who succeeded him as magistrate in the Bow Street office. Under John Fielding, the institution of the Bow Street Runners gained more and more recognition from the government, although the force was only funded intermittently in the years that followed. In 1763, the Bow Street Horse Patrol was established to combat highway robbery, funded by a government grant. The Bow Street Runners served as the guiding principle for the way that policing developed over the next 80 years. Bow Street was a manifestation of the move towards increasing professionalisation and state control of street life, beginning in London. The Macdaniel affair, a 1754 British political scandal in which a group of thief-takers was found to be falsely prosecuting innocent men in order to collect reward money from bounties, added further impetus for a publicly salaried police force that did not depend on rewards. Nonetheless, In 1828, there were privately financed police units in no fewer than 45 parishes within a 10-mile radius of London. The word ''police'' was borrowed from French into the English language in the 18th century, but for a long time it applied only to French and continental European police forces. The word, and the concept of police itself, were "disliked as a symbol of foreign oppression". Before the 19th century, the first use of the word ''police'' recorded in government documents in the United Kingdom was the appointment of Commissioners of Police for Scotland in 1714 and the creation of the Marine Police in 1798.


Modern


Scotland and Ireland

Following early police forces established in 1779 and 1788 in
Glasgow Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) is the most populous city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ' ...
,
Scotland Scotland (, ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a Anglo-Scottish border, border with England to the southeast ...
, the Glasgow authorities successfully petitioned the government to pass the Glasgow Police Act establishing the
City of Glasgow Police The City of Glasgow Police or Glasgow City Police was the police The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement officer, persons empowered by a State (polity), state, with the aim to law enforcement, e ...
in 1800. Other Scottish towns soon followed suit and set up their own police forces through acts of parliament. In
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in Northwestern Europe, north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Grea ...
, the Irish Constabulary Act of 1822 marked the beginning of the
Royal Irish Constabulary The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC, ga, Constáblacht Ríoga na hÉireann; simply called the Irish Constabulary 1836–67) was the police force in Ireland from 1822 until 1922, when all of the country was part of the United Kingdom of Great Bri ...
. The Act established a force in each barony with chief constables and inspectors general under the control of the civil administration at
Dublin Castle Dublin Castle ( ga, Caisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath) is a former Motte-and-bailey castle and current Government of Ireland, Irish government complex and conference centre. It was chosen for its position at the highest point of central Dublin. U ...
. By 1841 this force numbered over 8,600 men.


London

In 1797, Patrick Colquhoun was able to persuade the
West Indies The West Indies is a Subregion#North America, subregion of North America, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea that includes 13 independent island country, island countries and 18 dependent territory, ...
merchants who operated at the
Pool of London The Pool of London is a stretch of the River Thames from London Bridge to below Limehouse. Part of the Tideway of the Thames, the Pool was navigable by tall-masted vessels bringing coastal and later overseas goods—the wharves there were the ...
on the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London London is the capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and th ...
to establish a police force at the docks to prevent rampant theft that was causing annual estimated losses of £500,000 worth of cargo.Dick Paterson
Origins of the Thames Police
, ''Thames Police Museum''. Retrieved 4 February 2007.
The idea of a police, as it then existed in
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
, was considered as a potentially undesirable foreign import. In building the case for the police in the face of England's firm anti-police sentiment, Colquhoun framed the political rationale on economic indicators to show that a police dedicated to crime prevention was "perfectly congenial to the principle of the British constitution". Moreover, he went so far as to praise the French system, which had reached "the greatest degree of perfection" in his estimation.T.A. Critchley, ''A History of Police in England and Wales'', 2nd edition. Montclair, NJ: Patterson Smith, 38–39. With the initial investment of £4,200, the new force the Marine Police began with about 50 men charged with policing 33,000 workers in the river trades, of whom Colquhoun claimed 11,000 were known criminals and "on the game". The force was part funded by the London Society of West India Planters and Merchants. The force was a success after its first year, and his men had "established their worth by saving £122,000 worth of cargo and by the rescuing of several lives". Word of this success spread quickly, and the government passed the Depredations on the Thames Act 1800 on 28 July 1800, establishing a fully funded police force the
Thames River Police The Thames River Police was formed in 1800 to tackle theft and looting from ships anchored in the Pool of London and in the lower reaches and docks of the River Thames, Thames. It replaced the Marine Police, a police force established in 1798 b ...
together with new laws including police powers; now the oldest police force in the world. Colquhoun published a book on the experiment, ''The Commerce and Policing of the River Thames''. It found receptive audiences far outside London, and inspired similar forces in other cities, notably,
New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the L ...
,
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Republic of Ireland, Ireland. On a bay at the mouth of the River Liffey, it is in the Provinces of Ireland, province of Leinster, bordered on the south by the Dublin Mountains, a part of th ...
, and
Sydney Sydney ( ) is the capital city of the States and territories of Australia, state of New South Wales, and the most populous city in both Australia and List of cities in Oceania by population, Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metro ...
. Colquhoun's utilitarian approach to the problem – using a cost-benefit argument to obtain support from businesses standing to benefit – allowed him to achieve what Henry and John Fielding failed for their Bow Street detectives. Unlike the stipendiary system at Bow Street, the river police were full-time, salaried officers prohibited from taking private fees. His other contribution was the concept of preventive policing; his police were to act as a highly visible deterrent to crime by their permanent presence on the Thames. Colquhoun's innovations were a critical development leading up to
Robert Peel Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet, (5 February 1788 – 2 July 1850) was a British Conservative Party (UK), Conservative statesman who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1834–1835 and 1841–1846) simultaneously serving as Cha ...
's "new" police three decades later.


Metropolitan

London was fast reaching a size unprecedented in world history, due to the onset of the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ...
. It became clear that the locally maintained system of volunteer constables and "watchmen" was ineffective, both in detecting and preventing crime. A parliamentary committee was appointed to investigate the system of policing in
London London is the capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with a population of just under 9 million. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a estuary dow ...
. Upon
Sir Robert Peel Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet, (5 February 1788 – 2 July 1850) was a British Conservative Party (UK), Conservative statesman who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1834–1835 and 1841–1846) simultaneously serving as Cha ...
being appointed as
Home Secretary The secretary of state for the Home Department, otherwise known as the home secretary, is a senior minister of the Crown in the Government of the United Kingdom. The home secretary leads the Home Office, and is responsible for all national s ...
in 1822, he established a second and more effective committee, and acted upon its findings.
Royal assent Royal assent is the method by which a monarch formally approves an act of the legislature, either directly or through an official acting on the monarch's behalf. In some jurisdictions, royal assent is equivalent to promulgation, while in other ...
to the
Metropolitan Police Act 1829 The Metropolitan Police Act 1829 (10 Geo.4, c.44) is an Act of Parliament (UK), Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, introduced by Robert Peel, Sir Robert Peel, which established the London Metropolitan Police (with the exception of the C ...
was given and the
Metropolitan Police Service The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), formerly and still commonly known as the Metropolitan Police (and informally as the Met Police, the Met, Scotland Yard, or the Yard), is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement and ...
was established on September 29, 1829, in
London London is the capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with a population of just under 9 million. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a estuary dow ...
. Peel, widely regarded as the father of modern policing, was heavily influenced by the social and legal philosophy of
Jeremy Bentham Jeremy Bentham (; 15 February 1748 ld Style and New Style dates, O.S. 4 February 1747– 6 June 1832) was an English philosopher, jurist, and social reformer regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism. Bentham defined as the "fundam ...
, who called for a strong and centralised, but politically neutral, police force for the maintenance of social order, for the protection of people from crime and to act as a visible deterrent to urban
crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay: "Crime, definitions of", in C ...
and disorder. Peel decided to standardise the police force as an official paid profession, to organise it in a civilian fashion, and to make it answerable to the public. Due to public fears concerning the deployment of the military in domestic matters, Peel organised the force along civilian lines, rather than
paramilitary A paramilitary is an organization whose structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military, but is not part of a country's official or legitimate armed forces. Paramilitary units carr ...
. To appear neutral, the uniform was deliberately manufactured in blue, rather than red which was then a military colour, along with the officers being armed only with a wooden truncheon and a
rattle Rattle may refer to: Instruments * Crotalus (liturgy), a liturgical percussion instrument * Rattle (percussion instrument), a type of percussion instrument * Rattle (percussion beater), a part of some percussion instruments * Ratchet (instrume ...
to signal the need for assistance. Along with this,
police ranks Police ranks are a system of hierarchy, hierarchical relationships in police organizations. The rank system defines authority and responsibility in a police organization, and affects the culture within the police force. Police ranks, dependent on ...
did not include military titles, with the exception of
Sergeant Sergeant ( abbreviated to Sgt. and capitalized when used as a named person's title) is a rank in many uniformed organizations, principally military and policing forces. The alternative spelling, ''serjeant'', is used in The Rifles and other u ...
. To distance the new police force from the initial public view of it as a new tool of government repression, Peel publicised the so-called
Peelian principles The Peelian principles summarise the ideas that Robert Peel, Sir Robert Peel developed to define an criminal justice ethics, ethical police force. The approach expressed in these principles is commonly known as policing by consent in the United Ki ...
, which set down basic guidelines for ethical policing: * Whether the police are effective is not measured on the number of arrests but on the deterrence of crime. * Above all else, an effective authority figure knows trust and accountability are paramount. Hence, Peel's most often quoted principle that "The police are the public and the public are the police." The 1829 Metropolitan Police Act created a modern police force by limiting the purview of the force and its powers, and envisioning it as merely an organ of the judicial system. Their job was apolitical; to maintain the peace and apprehend criminals for the courts to process according to the law. This was very different from the " continental model" of the police force that had been developed in France, where the police force worked within the parameters of the absolutist state as an extension of the authority of the monarch and functioned as part of the governing state. In 1863, the Metropolitan Police were issued with the distinctive
custodian helmet The custodian helmet is a type of helmet worn predominantly by male police officers in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Euro ...
, and in 1884 they switched to the use of whistles that could be heard from much further away. The Metropolitan Police became a model for the police forces in many countries, including the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
and most of the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. I ...
. Bobbies can still be found in many parts of the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, simply referred to as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 56 member states, the vast majority of which are former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the C ...
.


Australia

In
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...
, organized law enforcement emerged soon after British colonization began in 1788. The first law enforcement organizations were the Night Watch and Row Boat Guard, which were formed in 1789 to police
Sydney Sydney ( ) is the capital city of the States and territories of Australia, state of New South Wales, and the most populous city in both Australia and List of cities in Oceania by population, Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metro ...
. Their ranks were drawn from well-behaved convicts deported to Australia. The Night Watch was replaced by the Sydney Foot Police in 1790. In
New South Wales ) , nickname = , image_map = New South Wales in Australia.svg , map_caption = Location of New South Wales in AustraliaCoordinates: , subdivision_type = Country , subdivision_name = Australia , established_title = Before federation , es ...
, rural law enforcement officials were appointed by local
justices of the peace A justice of the peace (JP) is a judicial officer of a lower or '' puisne'' court, elected or appointed by means of a commission (letters patent Letters patent ( la, litterae patentes) (plurale tantum, always in the plural) are a type of ...
during the early to mid 19th century, and were referred to as "bench police" or "benchers". A mounted police force was formed in 1825. The first police force having centralised command as well as jurisdiction over an entire colony was the
South Australia Police South Australia Police (SAPOL) is the police force of the Australian States and territories of Australia, state of South Australia. SAPOL is an independent statutory agency of the Government of South Australia directed by the Commissioner of Po ...
, formed in 1838 under Henry Inman. However, whilst the
New South Wales Police Force The New South Wales Police Force (NSW Police Force; previously the New South Wales Police Service and New South Wales Police) is the primary law enforcement agency of the state of New South Wales, Australia. Divided into Police Area Commands (P ...
was established in 1862, it was made up from a large number of policing and military units operating within the then Colony of New South Wales and traces its links back to the Royal Marines. The passing of the Police Regulation Act of 1862 essentially tightly regulated and centralised all of the police forces operating throughout the Colony of New South Wales. Each Australian state and territory maintains its own police force, while the
Australian Federal Police The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is the national and principal Federal police, federal law enforcement agency of the Australian Government with the unique role of investigating Crime in Australia, crime and protecting the national security ...
enforces laws at the federal level. The
New South Wales Police Force The New South Wales Police Force (NSW Police Force; previously the New South Wales Police Service and New South Wales Police) is the primary law enforcement agency of the state of New South Wales, Australia. Divided into Police Area Commands (P ...
remains the largest police force in Australia in terms of personnel and physical resources. It is also the only police force that requires its recruits to undertake university studies at the recruit level and has the recruit pay for their own education.


Brazil

In 1566, the first police investigator of
Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro ( , , ; literally 'River of January'), or simply Rio, is the capital of the state of the same name, Brazil's third-most populous state, and the second-most populous city in Brazil, after São Paulo. Listed by the GaWC as a b ...
was recruited. By the 17th century, most captaincies already had local units with law enforcement functions. On July 9, 1775, a Cavalry Regiment was created in the state of
Minas Gerais Minas Gerais () is a state in Southeastern Brazil. It ranks as the second most populous, the third by Gross Domestic Product, gross domestic product (GDP), and the fourth largest by area in the country. The state's capital and largest city, Be ...
for maintaining law and order. In 1808, the Portuguese royal family relocated to Brazil, because of the French invasion of Portugal. King João VI established the ('General Police Intendancy') for investigations. He also created a Royal Police Guard for Rio de Janeiro in 1809. In 1831, after independence, each province started organizing its local "
military police Military police (MP) are law enforcement agencies connected with, or part of, the military of a state. In wartime operations, the military police may support the main fighting force with force protection, convoy security, Screening (tactical), ...
", with order maintenance tasks. The
Federal Railroad Police The Brazilian Federal Railroad Police (US English) or Federal Railway Police (British English) ( pt, Polícia Ferroviária Federal) is a police agency founded in 1852 which is responsible for patrols and security on federal railways in Brazil ...
was created in 1852, Federal Highway Police, was established in 1928, and
Federal Police A law enforcement agency (LEA) is any government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws. Jurisdiction LEAs which have their ability to apply their powers restricted in some way are said to operate within a jurisdiction. L ...
in 1967.


Canada

During the early days of English and French colonization, municipalities hired watchmen and constables to provide security. Established in 1729, the
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) is the state police#Canada, provincial police service for the Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is one of three provincial p ...
(RNC) was the first policing service founded in Canada. The establishment of modern policing services in
the Canadas The Canadas is the collective name for the provinces of Lower Canada and Upper Canada, two British colonization of the Americas, historical British colonies in present-day Canada. The two colonies were formed in 1791, when the British Parliament ...
occurred during the 1830s, modelling their services after the London Metropolitan Police, and adopting the ideas of the Peelian principles. The
Toronto Police Service The Toronto Police Service (TPS) is a municipal police force in Toronto Toronto ( ; or ) is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,794,356 in 2021, ...
was established in 1834, whereas the Service de police de la Ville de Québec was established in 1840. A national police service, the
Dominion Police The Dominion Police Force was the Law enforcement agency#fedpol, federal police force of Canada between 1868 and 1920, and was one of the predecessors of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It was the first federal police force in Canada, formed ...
, was founded in 1868. Initially the Dominion Police provided security for parliament, but its responsibilities quickly grew. In 1870,
Rupert's Land Rupert's Land (french: Terre de Rupert), or Prince Rupert's Land (french: Terre du Prince Rupert, link=no), was a territory in British North America which comprised the Hudson Bay drainage basin; this was further extended from Rupert's Land t ...
and the
North-Western Territory The North-Western Territory was a region of British North America extant until 1870 and named for where it lay in relation to Rupert's Land. Due to the lack of development, exploration, and Cartography, cartographic limits of the time, the ex ...
were incorporated into the country. In an effort to police its newly acquired territory, the Canadian government established the
North-West Mounted Police The North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) was a Canadian para-military police force, established in 1873, to maintain order in the new Canadian North-West Territories The Northwest Territories (abbreviated ''NT'' or ''NWT''; french: Territoire ...
in 1873 (renamed Royal North-West Mounted Police in 1904). In 1920, the Dominion Police, and the Royal Northwest Mounted Police were amalgamated into the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP; french: Gendarmerie royale du Canada; french: GRC, label=none), commonly known in English as the Mounties (and colloquially in French as ) is the federal police, federal and national police service of ...
(RCMP). The RCMP provides federal law enforcement; and law enforcement in eight provinces, and all three territories. The provinces of
Ontario Ontario ( ; ) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada.Ontario is located in the geographic Eastern Canada, eastern half of Canada, but it has historically and politically been considered to be part of Central Canada. Located ...
, and
Quebec Quebec ( ; )According to the Government of Canada, Canadian government, ''Québec'' (with the acute accent) is the official name in Canadian French and ''Quebec'' (without the accent) is the province's official name in Canadian English is ...
maintain their own provincial police forces, the
Ontario Provincial Police The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is the State police, provincial police service of Ontario, Canada. Under its provincial mandate, the OPP patrols Provincial highways in Ontario, provincial highways and waterways, protects Government of Ontar ...
(OPP), and the
Sûreté du Québec The (SQ; , ) is the provincial police In Italy, the ''polizia provinciale'' (Italian for 'provincial police') are the State police, provincial-level police forces. Functions Each Provinces of Italy, Italian province can, by statute, hav ...
(SQ). Policing in
Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador (; french: Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador; frequently abbreviated as NL) is the easternmost provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, in the country's Atlantic Canada, Atlantic region. The province comprises t ...
is provided by the RCMP, and the RNC. The aforementioned services also provides municipal policing, although larger Canadian municipalities may establish their own police service.


Lebanon

In
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue ...
, the current police force were established in 1861, with creation of the
Gendarmerie Wrong info! --> A gendarmerie () is a military force with law enforcement duties among the civilian population. The term ''gendarme'' () is derived from the medieval French expression ', which translates to "Man-at-arms, men-at-arms" ...
.


India

In
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
, the police are under the control of respective States and union territories and is known to be under State Police Services (SPS). The candidates selected for the SPS are usually posted as Deputy Superintendent of Police or Assistant Commissioner of Police once their probationary period ends. On prescribed satisfactory service in the SPS, the officers are nominated to the
Indian Police Service The Indian Police Service ( IPS) is a civil service under the All India Services. It replaced the Indian Imperial Police in 1948, a year after India became Partition of India, independent from the British Raj. Along with the Indian Administ ...
. The service color is usually dark blue and red, while the uniform color is ''Khaki''.


United States

In
Colonial America The colonial history of the United States covers the history of European colonization of North America from the early 17th century until the incorporation of the Thirteen Colonies into the United States after the American Revolutionary War, ...
, the county sheriff was the most important law enforcement official. For instance, the New York Sheriff's Office was founded in 1626, and the Albany County Sheriff's Department in the 1660s. The county sheriff, who was an elected official, was responsible for enforcing laws, collecting taxes, supervising elections, and handling the legal business of the county government. Sheriffs would investigate crimes and make arrests after citizens filed complaints or provided information about a crime, but did not carry out patrols or otherwise take preventive action. Villages and cities typically hired constables and marshals, who were empowered to make arrests and serve warrants. Many municipalities also formed a night watch, or group of citizen volunteers who would patrol the streets at night looking for crime or fires. Typically, constables and marshals were the main law enforcement officials available during the day while the night watch would serve during the night. Eventually, municipalities formed day watch groups. Rioting was handled by local militias. In the 1700s, the
Province of Carolina Province of Carolina was a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major territorial an ...
(later
North North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to east and west. ''North'' is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating Direction (geometry), direction or geography. Etymology T ...
- and
South Carolina )''Animis opibusque parati'' ( for, , Latin, Prepared in mind and resources, links=no) , anthem = "Carolina (state song), Carolina";"South Carolina On My Mind" , Former = Province of South Carolina , seat = Columbia, South Carolina, Columbia , ...
) established
slave patrol Slave patrols—also known as patrollers, patterrollers, pattyrollers or paddy rollersVerner D. Mitchell, Cynthia Davis (2019). ''Encyclopedia of the Black Arts Movement''. p. 323. Rowman & Littlefield—were organized groups of armed men who m ...
s in order to prevent slave rebellions and enslaved people from escaping. By 1785 the Charleston Guard and Watch had "a distinct
chain of command A command hierarchy is a group of people who carry out orders based on others' authority within the group. It can be viewed as part of a power structure, in which it is usually seen as the most vulnerable and also the most powerful part. Milit ...
,
uniform A uniform is a variety of clothing worn by members of an organization while participating in that organization's activity. Modern uniforms are most often worn by armed forces and paramilitary organizations such as police, emergency services, se ...
s, sole responsibility for policing,
salary A salary is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee, which may be specified in an employment contract. It is contrasted with piece wages, where each job, hour or other unit is paid separately, rather than on a periodic basis. ...
, authorized use of force, and a focus on preventing crime." In 1789 the
United States Marshals Service The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is a Federal law enforcement in the United States, federal law enforcement agency in the United States. The USMS is a Government agency, bureau within the United States Department of Justice, U.S. Depa ...
was established, followed by other federal services such as the U.S. Parks Police (1791) and U.S. Mint Police (1792). The first city police services were established in
Philadelphia Philadelphia, often called Philly, is the List of municipalities in Pennsylvania#Municipalities, largest city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the List of United States cities by population, sixth-largest city i ...
in 1751,
Richmond, Virginia (Thus do we reach the stars) , image_map = , mapsize = 250 px , map_caption = Location within Virginia , pushpin_map = Virginia#USA , pushpin_label = Richmond , pushpin_m ...
in 1807,
Boston Boston (), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, state capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as well as the cultural and financ ...
in 1838, and New York in 1845. The U.S. Secret Service was founded in 1865 and was for some time the main investigative body for the federal government. In the
American Old West The American frontier, also known as the Old West or the Wild West, encompasses the geography, history, folklore, and culture associated with the forward wave of United States territorial acquisitions, American expansion in mainland North Amer ...
, law enforcement was carried out by local sheriffs, rangers, constables, and federal marshals. There were also town marshals responsible for serving civil and criminal warrants, maintaining the jails, and carrying out arrests for petty crime. In recent years, in addition to federal, state, and local forces, some special districts have been formed to provide extra police protection in designated areas. These districts may be known as neighborhood improvement districts, crime prevention districts, or security districts. In 2022, San Francisco supervisors approved allowing local police to use robots, and stipulates that can "be used as a deadly force option." This policy has been criticized by groups such as the
Electronic Frontier Foundation The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is an international non-profit digital rights group based in San Francisco, California. The foundation was formed on 10 July 1990 by John Gilmore (activist), John Gilmore, John Perry Barlow and Mitch Kapor ...
and the
ACLU The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1920 "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the United States Constitution, Constitution and L ...
stipulating that "killer robots will not make San Francisco better" and "police might even bring armed robots to a protest."


Development of theory

Michel Foucault Paul-Michel Foucault (, ; ; 15 October 192625 June 1984) was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, writer, political activist, and literary critic. Foucault's theories primarily address the relationship between power and knowledge, and h ...
wrote that the contemporary concept of police as a paid and funded functionary of the state was developed by German and French legal scholars and practitioners in
public administration Public Administration (a form of governance) or Public Policy and Administration (an academic discipline) is the implementation of public policy, administration Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management, the a ...
and
statistics Statistics (from German language, German: ''wikt:Statistik#German, Statistik'', "description of a State (polity), state, a country") is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of ...
in the 17th and early 18th centuries, most notably with Nicolas Delamare's
Traité de la Police
' ("Treatise on the Police"), first published in 1705. The German '' Polizeiwissenschaft'' (Science of Police) first theorized by Philipp von Hörnigk, a 17th-century Austrian
political economist Political economy is the study of how Macroeconomics, economic systems (e.g. Marketplace, markets and Economy, national economies) and Politics, political systems (e.g. law, Institution, institutions, government) are linked. Widely studied ph ...
and civil servant, and much more famously by
Johann Heinrich Gottlob Justi Johann Heinrich Gottlob von Justi (28 December 1717Jürgen Georg Backhaus, ''The Beginnings of Political Economy: Johann Heinrich Gottlob Von Justi'' (Springer, 2008: ), p. 20 The Political Economy of J.H.G. Justi by Ulrich Adam, p. 24/ref>21 July ...
, who produced an important theoretical work known as
Cameral Cameralism (German language, German: ''Kameralismus'') was a German science of public administration in the 18th and early 19th centuries that aimed at strong management of a centralized economy for the benefit mainly of the State (polity), sta ...
science on the formulation of police. Foucault cites Magdalene Humpert author of ''Bibliographie der Kameralwissenschaften'' (1937) in which the author makes note of a substantial bibliography was produced of over 4,000 pieces of the practice of ''Polizeiwissenschaft''. However, this may be a mistranslation of Foucault's own work since the actual source of Magdalene Humpert states over 14,000 items were produced from the 16th century dates ranging from 1520 to 1850. As conceptualized by the ''Polizeiwissenschaft'', according to Foucault the police had an administrative, economic and social duty ("procuring abundance"). It was in charge of
demographic Demography () is the statistics, statistical study of populations, especially human beings. Demographic analysis examines and measures the dimensions and Population dynamics, dynamics of populations; it can cover whole societies or groups ...
concerns and needed to be incorporated within the western political philosophy system of raison d'état and therefore giving the superficial appearance of empowering the
population Population typically refers to the number of people in a single area, whether it be a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, ...
(and unwittingly supervising the population), which, according to mercantilist theory, was to be the main strength of the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, U ...
. Thus, its functions largely overreached simple law enforcement activities and included
public health Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals". Analyzing the det ...
concerns,
urban planning Urban planning, also known as town planning, city planning, regional planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, ...
(which was important because of the
miasma theory of disease The miasma theory (also called the miasmatic theory) is an Superseded scientific theories#Biology, obsolete medical theory that opinion, held that diseases—such as cholera, Chlamydia infection, chlamydia, or the Black Death—were caused by a ...
; thus,
cemeteries A cemetery, burial ground, gravesite or graveyard is a place where the remains of dead people are burial, buried or otherwise interred. The word ''cemetery'' (from Greek language, Greek , "sleeping place") implies that the land is specifical ...
were moved out of town, etc.), and surveillance of prices. The concept of preventive policing, or policing to deter crime from taking place, gained influence in the late 18th century. Police Magistrate John Fielding, head of the
Bow Street Runners The Bow Street Runners were the law enforcement officers of the Bow Street Magistrates' Court in the City of Westminster. They have been called London's first professional police force. The force originally numbered six men and was founded in 1 ...
, argued that "...it is much better to prevent even one man from being a rogue than apprehending and bringing forty to justice."R.J. Marin, "The Living Law." In eds., W.T. McGrath and M.P. Mitchell, ''The Police Function in Canada''. Toronto: Methuen, 1981, 18–19. The
Utilitarian In ethical philosophy, utilitarianism is a family of Normative ethics, normative ethical theories that prescribe actions that maximize happiness and well-being for all affected individuals. Although different varieties of utilitarianism admit ...
philosopher,
Jeremy Bentham Jeremy Bentham (; 15 February 1748 ld Style and New Style dates, O.S. 4 February 1747– 6 June 1832) was an English philosopher, jurist, and social reformer regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism. Bentham defined as the "fundam ...
, promoted the views of Italian Marquis Cesare Beccaria, and disseminated a translated version of "Essay on Crime in Punishment". Bentham espoused the guiding principle of "the greatest good for the greatest number":
It is better to prevent crimes than to punish them. This is the chief aim of every good system of legislation, which is the art of leading men to the greatest possible happiness or to the least possible misery, according to calculation of all the goods and evils of life.
Patrick Colquhoun's influential work, ''A Treatise on the Police of the Metropolis'' (1797) was heavily influenced by Benthamite thought. Colquhoun's
Thames River Police The Thames River Police was formed in 1800 to tackle theft and looting from ships anchored in the Pool of London and in the lower reaches and docks of the River Thames, Thames. It replaced the Marine Police, a police force established in 1798 b ...
was founded on these principles, and in contrast to the
Bow Street Runners The Bow Street Runners were the law enforcement officers of the Bow Street Magistrates' Court in the City of Westminster. They have been called London's first professional police force. The force originally numbered six men and was founded in 1 ...
, acted as a deterrent by their continual presence on the riverfront, in addition to being able to intervene if they spotted a crime in progress.
Edwin Chadwick Sir Edwin Chadwick Order of the Bath, KCB (24 January 18006 July 1890) was an English social reformer who is noted for his leadership in reforming the Poor Laws in England and instituting major reforms in urban sanitation and public health. ...
's 1829 article, "Preventive police" in the ''London Review'', argued that prevention ought to be the ''primary'' concern of a police body, which was not the case in practice. The reason, argued Chadwick, was that "A preventive police would act more immediately by placing difficulties in obtaining the objects of temptation." In contrast to a deterrent of punishment, a preventive police force would deter criminality by making crime cost-ineffective – "crime doesn't pay". In the second draft of his 1829 Police Act, the "object" of the new Metropolitan Police, was changed by Robert Peel to the "principal object," which was the "prevention of crime." Later historians would attribute the perception of England's "appearance of orderliness and love of public order" to the preventive principle entrenched in Peel's police system. Development of modern police forces around the world was contemporary to the formation of the state, later defined by sociologist
Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociology, sociologist, historian, jurist and political economy, political economist, who is regarded as among the most important theorists of the development of Modernity, ...
as achieving a "
monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force In political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. ...
" and which was primarily exercised by the police and the
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
.
Marxist Marxism is a Left-wing politics, left-wing to Far-left politics, far-left method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a Materialism, materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand S ...
theory situates the development of the modern state as part of the rise of capitalism, in which the police are one component of the
bourgeoisie The bourgeoisie ( , ) is a social class, equivalent to the middle or upper middle class. They are distinguished from, and traditionally contrasted with, the proletariat by their affluence, and their great cultural and financial capital. ...
's repressive apparatus for subjugating the
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual labour, manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via wage, waged or salary, salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation ...
. By contrast, the
Peelian principles The Peelian principles summarise the ideas that Robert Peel, Sir Robert Peel developed to define an criminal justice ethics, ethical police force. The approach expressed in these principles is commonly known as policing by consent in the United Ki ...
argue that "the power of the police...is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behavior", a philosophy known as policing by consent.


Personnel and organization

Police forces include both preventive (uniformed) police and
detective A detective is an investigator, usually a member of a law enforcement agency. They often collect information to solve crimes by talking to witnesses and informants, collecting physical evidence, or searching records in databases. This leads t ...
s. Terminology varies from country to country. Police functions include protecting life and property, enforcing
criminal law Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It prescribes conduct perceived as threatening, harmful, or otherwise endangering to the property, health, safety, and welfare, moral welfare of people inclusive of one's self. Most crimin ...
, criminal investigations, regulating traffic, crowd control, public safety duties, civil defense, emergency management, searching for missing persons, lost property and other duties concerned with public order. Regardless of size, police forces are generally organized as a
hierarchy A hierarchy (from Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) that are represented as being "above", "below", or "at the same level as" one another. Hierarchy is an important ...
with multiple ranks. The exact structures and the names of rank vary considerably by country.


Uniformed

The police who wear
uniform A uniform is a variety of clothing worn by members of an organization while participating in that organization's activity. Modern uniforms are most often worn by armed forces and paramilitary organizations such as police, emergency services, se ...
s make up the majority of a police service's personnel. Their main duty is to respond to calls to the
emergency telephone number Most public switched telephone networks have a single emergency telephone number (sometimes known as the universal emergency telephone number or the emergency services number) that allows a caller to contact local emergency services for assista ...
. When not responding to these call-outs, they will do work aimed at preventing crime, such as patrols. The uniformed police are known by varying names such as preventive police, the uniform branch/division, administrative police, order police, the patrol bureau/division or patrol. In Australia and the United Kingdom, patrol personnel are also known as "general duties" officers. Atypically,
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
's preventive police are known as
Military Police Military police (MP) are law enforcement agencies connected with, or part of, the military of a state. In wartime operations, the military police may support the main fighting force with force protection, convoy security, Screening (tactical), ...
. As implied by the name, uniformed police wear uniforms. They perform functions that require an immediate recognition of an officer's legal authority and a potential need for force. Most commonly this means intervening to stop a crime in progress and securing the scene of a crime that has already happened. Besides dealing with crime, these officers may also manage and monitor traffic, carry out
community policing Community policing, or community-oriented policing (COP), is a Police#Strategies, strategy of policing that focuses on developing relationships with community members. It is a philosophy of full-service policing that is highly personal, where a ...
duties, maintain order at public events or carry out searches for missing people (in 2012, the latter accounted for 14% of police time in the United Kingdom). As most of these duties must be available as a
24/7 service In commerce and industry, 24/7 or 24-7 service (usually pronounced "twenty-four seven") is Service (economics), service that is available at any time and usually, every day. An alternate orthography for the numerical part includes 24×7 (usuall ...
, uniformed police are required to do
shift work Shift work is an employment practice designed to make use of, or provide service across, all 24 hours of the clock each day of the week (often abbreviated as ''24/7''). The practice typically sees the day divided into shifts, set periods of t ...
.


Detectives

Police
detective A detective is an investigator, usually a member of a law enforcement agency. They often collect information to solve crimes by talking to witnesses and informants, collecting physical evidence, or searching records in databases. This leads t ...
s are responsible for investigations and detective work. Detectives may be called Investigations Police, Judiciary/Judicial Police, and Criminal Police. In the UK, they are often referred to by the name of their department, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Detectives typically make up roughly 15–25% of a police service's personnel. Detectives, in contrast to uniformed police, typically wear 'business attire' in bureaucratic and investigative functions where a uniformed presence would be either a distraction or intimidating, but a need to establish police authority still exists. "Plainclothes" officers dress in attire consistent with that worn by the general public for purposes of blending in. In some cases, police are assigned to work "
undercover To go "undercover" (that is, to go on an undercover operation) is to avoid detection by the object of one's observation, and especially to disguise one's own identity (or use an assumed identity) for the purposes of gaining the trust of an ind ...
", where they conceal their police identity to investigate crimes, such as
organized crime Organized crime (or organised crime) is a category of transnational organized crime, transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals to engage in illegal activity, most commonly for profit. While o ...
or
narcotic The term narcotic (, from ancient Greek ναρκῶ ''narkō'', "to make numb") originally referred medically to any Psychoactive drug, psychoactive compound with numbing or paralyzing properties. In the United States, it has since become assoc ...
s crime, that are unsolvable by other means. In some cases this type of policing shares aspects with
espionage Espionage, spying, or intelligence gathering is the act of obtaining Secrecy, secret or Confidentiality, confidential information (Intelligence assessment, intelligence) from non-disclosed sources or divulging of the same without the Consent ...
. The relationship between detective and uniformed branches varies by country. In the United States, there is high variation within the country itself. Many US police departments require detectives to spend some time on temporary assignments in the patrol division. The argument is that rotating officers helps the detectives to better understand the uniformed officers' work, to promote cross-training in a wider variety of skills, and prevent "cliques" that can contribute to corruption or other unethical behavior. Conversely, some countries regard detective work as being an entirely separate profession, with detectives working in separate agencies and recruited without having to serve in uniform. A common compromise in English-speaking countries is that most detectives are recruited from the uniformed branch, but once qualified they tend to spend the rest of their careers in the detective branch. Another point of variation is whether detectives have extra status. In some forces, such as the
New York Police Department The New York City Police Department (NYPD), officially the City of New York Police Department, established on May 23, 1845, is the primary municipal law enforcement agency within the New York City, City of New York, the largest and one of ...
and
Philadelphia Police Department The Philadelphia Police Department (PPD or Philly PD) is the law enforcement agency, police agency responsible for law enforcement and investigations within the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The PPD is one of the oldest municipal police a ...
, a regular detective holds a higher rank than a regular police officer. In others, such as British police forces and Canadian police forces, a regular detective has equal status with regular uniformed officers. Officers still have to take exams to move to the detective branch, but the move is regarded as being a specialization, rather than a promotion.


Volunteers and auxiliary

Police services often include part-time or volunteer officers, some of whom have other jobs outside policing. These may be paid positions or entirely volunteer. These are known by a variety of names, such as reserves,
auxiliary police Auxiliary police, also called special police, are usually the part-time reserves of a regular police force. They may be armed or unarmed. They may be unpaid volunteers or paid members of the police service with which they are affiliated. The Law ...
or special constables. Other volunteer organizations work with the police and perform some of their duties. Groups in the U.S. including Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, Community Emergency Response Team and the Boy Scout's Police Explorers provide training, traffic and crowd control, disaster response and other policing duties. In the U.S., the Volunteers in Police Service program assists over 200,000 volunteers in almost 2,000 programs. Volunteers may also work on the support staff. Examples of these schemes are Volunteers in Police Service in the US, Police Support Volunteers in the UK and Volunteers in Policing in New South Wales.


Specialized

Specialized preventive and detective groups, or Specialist Investigation Departments exist within many law enforcement organizations either for dealing with particular types of crime, such as traffic law enforcement, K9/use of police dogs, crash investigation,
homicide Homicide occurs when a human, person Death, kills another person. A homicide requires only a Volition (psychology), volitional act or omission that causes the death of another, and thus a homicide may result from accidental, reckless, or negli ...
, or
fraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compe ...
; or for situations requiring specialized skills, such as underwater search,
aviation Aviation includes the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. ''Aircraft'' includes airplane, fixed-wing and helicopter, rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as aerostat, lighter- ...
, explosive device disposal ("bomb squad"), and
computer crime A cybercrime is a crime that involves a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations (computation) automatically. Modern digital electronic computers can perform ...
. Most larger jurisdictions also employ specially selected and trained quasi-
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
tactical units armed with military-grade weapons for the purposes of dealing with particularly violent situations beyond the capability of a patrol officer response, including high-risk warrant service and barricaded suspects. In the United States these units go by a variety of names, but are commonly known as
SWAT In the United States, a SWAT team (special weapons and tactics, originally special weapons assault team) is a police tactical unit that uses specialized or military equipment and tactics. Although they were first created in the 1960s to ...
(Special Weapons And Tactics) teams. In
counterinsurgency Counterinsurgency (COIN) is "the totality of actions aimed at defeating irregular military, irregular forces". The Oxford English Dictionary defines counterinsurgency as any "military or political action taken against the activities of guerril ...
-type campaigns, select and specially trained units of police armed and equipped as
light infantry Light infantry refers to certain types of lightly equipped infantry throughout history. They have a more mobile or fluid function than other types of infantry, such as heavy infantry or line infantry. Historically, light infantry often fought ...
have been designated as police field forces who perform
paramilitary A paramilitary is an organization whose structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military, but is not part of a country's official or legitimate armed forces. Paramilitary units carr ...
-type patrols and ambushes whilst retaining their police powers in areas that were highly dangerous. Because their situational mandate typically focuses on removing innocent bystanders from dangerous people and dangerous situations, not violent resolution, they are often equipped with non-lethal tactical tools like chemical agents, " flashbang" and concussion grenades, and rubber bullets. The Specialist Firearms Command (CO19) of the Metropolitan Police in London is a group of armed police used in dangerous situations including hostage taking, armed robbery/assault and terrorism.


Administrative duties

Police may have administrative duties that are not directly related to enforcing the law, such as issuing firearms licenses. The extent that police have these functions varies among countries, with police in
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
,
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
, and other
continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent of Europe, excluding its surrounding islands. It can also be referred to ambiguously as the European continent, – which can conversely mean the whole of Europe – and, by ...
an countries handling such tasks to a greater extent than British counterparts.


Military

Military police may refer to: * a section of the
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
solely responsible for policing the
armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinc ...
(referred to as provosts) * a section of the military responsible for policing in both the armed forces and in the civilian population (most
gendarmerie Wrong info! --> A gendarmerie () is a military force with law enforcement duties among the civilian population. The term ''gendarme'' () is derived from the medieval French expression ', which translates to "Man-at-arms, men-at-arms" ...
s, such as the
French Gendarmerie The National Gendarmerie (french: Gendarmerie nationale, ) is one of two national law enforcement forces of France, along with the National Police (France), National Police. The Gendarmerie is a branch of the French Armed Forces placed under the ...
, the Italian
Carabinieri The Carabinieri (, also , ; formally ''Arma dei Carabinieri'', "Arm of Carabineers"; previously ''Corpo dei Carabinieri Reali'', "Royal Carabineers Corps") are the national gendarmerie of Italy who primarily carry out domestic and foreign poli ...
, the Spanish
Guardia Civil The Civil Guard ( es, Guardia Civil, link=no; ) is the oldest law enforcement agency in Spain and is one of two national police forces. As a national gendarmerie force, it is military in nature and is responsible for civil police, policing unde ...
and the Portuguese Republican National Guard also known as GNR) * a section of the military solely responsible for policing the civilian population (such as the
Romanian Gendarmerie The ''Jandarmeria Română'' () is the national Gendarmerie Wrong info! --> A gendarmerie () is a military force with law enforcement duties among the civilian population. The term ''gendarme'' () is derived from the medieval Fren ...
) * the civilian preventive police of a
Brazilian state The federative units of Brazil ( pt, unidades federativas do Brasil) are subnational entities with a certain degree of autonomy (self-government, self-regulation and self-collection) and endowed with their own government and constitution, which ...
( Policia Militar) * a special military law enforcement service, like the
Russian Military Police The Military Police of Russia (russian: Военная полиция России, or VP) is the uniformed law enforcement branch of the Russian Armed Forces The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (, ), commonly referred to as the Ru ...


Religious

According to World Atlas, there are eight
Islamic Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism#Islam, monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ...
societies that have
religious police Religious police are any Police, police force responsible for the enforcement of religious norms and associated religious laws. Most religious police in modern society are Islamic and can be found in countries with large Muslim population, such a ...
, who enforce the application of Islamic
Sharia law Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a body of religious law that forms a part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the Five Pillars of Islam, religious precepts of Islam and is based on the Islamic holy books, sacred scriptures o ...
: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. Their authority may include the power to arrest unrelated men and women caught socializing, anyone engaged in homosexual behavior or prostitution; to enforce Islamic dress codes, and store closures during Islamic prayer time.Saudi Arabia Catholic priest arrested and expelled from Riyadh – Asia News
They enforce Muslim dietary laws, prohibit the consumption or sale of
alcoholic beverage An alcoholic beverage (also called an alcoholic drink, adult beverage, or a drink) is a drink that contains ethanol Ethanol (abbr. EtOH; also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, or simply alcohol) is an organic co ...
s and
pork Pork is the culinary name for the meat of the Pig, domestic pig (''Sus domesticus''). It is the most commonly consumed meat worldwide, with evidence of pig animal husbandry, husbandry dating back to 5000 BCE. Pork is eaten both freshly ...
, and seize banned consumer products and media regarded as un-Islamic, such as CDs/DVDs of various Western musical groups, television shows and film. In
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), is a country in Western Asia. It covers the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and has a land area of about , making it the List of Asian countries by area, fifth-largest country in Asia ...
, the Mutaween actively prevent the practice or proselytizing of non-Islamic religions within Saudi Arabia, where they are banned.


Secret

Secret police organisations are typically used to suppress dissidents for engaging in non-politically correct communications and activities, which are deemed counter-productive to what the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, U ...
and related
establishment Establishment may refer to: * The Establishment, a dominant group or elite that controls a polity or an organization * The Establishment (club), a 1960s club in London, England * The Establishment (Pakistan), political terminology for the military ...
promote. Secret police interventions to stop such activities are often illegal, and are designed to debilitate, in various ways, the people targeted in order to limit or stop outright their ability to act in a non-politically correct manner. The methods employed may involve
spying Espionage, spying, or intelligence gathering is the act of obtaining secret Secrecy is the practice of hiding information from certain individuals or groups who do not have the "need to know", perhaps while sharing it with other individ ...
, various acts of deception,
intimidation Intimidation is to "make timid or make fearful"; or to induce fear. This includes intentional behaviors of forcing another person to experience general discomfort such as humiliation, embarrassment, inferiority, limited freedom, etc and the victi ...
, framing, false
imprisonment Imprisonment is the restraint of a person's liberty, for any cause whatsoever, whether by authority of the government, or by a person acting without such authority. In the latter case it is "false imprisonment". Imprisonment does not necessari ...
, false incarceration under mental health legislation, and physical
violence Violence is the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy. Other definitions are also used, such as the World Health Organization's definition of violence as "the intentional use of physical force or Power (social and p ...
. Countries widely reported to use secret police organisations include China ( The Ministry of State Security) and North Korea ( The Ministry of State Security).


By country

Police forces are usually organized and funded by some level of government. The level of government responsible for policing varies from place to place, and may be at the national, regional or local level. Some countries have police forces that serve the same territory, with their
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin 'law' + 'declaration') is the legal term for the legal authority granted to a legal entity to enact justice. In federations like the United States, areas of jurisdiction apply to local, state, and federal levels. Jur ...
depending on the type of crime or other circumstances. Other countries, such as
Austria The Republic of Austria, commonly just Austria, , bar, Östareich is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine States of Austria, states, one of which is the capital, Vienna, ...
,
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the closest to Antarctica, occupying a long and narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east a ...
,
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and over 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands. It is the ...
, the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the Southern Africa, southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by of coastline that stretch along the Atlantic Ocean, South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the ...
and
Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic countries, Nordic c ...
, have a single national police force. In some places with multiple national police forces, one common arrangement is to have a civilian police force and a paramilitary
gendarmerie Wrong info! --> A gendarmerie () is a military force with law enforcement duties among the civilian population. The term ''gendarme'' () is derived from the medieval French expression ', which translates to "Man-at-arms, men-at-arms" ...
, such as the
Police Nationale The National Police (french: Police nationale), formerly known as the , is one of two national police forces of France, the other being the National Gendarmerie. The National Police is the country's main civil law enforcement agency, with primar ...
and
National Gendarmerie The National Gendarmerie (french: Gendarmerie nationale, ) is one of two national law enforcement forces of France, along with the National Police (France), National Police. The Gendarmerie is a branch of the French Armed Forces placed under the ...
in
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
. The French policing system spread to other countries through the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic Wars, Europe ...
and the
French colonial empire The French colonial empire () comprised the overseas colonies, protectorates and mandate territories that came under French rule from the 16th century onward. A distinction is generally made between the "First French Colonial Empire", that exis ...
. Another example is the Policía Nacional and
Guardia Civil The Civil Guard ( es, Guardia Civil, link=no; ) is the oldest law enforcement agency in Spain and is one of two national police forces. As a national gendarmerie force, it is military in nature and is responsible for civil police, policing unde ...
in
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
. In both France and Spain, the civilian force polices urban areas and the paramilitary force polices rural areas. Italy has a similar arrangement with the
Polizia di Stato The ''Polizia di Stato'' (State Police State police, provincial police or regional police are a type of sub-national territorial police force found in nations organized as federations, typically in North America, South Asia, and Oceania. ...
and
Carabinieri The Carabinieri (, also , ; formally ''Arma dei Carabinieri'', "Arm of Carabineers"; previously ''Corpo dei Carabinieri Reali'', "Royal Carabineers Corps") are the national gendarmerie of Italy who primarily carry out domestic and foreign poli ...
, though their jurisdictions overlap more. Some countries have separate agencies for uniformed police and detectives, such as the
Military Police Military police (MP) are law enforcement agencies connected with, or part of, the military of a state. In wartime operations, the military police may support the main fighting force with force protection, convoy security, Screening (tactical), ...
and Civil Police in
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
and the
Carabineros The was an armed carabiniers force of Spain under both the monarchy and the Second Spanish Republic, Second Republic. The formal mission of this paramilitary gendarmerie was to patrol the coasts and borders of the country, operating against ...
and Investigations Police in
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the closest to Antarctica, occupying a long and narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east a ...
. Other countries have sub-national police forces, but for the most part their jurisdictions do not overlap. In many countries, especially federations, there may be two or more tiers of police force, each serving different levels of government and enforcing different subsets of the law. In
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...
and
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
, the majority of policing is carried out by state (i.e. provincial) police forces, which are supplemented by a federal police force. Though not a federation, the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
has a similar arrangement, where policing is primarily the responsibility of a regional police force and specialist units exist at the national level. In
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world ...
, the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP; french: Gendarmerie royale du Canada; french: GRC, label=none), commonly known in English as the Mounties (and colloquially in French as ) is the federal police, federal and national police service of ...
(RCMP) are the federal police, while municipalities can decide whether to run a local police service or to contract local policing duties to a larger one. Most urban areas have a local police service, while most rural areas contract it to the RCMP, or to the provincial police in
Ontario Ontario ( ; ) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada.Ontario is located in the geographic Eastern Canada, eastern half of Canada, but it has historically and politically been considered to be part of Central Canada. Located ...
and
Quebec Quebec ( ; )According to the Government of Canada, Canadian government, ''Québec'' (with the acute accent) is the official name in Canadian French and ''Quebec'' (without the accent) is the province's official name in Canadian English is ...
. The
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
has a highly decentralized and fragmented system of law enforcement, with over 17,000 state and local law enforcement agencies. These agencies include local police, county law enforcement (often in the form of a sheriff's office, or county police),
state police State police, provincial police or regional police are a type of sub-national territorial police force found in nations organized as federations, typically in North America, South Asia, and Oceania. These forces typically have jurisdiction o ...
and federal law enforcement agencies. Federal agencies, such as the
FBI The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice ...
, only have jurisdiction over federal crimes or those that involve more than one state. Other federal agencies have jurisdiction over a specific type of crime. Examples include the Federal Protective Service, which patrols and protects government buildings; the postal police, which protect postal buildings, vehicles and items; the Park Police, which protect national parks; and Amtrak Police, which patrol
Amtrak The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Trade name, doing business as Amtrak () , is the national Passenger train, passenger railroad company of the United States. It operates inter-city rail service in 46 of the 48 contiguous United Stat ...
stations and trains. There are also some government agencies that perform police functions in addition to other duties, such as the
Coast Guard A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security organization of a particular country. The term embraces wide range of responsibilities in different countries, from being a heavily armed military force with customs and security duties t ...
.


International

Most countries are members of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), established to detect and fight
transnational crime Transnational crimes are crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay ...
and provide for international co-operation and co-ordination of other police activities, such as notifying relatives of the death of foreign nationals. Interpol does not conduct investigations or arrests by itself, but only serves as a central point for information on crime, suspects and criminals.
Political crime In criminology, a political crime or political offence is an Crime, offence involving overt acts or Omission (criminal law), omissions (where there is a duty to act), which prejudice the interests of the State (polity), state, its government, or ...
s are excluded from its competencies. The terms international policing, transnational policing, and/or global policing began to be used from the early 1990s onwards to describe forms of policing that transcended the boundaries of the sovereign nation-state (Nadelmann, 1993),Nadelmann, E.A. (1993) Cops Across Borders; the Internationalization of US Law Enforcement,
Pennsylvania State University Press The Penn State University Press, also known as The Pennsylvania State University Press, was established in 1956 and is a non-profit publisher of scholarly books and journals. It is the independent publishing branch of the Pennsylvania State Uni ...
(Sheptycki, 1995). These terms refer in variable ways to practices and forms for policing that, in some sense, transcend national borders. This includes a variety of practices, but international police cooperation, criminal intelligence exchange between police agencies working in different nation-states, and police development-aid to weak, failed or failing states are the three types that have received the most scholarly attention. Historical studies reveal that policing agents have undertaken a variety of cross-border police missions for many years (Deflem, 2002). For example, in the 19th century a number of European policing agencies undertook cross-border surveillance because of concerns about anarchist agitators and other political radicals. A notable example of this was the occasional surveillance by
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a Germans, German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It formed the German Empire under Prussian rule when it united the German states in 1871. It was ''de facto'' dissolved ...
n police of
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist, Critique of political economy, critic of political economy, and socialist revolutionary. His be ...
during the years he remained resident in London. The interests of public police agencies in cross-border co-operation in the control of political radicalism and ordinary law crime were primarily initiated in Europe, which eventually led to the establishment of
Interpol The International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO; french: link=no, Organisation internationale de police criminelle), commonly known as Interpol ( , ), is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and cri ...
before the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
. There are also many interesting examples of cross-border policing under private auspices and by municipal police forces that date back to the 19th century (Nadelmann, 1993). It has been established that modern policing has transgressed national boundaries from time to time almost from its inception. It is also generally agreed that in the post–
Cold War The Cold War is a term commonly used to refer to a period of Geopolitics, geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. The term ''Cold war (term), co ...
era this type of practice became more significant and frequent (Sheptycki, 2000). Not a lot of empirical work on the practices of inter/transnational information and intelligence sharing has been undertaken. A notable exception is James Sheptycki's study of police cooperation in the English Channel region (2002), which provides a systematic content analysis of information exchange files and a description of how these transnational information and intelligence exchanges are transformed into police case-work. The study showed that transnational police information sharing was routinized in the cross-Channel region from 1968 on the basis of agreements directly between the police agencies and without any formal agreement between the countries concerned. By 1992, with the signing of the
Schengen Treaty The Schengen Agreement ( , ) is a treaty which led to the creation of Europe's Schengen Area, in which internal border checks have largely been abolished. It was signed on 14 June 1985, near the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, by five of the te ...
, which formalized aspects of police information exchange across the territory of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
, there were worries that much, if not all, of this intelligence sharing was opaque, raising questions about the efficacy of the accountability mechanisms governing police information sharing in Europe (Joubert and Bevers, 1996). Studies of this kind outside of Europe are even rarer, so it is difficult to make generalizations, but one small-scale study that compared transnational police information and intelligence sharing practices at specific cross-border locations in North America and Europe confirmed that the low visibility of police information and intelligence sharing was a common feature (Alain, 2001).
Intelligence-led policing Intelligence-led policing (ILP) is a policing model built around the assessment and management of risk.Willem de Lint, “Intelligence in Policing and Security: Reflections on Scholarship,” Policing & Society, Vol. 16, no. 1 (March 2006): 1-6. Int ...
is now common practice in most advanced countries (Ratcliffe, 2007)Ratcliffe, J. (2007) ''Strategic Thinking in Criminal Intelligence'', Annadale, NSW: The Federation Press and it is likely that police intelligence sharing and information exchange has a common morphology around the world (Ratcliffe, 2007). James Sheptycki has analyzed the effects of the new information technologies on the organization of policing-intelligence and suggests that a number of 'organizational pathologies' have arisen that make the functioning of security-intelligence processes in transnational policing deeply problematic. He argues that transnational police information circuits help to "compose the panic scenes of the security-control society". The paradoxical effect is that, the harder policing agencies work to produce security, the greater are feelings of insecurity. Police development-aid to weak, failed or failing states is another form of transnational policing that has garnered attention. This form of transnational policing plays an increasingly important role in
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be ...
peacekeeping Peacekeeping comprises activities intended to create conditions that favour lasting peace. Research generally finds that peacekeeping reduces civilian and battlefield deaths, as well as reduces the risk of renewed warfare. Within the United N ...
and this looks set to grow in the years ahead, especially as the international community seeks to develop the rule of law and reform security institutions in States recovering from conflict (Goldsmith and Sheptycki, 2007) With transnational police development-aid the imbalances of power between donors and recipients are stark and there are questions about the applicability and transportability of policing models between jurisdictions (Hills, 2009). One topic concerns making transnational policing institutions democratically accountable. According to the Global Accountability Report for 2007 (Lloyd, et al. 2007), Interpol had the lowest scores in its category (IGOs), coming in tenth with a score of 22% on overall accountability capabilities (p. 19).


Equipment


Weapons

In many jurisdictions, police officers carry firearms, primarily handguns, in the normal course of their duties. In the United Kingdom (except
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom, situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, that is #Descriptions, variously described as ...
), Iceland, Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, and Malta, with the exception of specialist units, officers do not carry firearms as a matter of course. Norwegian police carry firearms in their vehicles, but not on their duty belts, and must obtain authorization before the weapons can be removed from the vehicle. Police often have specialized units for handling armed offenders or dangerous situations where combat is likely, such as police tactical units or authorised firearms officers. In some jurisdictions, depending on the circumstances, police can call on the
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
for assistance, as military aid to the civil power is an aspect of many armed forces. Perhaps the most high-profile example of this was in 1980, when the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western ...
's
Special Air Service The Special Air Service (SAS) is a special forces unit of the British Army. It was founded as a regiment in 1941 by David Stirling and in 1950, it was reconstituted as a corps. The unit specialises in a number of roles including counter-terro ...
was deployed to resolve the Iranian Embassy siege on behalf of the
Metropolitan Police The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), formerly and still commonly known as the Metropolitan Police (and informally as the Met Police, the Met, Scotland Yard, or the Yard), is the Territorial police force#United Kingdom, territorial police f ...
. They can also be armed with "non-lethal" (more accurately known as "less than lethal" or "less-lethal" given that they can still be deadly) weaponry, particularly for
riot control Riot control measures are used by law enforcement, military, paramilitary or security forces to social control, control, disperse, and arrest people who are involved in a riot, unlawful Demonstration (people), demonstration or unlawful protest. ...
, or to inflict pain against an resistant suspect to force them to surrender without lethally wounding them.
Non-lethal weapon Non-lethal weapons, also called nonlethal weapons, less-lethal weapons, less-than-lethal weapons, non-deadly weapons, compliance weapons, or pain-inducing weapons are weapons intended to be lethality, less likely to kill a living target than Con ...
s include batons,
tear gas Tear gas, also known as a lachrymator agent or lachrymator (), sometimes colloquially known as "mace" after the Mace (spray), early commercial aerosol, is a chemical weapon that stimulates the nerves of the lacrimal gland in the eye to produce ...
, riot control agents,
rubber bullet Rubber bullets (also called rubber baton rounds) are a type of baton round. Despite the name, rubber bullets typically have either a metal core with a rubber coating, or are a homogeneous admixture with rubber being a minority component. Alth ...
s,
riot shield A riot shield is a lightweight protection device, typically deployed by police and some military organizations, though also utilized by protestors. Riot shields are typically long enough to cover an average-sized person from the top of the head to ...
s, water cannons, and
electroshock weapon An electroshock weapon is a Non-lethal weapon, less-lethal weapon that utilizes an electric shock to incapacitate a target by either temporarily disrupting voluntary muscle control and/or through pain compliance. There are several Electroshock wea ...
s. Police officers typically carry
handcuffs Handcuffs are Physical restraint, restraint devices designed to secure an individual's wrists in proximity to each other. They comprise two parts, linked together by a Link chain, chain, a hinge, or rigid bar. Each cuff has a rotating arm whi ...
to restrain suspects. The use of firearms or deadly force is typically a last resort only to be used when necessary to save the lives of others or themselves, though some jurisdictions (such as Brazil) allow its use against fleeing felons and escaped convicts. Police officers in the United States are generally allowed to use deadly force if they believe their life is in danger, a policy that has been criticized for being vague. South African police have a "shoot-to-kill" policy, which allows officers to use deadly force against any person who poses a significant threat to them. With the country having one of the highest rates of violent crime, President
Jacob Zuma Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma (; born 12 April 1942) is a South African politician who served as the fourth president of South Africa from 2009 to 2018. He is also referred to by his initials JZ and clan name Msholozi, and was a former anti-aparth ...
stated that South Africa needs to handle crime differently from other countries.


Communications

Modern police forces make extensive use of two-way
radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). They are generated by an electronic device ...
communications equipment, carried both on the person and installed in vehicles, to coordinate their work, share information, and get help quickly. Vehicle-installed mobile data terminals enhance the ability of police communications, enabling easier dispatching of calls, criminal background checks on persons of interest to be completed in a matter of seconds, and updating officers' daily activity log and other required reports, on a real-time basis. Other common pieces of police equipment include
flashlight A flashlight (American English, US, Canadian English, Canada) or torch (British English, UK, Australian English, Australia) is a portable hand-held electric lamp. Formerly, the light source typically was a miniature incandescent light bulb, b ...
s,
whistle A whistle is an instrument which produces sound from a stream of gas, most commonly air. It may be mouth-operated, or powered by air pressure, steam, or other means. Whistles vary in size from a small slide whistle or nose flute type to a larg ...
s, police notebooks and "ticket books" or
citations A citation is a reference to a source. More precisely, a citation is an abbreviated alphanumeric expression embedded in the body of an intellectual work that denotes an entry in the bibliographic references section of the work for the purpose of ...
. Some police departments have developed advanced computerized data display and communication systems to bring real time data to officers, one example being the NYPD's Domain Awareness System.


Vehicles

Police vehicles are used for detaining, patrolling, and transporting over wide areas that an officer could not effectively cover otherwise. The average
police car A police car (also called a police cruiser, police interceptor, patrol car, area car, cop car, prowl car, squad car, radio car, or radio motor patrol) is a ground vehicle used by police and law enforcement for transportation during Patrol, pa ...
used for standard patrol is a four-door sedan, SUV, or CUV, often modified by the manufacturer or police force's fleet services to provide better performance to provide.
Pickup trucks A pickup truck or pickup is a light-duty truck that has an enclosed cabin, and a back end made up of a cargo bed that is enclosed by three low walls with no roof (this cargo bed back end sometimes consists of a tailgate and removable covering ...
,
off-road vehicles An off-road vehicle, sometimes referred to as an overland or adventure vehicle, is considered to be any type of vehicle which is capable of off-roading, driving on and off Pavement (material), paved or gravel surface. It is generally characteri ...
, and
vans Vans is an American manufacturer of skate shoe, skateboarding shoes and related apparel, established in Anaheim, California, and owned by VF Corporation. The company also sponsors surfing, surf, snowboarding, BMX, and motocross teams. From 1996 ...
are often used in utility roles, though in some jurisdictions or situations (such as those where dirt roads are common,
off-roading Off-roading is the activity of driving or riding in a vehicle on unpaved surfaces such as sand, gravel, riverbeds, mud, snow, rocks, and other natural terrain. Types of off-roading range in intensity, from leisure drives with unmodified vehicl ...
is required, or the nature of the officer's assignment necessitates it), they may be used as standard patrol cars.
Sports cars A sports car is a car designed with an emphasis on dynamic performance, such as handling, acceleration, top speed, the thrill of driving and racing In sport, racing is a competition of speed, in which competitors try to complete a given ...
are typically not used by police due to cost and maintenance issues, though those that are used are typically only assigned to traffic enforcement or
community policing Community policing, or community-oriented policing (COP), is a Police#Strategies, strategy of policing that focuses on developing relationships with community members. It is a philosophy of full-service policing that is highly personal, where a ...
, and are rarely, if ever, assigned to standard patrol or authorized to respond to dangerous calls (such as armed calls or pursuits) where the likelihood of the vehicle being damaged or destroyed is high. Police vehicles are usually marked with appropriate symbols and equipped with sirens and flashing emergency lights to make others aware of police presence or response; in most jurisdictions, police vehicles with their sirens and emergency lights on have
right of way Right of way is the legal right, established by grant from a landowner or long usage (i.e. by Easement#Easement by prescription, prescription), to pass along a specific route through property belonging to another. A similar ''right of access'' ...
in traffic, while in other jurisdictions, emergency lights may be kept on while patrolling to ensure ease of visibility. Unmarked or undercover police vehicles are used primarily for traffic enforcement or apprehending criminals without alerting them to their presence. The use of unmarked police vehicles for traffic enforcement is controversial, with the state of New York banning this practice in 1996 on the grounds that it endangered motorists who might be pulled over by police impersonators.
Motorcycles A motorcycle (motorbike, bike, or trike (if three-wheeled)) is a two or three-wheeled motor vehicle Steering, steered by a Motorcycle handlebar, handlebar. Motorcycle design varies greatly to suit a range of different purposes: Long-distance ...
, having historically been a mainstay in police fleets, are commonly used, particularly in locations that a car may not be able to reach, to control potential public order situations involving meetings of motorcyclists, and often in police escorts where motorcycle police officers can quickly clear a path for escorted vehicles.
Bicycle A bicycle, also called a pedal cycle, bike or cycle, is a human-powered or motor-powered assisted, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A is called a cyclist, or bicyclist. ...
patrols are used in some areas, often downtown areas or parks, because they allow for wider and faster area coverage than officers on foot. Bicycles are also commonly used by riot police to create makeshift barricades against protesters.
Police aviation Police aviation is the use of aircraft in police operations. Police services commonly use aircraft for traffic control, ground support, search and rescue, high-speed car pursuits, observation, air patrol and control of large-scale public events ...
consists of
helicopters A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which Lift (force), lift and thrust are supplied by horizontally spinning Helicopter rotor, rotors. This allows the helicopter to VTOL, take off and land vertically, to hover (helicopter), hover, and t ...
and
fixed-wing aircraft A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine, such as an airplane An airplane or aeroplane (informally plane) is a fixed-wing aircraft that is propelled forward by thrust from a jet engine, Propeller (aircraft), propell ...
, while
police watercraft Police watercraft are boats A boat is a watercraft of a large range of types and sizes, but generally smaller than a ship, which is distinguished by its larger size, shape, cargo or passenger capacity, or its ability to carry boats. Small ...
tend to consist of RHIBs,
motorboats A motorboat, speedboat or powerboat is a boat that is exclusively powered by an engine. Some motorboats are fitted with inboard motor, inboard engines, others have an outboard motor installed on the rear, containing the internal combustion ...
, and patrol boats. SWAT vehicles are used by police tactical units, and often consist of four-wheeled
armored personnel carriers An armoured personnel carrier (APC) is a broad type of armoured military vehicle designed to transport personnel and equipment in combat zones. Since World War I, APCs have become a very common piece of military equipment around the world. Acc ...
used to transport tactical teams while providing armored cover, equipment storage space, or makeshift
battering ram A battering ram is a siege engine that originated in ancient history, ancient times and was designed to break open the masonry walls of fortifications or splinter their wooden gates. In its simplest form, a battering ram is just a large, hea ...
capabilities; these vehicles are typically not armed and do not patrol, and are only used to transport. Mobile command posts may also be used by some police forces to establish identifiable command centers at the scene of major situations. Police cars may contain issued long guns,
ammunition Ammunition (informally ammo) is the material fired, scattered, dropped, or detonated from any weapon or weapon system. Ammunition is both expendable weapons (e.g., bombs, missiles, grenades, land mines) and the component parts of other weapo ...
for issued weapons, less-lethal weaponry, riot control equipment, traffic cones, road flares, physical
barricades Barricade (from the French ''barrique'' - 'barrel') is any object or structure that creates a barrier or obstacle to control, block passage or force the flow of traffic in the desired direction. Adopted as a military term, a barricade denot ...
or
barricade tape Barricade tape is brightly colored tape (often incorporating a two-tone pattern of alternating yellow-black or red-white stripes or the words "Caution" or "Danger" in prominent lettering) that is used to warn or catch the attention of passersby ...
,
fire extinguisher A fire extinguisher is a handheld active fire protection device usually filled with a dry or wet chemical used to extinguish or control small fires, often in emergencies. It is not intended for use on an out-of-control fire, such as one which h ...
s, first aid kits, or defibrillators.


Strategies

The advent of the police car,
two-way radio A two-way radio is a radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). They are ge ...
, and
telephone A telephone is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be easily heard directly. A telephone converts sound, typically and most efficiently the human voice, into ele ...
in the early 20th century transformed policing into a reactive strategy that focused on responding to
calls for service A call for service (also known as a job, hitch, incident, callout, call-out, or simply a call) is an incident that emergency services or public safety organizations (such as police The police are a Law enforcement organization, constitute ...
away from their beat. With this transformation, police command and control became more centralized. In the United States, August Vollmer introduced other reforms, including education requirements for police officers. O.W. Wilson, a student of Vollmer, helped reduce
corruption Corruption is a form of dishonesty or a criminal offense which is undertaken by a person or an organization which is entrusted in a position of authority, in order to acquire illicit benefits or abuse power for one's personal gain. Corruption m ...
and introduce professionalism in
Wichita, Kansas Wichita ( ) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kansas and the county seat of Sedgwick County, Kansas, Sedgwick County. As of the 2020 United States census, 2020 census, the population of the city was 397,532. The Wichita metro area had ...
, and later in the
Chicago Police Department The Chicago Police Department (CPD) is the municipal law enforcement agency of the U.S. city of Chicago (''City in a Garden''); I Will , image_map = , map_caption = Interactive Map of Chicago , coordinat ...
. Strategies employed by O.W. Wilson included rotating officers from community to community to reduce their vulnerability to corruption, establishing of a non-partisan police board to help govern the police force, a strict
merit system The merit system is the process of promoting and hiring government employees based on their ability to perform a job, rather than on their political connections. It is the opposite of the spoils system. History The earliest known example of a m ...
for promotions within the department, and an aggressive recruiting drive with higher police salaries to attract professionally qualified officers. During the professionalism era of policing, law enforcement agencies concentrated on dealing with
felonies A felony is traditionally considered a crime of high seriousness, whereas a misdemeanor is regarded as less serious. The term "felony" originated from English common law (from the French medieval word "félonie") to describe an offense that resul ...
and other serious crime and conducting visible car patrols in between, rather than broader focus on
crime prevention Crime prevention is the attempt to reduce and deter crime and criminals. It is applied specifically to efforts made by governments to reduce crime, enforce the law, and maintain criminal justice. Studies Criminologists, commissions, and research b ...
. The Kansas City Preventive Patrol study in the early 1970s showed flaws in using visible car patrols for crime prevention. It found that aimless car patrols did little to deter crime and often went unnoticed by the public. Patrol officers in cars had insufficient contact and interaction with the community, leading to a social rift between the two. In the 1980s and 1990s, many law enforcement agencies began to adopt
community policing Community policing, or community-oriented policing (COP), is a Police#Strategies, strategy of policing that focuses on developing relationships with community members. It is a philosophy of full-service policing that is highly personal, where a ...
strategies, and others adopted
problem-oriented policing Problem-oriented policing (POP), coined by University of Wisconsin–Madison A university () is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic d ...
. Broken windows' policing was another, related approach introduced in the 1980s by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, who suggested that police should pay greater attention to minor "quality of life" offenses and disorderly conduct. The concept behind this method is simple: broken windows, graffiti, and other physical destruction or degradation of property create an environment in which crime and disorder is more likely. The presence of broken windows and graffiti sends a message that authorities do not care and are not trying to correct problems in these areas. Therefore, correcting these small problems prevents more serious criminal activity. The theory was popularised in the early 1990s by police chief William J. Bratton and New York City Mayor
Rudy Giuliani Rudolph William Louis Giuliani (, ; born May 28, 1944) is an American politician and lawyer who served as the 107th Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001. He previously served as the United States Associate Attorney General from 1981 to 198 ...
. It was emulated in 2010s in Kazakhstan through zero tolerance policing. Yet it failed to produce meaningful results in this country because citizens distrusted police while state leaders preferred police loyalty over police good behavior. Building upon these earlier models,
intelligence-led policing Intelligence-led policing (ILP) is a policing model built around the assessment and management of risk.Willem de Lint, “Intelligence in Policing and Security: Reflections on Scholarship,” Policing & Society, Vol. 16, no. 1 (March 2006): 1-6. Int ...
has also become an important strategy. Intelligence-led policing and problem-oriented policing are complementary strategies, both of which involve systematic use of information. Although it still lacks a universally accepted definition, the crux of intelligence-led policing is an emphasis on the collection and analysis of information to guide police operations, rather than the reverse. A related development is evidence-based policing. In a similar vein to
evidence-based policy Evidence-based policy is an idea in public policy proposing that policy decisions should be based on, or informed by, rigorously established objective evidence. The implied contrast is with policymaking based on ideology, 'common sense,' anecdo ...
, evidence-based policing is the use of controlled experiments to find which methods of policing are more effective. Leading advocates of evidence-based policing include the criminologist Lawrence W. Sherman and philanthropist Jerry Lee. Findings from controlled experiments include the Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment, evidence that patrols deter crime if they are concentrated in crime hotspots and that restricting police powers to shoot suspects does not cause an increase in crime or violence against police officers. Use of experiments to assess the usefulness of strategies has been endorsed by many police services and institutions, including the US
Police Foundation The National Policing Institute, formerly known as the Police Foundation, is an American non-profit organization dedicated to advancing policing through innovation and independent scientific research. It is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia ...
and the UK College of Policing.


Power restrictions

In many nations,
criminal procedure Criminal procedure is the adjudication process of the criminal law. While criminal procedure differs dramatically by jurisdiction, the process generally begins with a formal criminal charge with the person on trial either being free on bail or i ...
law has been developed to regulate officers' discretion, so that they do not arbitrarily or unjustly exercise their powers of
arrest An arrest is the act of apprehending and taking a person into custody (legal protection or control), usually because the person has been suspected of or observed committing a crime. After being taken into custody, the person can be Interro ...
,
search and seizure Search and seizure is a procedure used in many Civil law (legal system), civil law and common law legal systems by which police or other authorities and their agents, who, suspecting that a crime has been committed, commence a search of a person ...
, and
use of force The use of force, in the context of law enforcement, may be defined as the "amount of effort required by police to compel compliance by an unwilling subject". Use of force doctrines can be employed by law enforcement officers and military perso ...
. In the United States, '' Miranda v. Arizona'' led to the widespread use of
Miranda warning In the United States, the ''Miranda'' warning is a type of notification customarily given by Law enforcement in the United States, police to criminal suspects in police custody (or in a custodial interrogation) advising them of their right to ...
s or constitutional warnings. In ''Miranda'' the court created safeguards against self-incriminating statements made after an arrest. The court held that "The prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way, unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the Fifth Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination"Supreme Court of the United States, ''Terry v. Ohio'' (No. 67), Certiorari to the Supreme Court of Ohio. Retrieved 2010-05-12 fro
law.cornell.edu
Police in the United States are also prohibited from holding criminal suspects for more than a reasonable amount of time (usually 24–48 hours) before
arraignment Arraignment is a formal reading of a Crime, criminal charging document in the presence of the defendant, to inform them of the Criminal charge, charges against them. In response to arraignment, the accused is expected to enter a plea. Acceptable ...
, using
torture Torture is the deliberate infliction of severe pain or suffering on a person for reasons such as punishment, extracting a confession, interrogational torture, interrogation for information, or intimidating third parties. definitions of tortur ...
, abuse or physical threats to extract confessions, using excessive force to effect an arrest, and searching suspects' bodies or their homes without a warrant obtained upon a showing of
probable cause In United States criminal law, probable cause is the standard by which police authorities have reason to obtain a warrant for the arrest of a suspected criminal or the issuing of a search warrant. There is no universally accepted definition or f ...
. The four exceptions to the constitutional requirement of a search warrant are: * Consent * Search incident to arrest * Motor vehicle searches * Exigent circumstances In '' Terry v. Ohio'' (1968) the court divided seizure into two parts, the investigatory stop and arrest. The court further held that during an investigatory stop a police officer's search " sconfined to what sminimally necessary to determine whether suspectis armed, and the intrusion, which smade for the sole purpose of protecting himself and others nearby, sconfined to ascertaining the presence of weapons" (U.S. Supreme Court). Before Terry, every police encounter constituted an arrest, giving the police officer the full range of search authority. Search authority during a Terry stop (investigatory stop) is limited to weapons only. Using deception for confessions is permitted, but not coercion. There are exceptions or exigent circumstances such as an articulated need to disarm a suspect or searching a suspect who has already been arrested (Search Incident to an Arrest). The Posse Comitatus Act severely restricts the use of the military for police activity, giving added importance to police
SWAT In the United States, a SWAT team (special weapons and tactics, originally special weapons assault team) is a police tactical unit that uses specialized or military equipment and tactics. Although they were first created in the 1960s to ...
units. British police officers are governed by similar rules, such as those introduced to England and Wales under the
Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) (1984 c. 60) is an Act of Parliament which instituted a legislative framework for the powers of police officers in England and Wales to combat crime, and provided codes of practice for the exercise ...
(PACE), but generally have greater powers. They may, for example, legally search any suspect who has been arrested, or their vehicles, home or business premises, without a warrant, and may seize anything they find in a search as evidence. All police officers in the United Kingdom, whatever their actual rank, are 'constables' in terms of their legal position. This means that a newly appointed constable has the same arrest powers as a Chief Constable or Commissioner. However, certain higher ranks have additional powers to authorize certain aspects of police operations, such as a power to authorize a search of a suspect's house (section 18 PACE in England and Wales) by an officer of the rank of Inspector, or the power to authorize a suspect's detention beyond 24 hours by a Superintendent.


Conduct, accountability and public confidence

Police services commonly include units for investigating crimes committed by the police themselves. These units are typically called Inspectorate-General, or in the US, " internal affairs". In some countries separate organizations outside the police exist for such purposes, such as the British
Independent Office for Police Conduct The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is a non-departmental public body in England and Wales which, since 8 January 2018, is responsible for overseeing the system for handling complaints made against Law enforcement in the United Kin ...
. However, due to American laws around
Qualified Immunity In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, state ...
, it has become increasingly difficult to investigate and charge police misconduct & crimes. Likewise, some state and local jurisdictions, for example,
Springfield, Illinois Springfield is the capital of the U.S. state of Illinois and the county seat and largest city of Sangamon County, Illinois, Sangamon County. The city's population was 114,394 at the 2020 United States Census, 2020 census, which makes it the stat ...
have similar outside review organizations. The
Police Service of Northern Ireland The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI; ga, Seirbhís Póilíneachta Thuaisceart Éireann; Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ') is the police, police force that serves Northern Ireland. It is the successor to the Royal Ulster Constabu ...
is investigated by the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, an external agency set up as a result of the Patten report into policing the province. In the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland (), is a country in north-western Europe consisting of 26 of the 32 Counties of Ireland, counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, on the eastern ...
the
Garda Síochána (; meaning "the Guardian(s) of the Peace"), more commonly referred to as the Gardaí (; "Guardians") or "the Guards", is the national police service of Republic of Ireland, Ireland. The service is headed by the Garda Commissioner who is appoint ...
is investigated by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, an independent commission that replaced the Garda Complaints Board in May 2007. The Special Investigations Unit of
Ontario Ontario ( ; ) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada.Ontario is located in the geographic Eastern Canada, eastern half of Canada, but it has historically and politically been considered to be part of Central Canada. Located ...
,
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world ...
, is one of only a few civilian agencies around the world responsible for investigating circumstances involving police and others that have resulted in a death, serious injury, or allegations of
sexual assault Sexual assault is an act in which one intentionally sexually touches another person without that person's consent, or Coercion, coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will. It is a form of sexual violenc ...
. The agency has made allegations of insufficient cooperation from various police services hindering their investigations. In
Hong Kong Hong Kong ( (US) or (UK); , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (abbr. Hong Kong SAR or HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special ...
, any allegations of corruption within the police will be investigated by the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Independent Police Complaints Council, two agencies which are independent of the police force. Due to a long-term decline in public confidence for law enforcement in the United States, body cameras worn by police officers are under consideration.


Use of force

Police forces also find themselves under criticism for their use of force, particularly deadly force. Specifically, tension increases when a police officer of one ethnic group harms or kills a suspect of another one. In the United States, such events occasionally spark protests and accusations of
racism Racism is the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioral traits corresponding to inherited attributes and can be divided based on the superiority of one Race (human categorization), race over another. It may also mean prejudice, d ...
against police and allegations that police departments practice
racial profiling Racial profiling or ethnic profiling is the act of suspecting, targeting or discriminating against a person on the basis of their ethnicity, religion or nationality, rather than on individual suspicion or available evidence. Racial profiling involv ...
. Similar incidents have also happened in other countries. In the United States since the 1960s, concern over such issues has increasingly weighed upon law enforcement agencies, courts and legislatures at every level of government. Incidents such as the 1965 Watts Riots, the videotaped 1991 beating by Los Angeles Police officers of
Rodney King Rodney Glen King (April 2, 1965June 17, 2012) was an African American man who was a victim of police brutality. On March 3, 1991, he was beaten by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers during his arrest after a pursuit for driving whi ...
, and the
riot A riot is a form of civil disorder commonly characterized by a group lashing out in a violent public disturbance against authority, property, or people. Riots typically involve destruction of property, public or private. The property targeted ...
following their acquittal have been suggested by some people to be evidence that U.S. police are dangerously lacking in appropriate controls. The fact that this trend has occurred contemporaneously with the rise of the
civil rights movement The civil rights movement was a nonviolent social and political movement and campaign from 1954 to 1968 in the United States to abolish legalized institutional Racial segregation in the United States, racial segregation, Racial discrimination ...
, the "
War on Drugs The war on drugs is a Globalization, global campaign, led by the United States federal government, of prohibition of drugs, drug prohibition, military aid, and military intervention, with the aim of reducing the illegal drug trade in the Unite ...
", and a precipitous rise in violent crime from the 1960s to the 1990s has made questions surrounding the role, administration and scope of police authority increasingly complicated. Police departments and the local governments that oversee them in some jurisdictions have attempted to mitigate some of these issues through community
outreach Outreach is the activity of providing services to any population that might not otherwise have access to those services. A key component of outreach is that the group providing it is not stationary, but mobile; in other words, it involves meetin ...
programs and
community policing Community policing, or community-oriented policing (COP), is a Police#Strategies, strategy of policing that focuses on developing relationships with community members. It is a philosophy of full-service policing that is highly personal, where a ...
to make the police more accessible to the concerns of local communities, by working to increase hiring diversity, by updating training of police in their responsibilities to the community and under the law, and by increased oversight within the department or by civilian commissions. In cases in which such measures have been lacking or absent, civil lawsuits have been brought by the
United States Department of Justice The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), also known as the Justice Department, is a United States federal executive departments, federal executive department of the United States government tasked with the enforcement of federal law and a ...
against local law enforcement agencies, authorized under the 1994
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, commonly referred to as the 1994 Crime Bill, the Clinton Crime Bill, or the Biden Crime Law, is an Act of Congress dealing with crime and law enforcement; it became law in 1994. It is t ...
. This has compelled local departments to make organizational changes, enter into consent decree settlements to adopt such measures, and submit to oversight by the Justice Department. In May 2020, a global movement to increase scrutiny of police violence grew in popularity—starting in Minneapolis, Minnesota with the
murder of George Floyd On , George Floyd, a 46-year-old African Americans, black man, was murdered in the U.S. city of Minneapolis by Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old white police officer. Floyd had been arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit money, counterfeit ...
. Calls for defunding of the police and full abolition of the police gained larger support in the United States as more criticized
systemic racism Institutional racism, also known as systemic racism, is a form of racism that is embedded in the laws and regulations of a society or an organization. It manifests as racial discrimination, discrimination in areas such as criminal justice, empl ...
in policing. Critics also note that sometimes this abuse of force or power can extend to police officer civilian life as well. For example, critics note that women in around 40% of police officer families have experienced domestic violence and that police officers are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at a rate of more than six times higher than
concealed carry Concealed carry, or carrying a concealed weapon (CCW), is the practice of carrying a weapon (usually a sidearm (weapon), sidearm such as a handgun), either in proximity to or on one's person or in public places in a manner that hides or :wikt:con ...
weapon (CCW) permit holders.


Protection of individuals

Since 1855, the
Supreme Court of the United States The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all U.S. federal court cases, and over state court cases that involve a point ...
has consistently ruled that law enforcement officers have no duty to protect any individual, despite the motto "protect and serve". Their duty is to enforce the law in general. The first such case was in 1855. The most recent in 2005: '' Castle Rock v. Gonzales''. In contrast, the police are entitled to protect private rights in some jurisdictions. To ensure that the police would not interfere in the regular competencies of the courts of law, some police acts require that the police may only interfere in such cases where protection from courts cannot be obtained in time, and where, without interference of the police, the realization of the private right would be impeded. This would, for example, allow police to establish a restaurant guest's identity and forward it to the innkeeper in a case where the guest cannot pay the bill at nighttime because his wallet had just been stolen from the restaurant table. In addition, there are federal law enforcement agencies in the United States whose mission includes providing protection for executives such as the president and accompanying family members, visiting foreign dignitaries, and other high-ranking individuals.The United States Park Police Webpage
NPS.gov
Such agencies include the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Park Police.


See also

*
Chief of police Chief may refer to: Title or rank Military and law enforcement * Chief master sergeant, the ninth, and highest, enlisted rank in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force * Chief of police, the head of a police department * Chief of the b ...
*
Constable A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in criminal Police, law enforcement. The office of constable can vary significantly in different jurisdictions. A constable is commonly the rank of an officer within the police. Ot ...
* Criminal citation *
Criminal justice Criminal justice is the delivery of justice to those who have been accused of committing crimes. The criminal justice system is a series of government agencies and institutions. Goals include the Rehabilitation (penology), rehabilitation of o ...
*
Fraternal Order of Police The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is a Benefit society, fraternal organization consisting of sworn law enforcement officers in the United States. It reports a membership of over 355,000 members organized in 2,100 local chapters (lodges), U.S. ...
*
Highway patrol A highway patrol, or state patrol is either a police unit created primarily for the purpose of overseeing and enforcing traffic safety compliance (regulation), compliance on roads and highways, or a detail within an existing local or regional pol ...
*
Law enforcement agency A law enforcement agency (LEA) is any government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws. Jurisdiction LEAs which have their ability to apply their powers restricted in some way are said to operate within a jurisdiction Ju ...
* Law enforcement and society * Law enforcement by country *
Militsiya ''Militsiya'' ( rus, милиция, , mʲɪˈlʲitsɨjə) was the name of the police forces in the Soviet Union (until 1991) and in several Eastern Bloc countries (1945–1992), as well as in the Non-Aligned Movement, non-aligned Socialist Fe ...
* The Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc *
Police academy A police academy, also known as a law enforcement training center, police college, or police university, is a training school for police cadets, designed to prepare them for the law enforcement agency they will be joining upon graduation, or othe ...
*
Police brutality Police brutality is the excessive and unwarranted use of force by law enforcement against an individual or a group. It is an extreme form of police misconduct and is a civil rights violation. Police brutality includes, but is not limited to, ...
*
Police car A police car (also called a police cruiser, police interceptor, patrol car, area car, cop car, prowl car, squad car, radio car, or radio motor patrol) is a ground vehicle used by police and law enforcement for transportation during Patrol, pa ...
* Police certificate *
Police foundation The National Policing Institute, formerly known as the Police Foundation, is an American non-profit organization dedicated to advancing policing through innovation and independent scientific research. It is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia ...
*
Police science Police science is the study and research which deals with police work. Studies and research in criminology Criminology (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-Eu ...
*
Police state A police state describes a State (polity), state where its government institutions exercise an extreme level of control over civil society and Liberty, liberties. There is typically little or no distinction between the law and the exercise of p ...
* Police training officer *
Private police Private police or special police are law enforcement bodies that are owned or controlled (or owned and controlled) by non-governmental entities. Additionally, the term can refer to an off-duty police officer while working for a private entity, ...
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Public administration Public Administration (a form of governance) or Public Policy and Administration (an academic discipline) is the implementation of public policy, administration Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management, the a ...
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Public security Public security or public safety is the prevention of and protection from events that could endanger the safety and security of the public from significant Risk, danger, injury, or property damage. It is often conducted by a State (polity), state ...
* Riot police *
Sheriff A sheriff is a government official, with varying duties, existing in some countries with historical ties to England where the office originated. There is an analogous, although independently developed, office in Iceland that is commonly transla ...
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State Police State police, provincial police or regional police are a type of sub-national territorial police force found in nations organized as federations, typically in North America, South Asia, and Oceania. These forces typically have jurisdiction o ...
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Vigilante Vigilantism () is the act of preventing, investigating and punishing perceived offenses and crimes without Right, legal authority. A vigilante (from Spanish, Italian and Portuguese “vigilante”, which means "sentinel" or "watcher") is a pers ...
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Military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
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Women in law enforcement The integration of women into law enforcement positions can be considered a large social change. A century ago, there were few jobs open to women in law enforcement. A small number of women worked as correctional officers, and their assignment ...
; Lists: * List of basic law enforcement topics * List of countries by size of police forces *
List of law enforcement agencies A law enforcement agency (LEA) is any agency which enforces the law. This may be a special or Police in the United States, local police/Sheriffs in the United States, sheriffs, State trooper (United States), state troopers, and Federal law enfor ...
* List of protective service agencies *
Police rank Police ranks are a system of hierarchy, hierarchical relationships in police organizations. The rank system defines authority and responsibility in a police organization, and affects the culture within the police force. Police ranks, dependent on ...


References


Further reading

* Mitrani, Samuel (2014). ''The Rise of the Chicago Police Department: Class and Conflict, 1850–1894''. University of Illinois Press, 272 pages. ** Interview with Sam Mitrani
"The Function of Police in Modern Society: Peace or Control?"
(January 2015), '' The Real News''


External links


United Nations Police Division
{{Authority control Crime prevention Law enforcement Legal professions National security Public safety Security Surveillance