Sir Robert Peel is well known for his great contribution to modern policing. His original work as noted by Nicola and others in ‘Community policing’ began in 1829 under the Metropolitan Police Act authority. (Sutton N, Draper G and Jones J, 2005). He established the police force and worked hard to sell the professional police to the public. In other words he aimed at creating a good relationship between the police and the public. He aimed at ensuring that the public understood that the police could actually work for their best interest.
According to Nicola and others, Peel coined several principles to act as a marketing strategy that would convince the public of the police legitimacy. The police were to be guided by the principles as a code of conduct. According to Clyde in ‘Criminal Justice Administration’ Sir Robert Peel was the creator of the first professional police department in the world precisely, the London’s Scotland Yard. (Cronkhite C, 2008). This paper will focus on Sir Robert and his contribution on policing to the diverse needs of the present day population.
To Peel, the police would not only enforce the law through the apprehension of criminals but it would also aim at preventing crime. The cornerstone of his principles was the prevention of crime, acquisition of public support and cooperation without jeopardizing the opinion of the masses or the public as well as the reduced use of force. As argued by Nicola and others, Peels’ principles are much in line with the modern-day policing and its application would be of much influence in meeting the diverse needs of the members of the public.
The contemporary policing aims at reducing the reliance of rapid responses but rather calls for effective prevention tactics. Proactive approaches of resolving crime are advocated for as compared to reactive approaches. In the modern policing, it is also important that there is the creation of community partnership that involves the public in maintaining social order and harmony in their communities. (Sutton N, Draper G and Jones J, 2005). It is very important that the police work hand in hand with the public so as to effectively maintain law and order.
Clyde in ‘Criminal Justice’ argues that Peel coined the philosophy ‘the police are the people and the people are the police’ to show the need that the two parties work in collaboration. As Clyde points out, Peel identified twelve law enforcement organizational principles. (Cronkhite C, 2008).
1. The police must be stable, efficient and well organized along military lines.
2. The police must be controlled by the government
3. Prove that the police are efficient would not be by the number of arrests made but by the absence of crime. This advocated for the proactive approaches to resolving crime in the society.
4. The distribution of crime news is absolutely essential.
5. Deployment of police strength by time and area was also critical.
6. No quality is more vital to a policeman than the perfect command of temper.
7. Good appearance commands respect.
8. The securing and training of proper persons is a core issue if efficiency is to be realized.
9. Every police was to be given a number due to public security demand. This would ensure that there was increased accountability level on the part of the police.
10. The police headquarters should be centrally located and easily accessible to the people.
11. Policemen should be hired on a probationary basis.
12. Police records were necessary to the correct distribution of police strength.
Peel faced much rejection from those who feared that the police force would be very powerful and consequently dangerous. Such rejection made it difficult to implement Peel’s principles but with time they proved to be a success and have been used across the globe. (Cronkhite C, 2008).
In order for the police to perform their duties effectively they must depend on the public to approve their existence, their lives, actions, behavior and the ability to secure as well as maintain public respect. (Jim & James Chu, 2001). The police headquarters must be in a centralized location to make it easier for people to report crimes. This would also enhance the flow of relevant or useful information that can be used to curb crimes.
The distribution of crime news would also be effective in curbing crime as it would eliminate the problems of distance or proximity when tracking criminals. It is also vital for comparison purposes as well as in analyzing trends which is an important aspect in the process of decision making. A harmonious relationship between the police and the public would be a plus in as far as the effectiveness of proactive approaches to crime is concerned given the fact that the public would be more willing to report suspicious incidences. Less strained relationship between the two would be an effective preventive measure. (Edwards C, 2005).
Timeliness is also very important and the police must be deployed at the right place and time if a positive effect is to be felt. It is also very important that police control their tempers or anger as this would ensure that they have a good face in the eyes of the public. People who are to join the police force must be selected properly so that after training they are able to perform and meet the ever-changing needs of the public in an efficient manner. Peel advocated for the involvement of the members of the society in the maintenance of law and order which is also called ‘community policing’. (Levinson D, 2002). Record keeping is also important for analysis purposes. All in all, Sir Robert principles are still applicable in today’s world.
Courtney from Study Moose
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