London Metropolitan Police Force | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction / Policing

The London Metropolitan Police Force, also known as the Met Police or simply the Met, is a police force established in 1829 to serve the greater London area. It is the oldest and largest police force in the United Kingdom and one of the oldest in the world.

The establishment of the Met Police was a significant moment in the history of policing. It departed from the previous law enforcement system, which relied on private watchmen and constables appointed by local magistrates. Creating a professional police force was intended to improve public safety, reduce crime, and enhance public trust in law enforcement.

Under the leadership of its Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, the Met Police introduced a number of innovations in policing. These included the use of uniforms to distinguish police officers from the general public, the creation of a central headquarters to coordinate policing efforts across London, and the adoption of a strict code of conduct to ensure professionalism and accountability among police officers.

The Met Police also pioneered the use of new technologies and techniques in policing, including fingerprinting and the use of telegraphy and later radio communication to improve coordination and response times. It remains a vital institution in the history of policing and continues to play a central role in maintaining public safety and upholding the law in the greater London area.

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Last Modified: 03/10/2023


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