The area of policing in developed countries has seen a substantive growth in interest among stakeholders forcing curious minds to flounder through WebPages and archives in search for vital information about the systems of policing and new trends.
Undoubtedly, considerable changes in policing have occurred recently for reasons such as improved technology, change in culture and expectations of the citizens, increased knowledge, among others. Notably, different countries have different policing system depending on the objectives of the country and its historical background. (Manning 2005)
Policing in the UK has been in existence for centuries i.e. since the Saxon times. However, modern policing systems can be dated back to the beginnings of the 19th century, where law enforcers were appointed in localized areas. Originally, the guards policed towns in order to ensure that curfews were adhered to and to contain riots.
For example the Edinburgh town guard in 1682, Marine police, Glasgow police which were all formed in the late 18th century. In fact the first police in UK was the city of Glasgow police formed under the Glasgow police Act in the 1800. The police was a publicly funded program from local tax payers’ money and its duty was to prevent crime.
The success of this force in that localized area was followed by its subsequent adoption in other areas. Additionally, committees were appointed to investigate of the policing in these areas from 1812-1822 and their findings and recommendations paved way for the incorporation of the metropolitan police Act 1829 under the instruction of Robert Peel, the then Home secretary.
Following the passing of this Act the Metropolitan police was founded. Hirschel, David J. and William Wakefield. 1995The policing structure here was highly bureaucratic rigorous and hierarchal. Their duty still remained to prevent crime and trail law breakers, in an unrestricted approach. The police of those days did not carry any armament due to the previous fears ingrained in citizens by the red dressed armies who used firearms and brutality to enforce laws.
Therefore, their weaponry was limited to batons. Their uniform was navy blue in color, a sharp distinction from that of the army, although there were also plain-clothed police detectives but few in number. These differences were in part to create a clear distinction of police from civilians/army and also to eschew the potential of generating fear from civilians. Of course after the establishment of Metropolitan police in Britain, other states followed suit.
In 1857, the general police Act in Scotland mandated the formation of country police force in every country, in 1856, England and Wale passed the country and Borough Act which required that police forces be created throughout England and Wales Ireland followed in1877 by forming the Royal Irish constabulary. (www.britannica.com)
Soon all the states in the United Kingdom had enforced law enforcement unit (police forces) which since then have undergone reforms to improver efficacy and to streamline the mandates and responsibility of the police force.
The US police system borrowed from that of its colonizers the Europeans thus they have an array of similarity. The first police force in the US was found in Boston and in New York as established in 1838 and 1844 respectively. However the first professionalized police force started in California, under August Vollmer and Wilson O.E then police chief.