1902 Encyclopedia > Police

Police




POLICE. The branch of criminal justice which comprises a methodical system for the prevention and detection af crime is commonly known by the name of "Police." With the system having these objects is combined the execution of many duties not strictly involved in the popular definition of crime, but materially affecting the security and convenience of the public. Bentham, more comprehensively, says that police is in general a system of precaution either for the prevention of crime or of calamities. It is destined to prevent evils and provide benefits. The system for the attainment of these objects and the introduction and establishment of that system in the United Kingdom form the main subject of this article ; some account will afterwards be given of the police in other states.

In this view the definition and use of the word "police," as meaning the regulation and government of the city and country in relation to the inhabitants, are not sufficiently close. When Blackstone says that by the public police and economy he means the due regulation and domestic order of the kingdom, whereby the individuals of the state, like members of a well governed family, are bound to conform their general behaviour to the rules of propriety, good neighbourhood, and good manners, and to be decent, industrious, and inoffensive in their respective stations," the definition is capable of an interpretation at once too wide and too narrow for the present purpose. It is vain to look for an accurate description of police, as a system, in writers of a period when the thing sought for had no existence. The system is of recent growth, and it is necessarily more associated with personal instruments for the attainment of objects than with the objects to be attained. An observation of Gibbon, referring to the aediles and quaestors of the Roman empire, that officers of the police or revenue easily adapt themselves to any form of government, correctly presents the idea. of distinctive personal elernents. A system of police administration includes neither the making of the law nor the law itself. Officers of police are neither legislators nor (in the usual sense) magistrates. They are the instruments by which conformity to the rules of the commonwealth is attained.

Apart from the repression of crime as generally understood, it is plain that, at least in crowded cities, a power ought to exist for the suppression of noise and disorder, the regulation of locomotion and traffic, the correction of indecency, and the prevention of a numerous class of annoyances and impositions which can only be restrained by cognizance being taken of them at the instant. To these may be added a number of petty disputes the immediate settlement of which tends materially to the public peace. Over such subjects as these it is obviously for the general advantage the police should have a summary control. Any apprehension of danger to liberty can only be founded on its abuse and not upon its proper exercise.

The employment of persons in these various duties, as well as in the prevention and detection of graver matters of crime, constitutes a division of state labour. Therefore, while it is perfectly correct to speak of the various legislative and other measures for good order as "matters of police," the organization and management of the police forces constitute a distinct subject.

The essential features of the established police system, alike in Great Britain and in foreign states, in cities and towns as in countries and village communities, comprise the following matters:—

I. A body of persons in relation to the state enforcing obedience to the criminal law, the prevention and detection of crime, and the preservation of order, over a defined area, generally divided and subdivided for the purpose of distribution and immediate government of the force, but having one jurisdiction throughout.

II. The division of that force into classes of various rank, comprising, in general, in ascending order, constables, sergeants, inspectors, and superintendents (or their equivalents)—the constables being the most numerous and themselves divided into classes.

III. General control of the entire body by heads, whether styled commissioners or chiefs, having power to make regulations for the government of the force, subject in turn to the control of state authorities.

IV. Patrol day and night of the streets, roads, and public places, the "beats" and "tours of duty" of constables being prescribed by regulations, and actual performance and compliance being secured by the sergeants and inspectors.

V. The payment of the force, including establishment charges, out of public funds provided for the purpose.

In dealing with these subjects as nearly as may be in the order indicated, the relationship of the police force to the state is of primary importance. A general control by the executive Government of a state of the police forces, for the legitimate objects for which they are established, seems essential. In Great Britain every member of the force, from an ordinary constable, upwards, stands in the direct position of a servant of the crown. On admission he makes a promissory declaration (recently substituted for an oath) that he will serve the sovereign ; and it is upon the fact that a police constable has the powers, duties, and privileges of a peace officer of and for the crown that many of the incidents of his service depend, although the immediate power of dismissal is vested in heads of a force, whose orders he is bound to obey.

The state employs the police forces for the public welfare only. "There is not in England," remarked the late Chief-Justice Cockburn, "any more than in America, any system of espionage or secret police to pry into men’s secret actions or to obtain information for the Government by underhand and unworthy means." The truth of this is exemplified in the present position of police administration in the metropolitan police district of England acting under the immediate control of the secretary of state. The fear expressed, and no doubt felt, on the first establishment of a regularly organized system of police, that the freedom of holding meetings and the utterance of opinion at them would be suppressed, has been dispelled. The police are expressly enjoined not to interfere with persons attending political meetings unless specially ordered, and such orders are not given unless disorder or a breach of the peace is imminent. Public addresses, even in some of the royal parks, are permitted, provided they do not cause any obstruction, and are not of an unlawful character. There are no Government police to watch the delivery of mere political opinion or the tenor of its reception by the auditory. The press is also free from Government interference, through the police, in matters short of crime or not directly incentive to crime.

The sphere of action of the police force in relation to the state has been extended by legislative enactments providing that criminals who have escaped to or from colonies may be followed and removed by process of law, and tried where the crime originated. The practical execution of the law as to these fugitive offenders rests with the police. The same observation applies to the province of police under extradition treaties. But the general action of the police force of a country is bounded by its shores. As the open sea is not the territory of any one nation, it is not competent to any one nation to preserve order or remove all delinquents on its surface, as it is in the ports, rivers, and lakes of a state. When Lord Castlereagh at the congress of Vienna spoke of the "police" to be exercised over ships carrying slaves, Talleyrand asked the precise meaning of the expression; and, on the English statesman explaining that he intended to refer to what every Government exercised in virtue of its sovereignty or under treaties with other powers, Talleyrand would not admit the existence of any maritime police, except that of each power over its own vessels.

The supervision of the police by the Government stands thus. The commissioner of police of the metropolis of London is appointed by and acts under the immediate direction of the secretary of state for the home department. The commissioner of police of the city of London is in communication with the corporation, who appoint him. There is, however, a power of approval of regulations in the secretary of state. In the counties of England the appointment of the chief constable is by the county magistrates subject to the approval of the secretary of state. In municipal corporations the police, including the chief or head constable, are appointed by the watch committee. In all these cases except in the metropolis the secretary of state leaves the immediate control to local authorities and disclaims responsibility. In Scotland the secretary of state has a voice in the rules for the government, pay, and necessaries of the force. The appointment of the chief constable is subject to his approval, but practically there is no interference called for in this respect. In Ireland great authority is vested in the lord lieutenant both with respect to the police of Dublin and the royal Irish constabulary. The immediate government is vested in the heads of the forces, and the parliamentary responsibility is in the chief secretary for Ireland. Reports and returns as to the police forces of Great Britain and Ireland are laid before parliament. The immediate control and responsibility of a cabinet minister for the police of the metropolis of London makes a very important distinction between the position of that force and of the other police forces of the empire. There is, however, a general relationship of the police forces of the country to the state, arising from the contribution (not now limited to a particular proportion) made by parliament to the expenditure for a police force. Under an Act of 1856 the crown appoints three persons as paid inspectors to visit and inquire into the state and efficiency of the police appointed for every county and borough in England and Wales, and to see whether the provisions of the Acts under which they are appointed are duly observed and carried into effect; and upon the secretary of state’s certificate of efficiency, laid before parliament, the contribution is made. In the same way an inspector for Scotland reports annually.

It is to be observed that the contribution cannot be made to a borough police not consolidated with the county police where the population is less than 5000. In England the state, except in the city of London, contributes about half the pay of forces which submit to certain regulations, to inspection, and to a definite amount of imperial control. In Scotland the state also contributes. About two-thirds of the cost of the Dublin metropolitan police is met by the treasury. The balance in all the above cases comes from the locality. The royal Irish constabulary is the only force whose ordinary strength is entirely supported by imperial taxation, subject, however, to payment by districts where special services are necessary.

To prevent political influence being brought to bear upon the police, they cannot vote at elections of members of parliament within their district; and the chief officers are disqualified from sitting in parliament.

The relationship of the police forces of the country to the army as a state force is satisfactory. The police is a civil force. Although constables constantly speak of the public as "civilians," the police are in turn styled civilians by soldiers. It is now only on rare occasions that soldiers are required to intervene in the case of riot or tumult, as fortunately the police force is generally sufficient for the preservation of the peace of the country. If disturbance is apprehended in any district, special constables are called apon to aid. It is no less due to the improved temper and habits of the people than to the existence of the police force that military display is rarely needed to suppress riots. In state processions and on some other occasions the police and household troops together maintain the line of route, and where troops assemble for inspection the police sometimes aid in keeping the ground. The police, as constables, are required to carry out the law as to billeting and the impressment of carriages,—at one time a very heavy incident of duty, but considerably lightened by the practice of conveying troops by railway. The police apprehend deserters on reasonable suspicion. Police in charge of a station must receive prisoners, including deserters and absentees subject to military law, if duly sent there by military authority; and, as a person subject to military law is usually left to be dealt with by the ordinary civil tribunal for offences, he is taken by the police before a magistrate. On the other hand no person subject to military law, whether an officer or a private, can neglect or refuse to deliver over to the civil magistrate any officer or soldier accused of an offence punishable in the ordinary mode, or to assist the police in his lawful apprehension; an adjustment of military and civil law is therefore effected.

The duties devolving on a police force require a fuller notice than the general remarks already made.

A constable on ordinary patrol duty has to attend to every circumstance that a keen eye and ready ear bring under his notice. In a carefully drawn statute, although not now in general use, the general sphere of observation and duty by constables is thus summarized:—

"During the time they shall be on duty, use their utmost endeavours to prevent any mischief by fire, and also to prevent all robberies, burglaries, and other felonies and misdemeanors, and other outrages, disorders, and breaches of the peace ; and to apprehend and secure all felons, rogues, vagabonds, and disorderly persons who shall disturb the public peace, or any party or persons wandering, secreting, or misbehaving himself, herself, or themselves, or whom they shall have reasonable cause to suspect of any evil designs; and to secure and keep in safe custody any such person, in order that he or she may be conveyed as soon as conveniently may be before a justice of the peace, to be examined and dealt with according to law ; and it shall and may be lawful to and for the said watchmen, serjeants of the watch, patrols, and other person or persons to call and require any person or persons to aid and assist them in taking such felons, rogues, vagabonds, and all disorderly or suspected persons as aforesaid" (3 & 4 Will. IV. c. 90, § 41).

Police action in relation to the serious matters constituting crime is familiar knowledge. It is essential to bear in mind that the powers of the police in arresting and otherwise dealing with criminals in a variety of ways is derived from and depends on police constables having been expressly invested with the powers and duties of the old parish constables. Every police force has been given these powers and duties of constables, and the possession of them is so essential that, however they may be supplemented by modern legislation, without them no police force could exist for a day.

A statistical or other inquiry into crime is necessarily beyond the limits of this article. A few facts, however, bear on the efficiency of the police forces.

The returns indicate that the apprehensions in 1881-82 were (omitting fractions) in the proportion of 41 per cent. to the number of crimes committed in England and Wales, against a like proportion in 1880-81, 42 per cent. in 1879-80, 45 in 1878-79, 44 in 1877-78, 46 for 1876-77 and 47 per cent. for 1875-76.

The director of criminal investigations reported for the year 1882 that a comparison of the statistics—which are prepared by an independent service with a scrupulous regard to accuracy—with those of foreign cities shows that the metropolis of London (metropolitan police district), with a territory nearly 700 square miles in extent, covered by more than 700,000 separate houses, and inhabited by a population barely less than 5,000 000, is the safest capital for life and property in the world.

Although criminal procedure does not admit of being fully treated here as part of the police system, yet as the police by duty as well as practice are in fact prosecutors in the majority of criminal cases, the important part taken by the police force requires notice.

The efficiency of the police, as well as the exigencies of cases, has led to the arrest of offenders or suspected persons in the great majority of felonies and other crimes, where the power exists, without applying to magistrates for warrants in the first instance. Although there are some advantages attendant upon a practice under which magistrates do not hear of the matter until the accused is actually before them, it is undoubtedly better, as recently declared by the commissioners reporting on the criminal code, for the police officer to obtain a warrant were circumstances admit of his doing so. When he arrests, whether with or without a warrant, it is his duty to take the prisoner before a magistrate.

Without attempting to enter fully into the rights and duties of the police in relation to arrest, it may be mentioned that, while the important action of the police is derived from and wholly dependent (except in some cases where recent legislation has found a place) on the older powers, science has been made subservient in facilitating the application of those powers to police duties. As in old times the reasonable suspicion giving the right to arrest may still be founded on personal observation and information in the ordinary mode; but the electric telegraph and the photograph now lend their aid as recognized agents in favour of justice and truth far more than in aid of fraud an deception.

If an arrest is without a warrant, it is the officer’s duty to show that he acted rightly by establishing at least that he proceeded on reasonable information. His task is generally much more. He or some police officer, whether acting under a warrant or not, has to adduce all the evidence to justify a committal for trial, or, if the case is one in which the court of summary jurisdiction has the power, for a conviction. In carrying out this duty even in simple cases a multitude of matters have to be attended to in which a number of police officers take a part. Whether the arrest is made by a constable on his beat or under other circumstances, the ordinary duty involves taking the prisoner to the police station, where the charge is entered. He is then taken before the magistrate, or, in some cases, bailed. If the charge be one of felony it generally involves a remand, not only for the attendance of witnesses, but to ascertain the prisoner’s antecedents ; and these remands are often multiplied in complicated cases. Every remand involves the conveyance of the prisoner to and from the prison or "lock-up,"—generally the former. Detective police attend at the prison to ascertain whether the accused has been previously convicted or charged. Witnesses must be seen and their attendance secured. If the prisoner is eventually committed for trial it is the duty of the inspector or other officer having charge of the case to aid the magistrate’s clerk in making out the certificate of costs, so that the proper amounts for the allowance of witnesses are inserted. Although in ordinary cases there is a nominal "prosecutor" (the person who has been wounded or lost his property), if he enters into a recognizance before the magistrate, he leaves everything to the police, who have to inform him even when and where he must attend for the trial, and the police are required in many cases to give the necessary instructions for the indictment; and, when the proper time arrives for the trial at the sessions or assizes (of which public notice is given), the police must inform the witnesses and arrange for their conveyance and prompt attendance in the precincts of the court, first before the grand jury, afterwards on the trial. A police officer must attend the taxing officer, give the necessary particulars as to the witnesses, and see that they receive their allowances.

The responsibilities and duties of the police may be varied, but on the whole are scarcely diminished, if there is a solicitor for a private or for the public prosecutor; the Act of 1884 relating to the public prosecutor regards the police as essential parties, and it is certain that no general system of prosecution can be carried on with diminished police intervention.

The duties of police to accused persons are too important to be passed over in complete silence. To say that they involve perfect fairness ought to be a sufficient guide, but it is right to add that the indirect as well as the direct extortion of statements, either by threat or promise, is forbidden. On the other hand to caution accused persons is not the province of the police ; as on the one hand a police officer ought not in general to put questions, so on the other hand lie ought not to prevent voluntary statements. His general duty is to listen, and to remember accurately what the accused says. It is often the duty of an officer to give information to the accused, as for instance of the nature of the charge on which he is arrested or to read the warrant; but information this kind should not be given interrogatively. It sometimes happens, however, that in the course of inquiries a person makes a criminatory statement to a police officer, in consequence of which it is the duty of the officer to arrest him. This is distinct from questioning a person whom the officer has not merely suspected but predetermined to arrest.

Some other duties, the growth of modern times and unknown until recently, devolve on the police in relation to criminals. They arise from the release of offenders sentenced to penal servitude before the expiration of the period, on certain conditions, or of offenders sentenced, after the expiration of their sentence of imprisonment, to be tinder police supervision for a given period. Both classes of convicts involve the performance by the police of very responsible duties in reference to reporting and giving notice of changes of residence, so as to make the watch and supervision a real thing, and at the same time to give the convicts the opportunity, as intended, of gaining an honest livelihood at some labour or calling. It is a frequent source of complaint by the convicts that they are so watched that they cannot obtain employment, and are driven into the repetition of crime—the police retorting that the allegations are untrue, and that the fresh offence is the result of the habitual offender’s incurable love for crime. Any constable in any police district may, if authorized so to do (in writing) by the chief officer of police of that district, without warrant take into custody any convict who is the holder of a licence if it appears to such constable that such convict is getting his livelihood by dishonest means, and may bring him before a court of summary jurisdiction. The system of "reporting" is itself a branch of police administration of great importance, and requiring considerable knowledge. Its headquarters may be said to be in the metropolis and under the superintendence of the police of that district, but it involves constant communication with other districts and observation throughout the kingdom.

The extent of police duty in respect of such offenders is shown by the fact that, according to the last published return, there were in England and Wales 1268 convicts on licence and persons under sentence of supervision.

The police are in general the instruments for carrying out the statutory provisions respecting certified industrial schools and reformatories. Not only is the rocess for the most part directed to the police, but magistrates and others interested look to the force for suggestions and assistance. In some respects it would be desirable if industrial schools, as distinguished from reformatories, could be worked without the intervention of police agency, but that seems impracticable.

An important police function relates to the execution of process, and is not confined to subjects or cases in which the force is collectively or individually concerned in the performance of their duty. Whether the process is a warrant or a summons, its execution or service is in the hands of the police. Magisterial warrants of apprehension and search are by law, in other than exceptional cases, necessarily directed to the police as peace officers, whether their purport be to bring the person before the tribunal or to convey him from it or from one to another ; and in other warrants of execution, although parochial officers are often joined, police are also included to prevent abuses of the law to which the poor are so much exposed. Police officers are now expressly required to have the direction of warrants of distress. The service of a magisterial summons, although not in general prescribed to be effected by a police officer, in practice properly devolves on the force. In the metropolitan police district all police service must be by its officers. In a great variety of matters where notice has to be given to persons, the duty of communicating it either verbally or in writing or in print is thrown on the police, So convenient a medium for the orderly administration of purely civil matters are the police found that, at the request of the local government board, the police are allowed to deliver and collect voting papers in the election of parochial officers.

The increased area over which a police constable as compared with the old parish constable has jurisdiction facilitates both arrests and service of process. Although stationed within a defined area of limited jurisdiction, the duties of the force often involve the operation of functions without geographical limits, requiring the actual presence of its members outside as well as the performance within the district of much that relates to the exterior.

The service of process calls for constant communication between different police forces. The law provides for the backing of warrants, by which a constable can act beyond his ordinary jurisdiction or by which the warrants can be transmitted. A magisterial summons for appearance does not require formal transmission. It is addressed not to the police but to the defendant, and can be served by an officer of any district ; but, as until recently the proof of service could only be given by the personal attendance of the serving officer at the magistrate’s court, great expense was incurred in travelling to effect service, and inconvenience in attending to prove it. This has been remedied in most cases by allowing service to be proved by a declaration before a magistrate.

The transmission of process, declarations of service, payment of fees, and many other incidents arising in apparently the most simple cases now involve constant communication between police forces by whatever distance they may be separated.

A few lines must suffice on the general duties of the police force in relation to a variety of other matters. Some of these are closely connected with crime, others with municipal regulations only. The police, as having all the duties of constables, act as coroner’s officers; they make minute inquiries as to suicides, accidents of every kind, insane persons and their apprehension, and deal with destitute persons and persons seized with sudden illness in the streets, and with vagrants.

In populous districts the adjustment of street traffic, of securing the comfort as well as safety of persons in passing to and from whether on foot or otherwise, forms a very important branch of the constable’s duty. This may be and often is effected by the mere presence of the constable passing on his round without greater exercise of his authority than a reluest to persons to move or to wait at crossings. Unless in crowded parts, this highway branch of duty may consist in preventing riding and driving furiously, or on footpaths. The general or local laws of each district give ample scope for the exercise of the police constable’s authority and the performance of his duties in such matters, including obstructions of all kinds.

In the metropolitan police district the commissioner has large powers, including the power to prescribe special limits in the metropolis within which some acts affecting the general ease and freedom of the public are forbidden which are innocent elsewhere.

On the police almost invariably devolve the licensing of public carriages and the enforcement of the great variety of regulations respecting them. In the metropolitan police district the licensing of public carriages is vested in the secretary of state, who makes numerous regulations respecting the carriages and their drivers and proprietors, and gives (under power vested in him by the legislature for that purpose) the administration of this importaut branch of the law to the commissioner of police. Elsewhere in England and Wales the administration of the law in relation to hackney carriages is in the hands of local authorities. The police have charge of the maintenance of good order in houses and places licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquors, including inquiries and notice as to all kinds of licences, renewals, and transfers, and of course involving the conduct of numerous persons, not only of the licensed persons and those in their service, but of persons frequenting their houses, not excepting the members of the police force.

The laws and regulations for common lodging-houses in the metropolis are under the police. Other traders exercise their constant vigilance, including pawnbrokers, marine-store dealers, pedlars, and chimney-sweepers.

Among almost an infinity of offences may be enumerated those involving cruelty to animals, prize fights so called, and all descriptions of unlawful brawls (including brawling in places of public worship), gaming, gambling, and betting, lotteries, disorderly houses, dangerous performances, the infraction of fence months and seasons for birds and fish, the fraudulent removal of goods, violations of cattle plague orders (which the police are expressly required to observe and enforce, involving of late years most arduous duties), and the sale of unwholesome food and of poisons. The police have also to deal with the care and keeping of explosive substances, animals straying, and dogs reasonably suspected to be mad or not under proper care.

Some public offences, such as the use of inaccurate weights, adulteration of articles of food, &c., are generally dealt with by inspectors and other special officers, although it is undoubtedly the duty of the police to aid in enforcing the law, and to report to the proper quarter offences coming to their knowledge. In the metropolis, smoke nuisances are dealt with as police offences.

The police aid the inland revenue in a variety of ways, and, although it is generally undesirable for the police to take part in the collection or enforcement of taxation, they are required in the metropolitan district, by order of the secretary of state, to enforce as far as lies in their power the payment of the dog tax, their other duties giving them greater knowledge on the subject.





In visiting places of amusement the police are often performing duties of a multifarious character. In general the one object is the maintenance of good order, but sometimes the observation extends to the character of the amusement and the infringement of licences.

Apart from the special duties as to the restoration of property left or lost in public carriages, or with reference to prisoners’ property, for which there are special provisions, the police exercise a reasonable rather than a specially assigned duty in facilitating the recovery of lost and stray property by the rightful owners.

A very few words must suffice for notice of a subject which has been a vexed question before as well as since the establishment of a police force in the country, and down to the present moment -the action of police powers as to street prostitutes. Practically this action has nearly the same limits throughout England and Wales. In the metropolitan police district and in the City of London it is an offence for a common prostitute or night-walker to loiter or to be in a public place for the purpose of prostitution or solicitation to the annoyance of the inhabitants or passengers. Elsewhere the offence is in much the same terms included in the Police of Towns’ Clauses’ Act, 1847, and is so applied to all urban authorities under the Public Health Act, 1875. In the practical application of the law it is generally considered that there must be some evidence of a personal annoyance by and to one or more persons to justify a conviction.

The preceding survey of some of the multifarious functions of a police force affords an illustration of Bentham’s classification of the business of police into distinct branches:—police for the prevention of offences; police for the prevention of calamities ; police for the prevention of endemic diseases ; police of charity; police of interior communications; police of public amusements; police for recent intelligence and information. No attempt, however, is made in the present article to follow such classification. It would lead the reader astray, where the object is to treat principally of the police force.

As to the defined area of police action, for general purposes the legal rights and powers of a police force (subject to the observations already made) are coextensive with the police district. In the metropolitan police district the members of the force have the powers of constables in the adjoining counties (10 Geo. IV. c. 44, § 4 ; 2 & 3 Vict. c. 47, § 5).

The determination of the geographical area of a police district is necessarily governed by a variety of circumstances. Physical features have sometimes to be taken into account as affecting the demarcations of intercourse, more frequently the occupations of the people and the amount of the population. A district may be too confined or too large for police purposes. The limited ideas of simple-minded rustics of a former generation whose views of complete independence consisted in inhabiting two adjacent rooms in different parishes, so as to effectually baffle the visits of parochial officers, is probably a notion of the past; but obstructions of a like kind may arise from too narrow boundaries. On the other hand dense populations or long-accustomed limits may outweigh convenience arising from a wide area.

In any case the making of altogether new boundaries merely for police purposes is very undesirable. The county, or divisions of a county or city, or the combination of parishes, ought to be and are sufficient for determining the boundaries of a police district. A boundary, moreover, that does not admit of ready application for rating is impracticable.

In England, Wales, and Scotland, with the exception of the metropolitan police district and the area of the City of London (geographically included within but distinct from it in policegovernment), the police districts are for the most part identical in area with the counties. Large towns have police forces distinct from the county force surrounding them. There are 290 police forces in the island,—a number liable to frequent variation, as separate forces are created or existing forces are combined, for which powers exist.

By far the largest and most important force, as regards the character of both area and numbers, is that of the metropolitan police district, comprising 20 divisions. The total number of the police (including of course the county constabulary) for England and Wales for the year ending 29th September 1883 was 34,488, an increase on the previous year of 1315. During the last decade the increase in the total number of the police, allowing for the augmented population, is trifling.

The following are the numbers composing the different forces in 1882-83:—

In boroughs under the Municipal Corporation Act and under local Acts ……………………………………………………………..….9,685

In counties.............................................................................11,255

Metropolitan police constables, including royal dockyards…. 12,663

City of London ……………………………………………… 885

Total…………………………………………………………..34,488



The total gives one constable for every 774 of the population, according to the census of 1881. In boroughs, &c., there is 1 for every 758 ; in counties 1 for 1231 ; in the metropolitan police district (deducting 807, the number employed in royal dockyards, and 446 paid for by public companies and private individuals) 1 for every 413 ; and in the City of London 1 for every 57 of the City population, as enumerated on the night of the census of 1881. The total number, exclusive of the commissioner and assistant commissioners, belonging to the metropolitan police force on the 1st January 1884 was 12,404,—comprising 10,741 constables, 1028 sergeants, 608 inspectors, 24 divisional superintendents, 1 chief superintendent (of the criminal investigation department), and 2 superintendents.

The strength of the police force in proportion to population varies considerably in each county of Scotland, ranging for the year ended 15th March 1884 from 1 in 731 in Selkirk to 1 in 2438 in Banff. In burgbs it varies from 1 in 532 in Edinburgh and 1 in 535 in Glasgow to only 1 in upwards of 1500 of the population in the smallest burghs.

The strength of the royal Irish constabulary on the 1st July 1882, the geographical area of which comprises all Ireland, consisted of 258 officers and 13,750 men, and it was subsequently increased to 14,601 of all ranks.

The equal distribution of the force throughout a district—not a uniform distribution either as to area or population, but equal in accordance with wants— is one of the greatest difficulties in the administration of a police force. It is not merely that recruits must be sought for to keep pace with increase or variations of population, but daily and hourly events necessitate daily and hourly changes of distribution. The duty is not merely to draw off men from adjacent divisions to the spot for a few hours, where they can be best spared, but to fill places where required. It must be remembered that extra work by day incapacitates men for the night watch, and it takes days to restore the equilibrium. It is needless to say that, although the services of the police force may not be required to aid in the extinction of a fire their presence is required in great numbers to preserve order; and thus men are necessarily kept on duty beyond their prescribed hours. Nor, in many of these cases, whether foreseen or unforeseen, is the distribution of the force self-adjusting. Let all do what they may in aid through all ranks of the force, inequalities must occur; and before the gaps are made up a fresh displacement occurs. Much may be done and is done by a system of reserves, and by averaging the yearly extra calls on the time of a force ; but after all there is no perfect equality. The peacefully slumbering citizen may be startled by the announcement that, although the force of the metropolitan police district has been under anxious management for upwards of half a century, on no two nights since its formation have the beats been patrolled to precisely the same extent.

The police system of necessity involves the existence in a district of police stations or lockups, for the temporary detention of prisoners ; and magistrates have generally the power to remand prisoners to these for short periods. Power to make police stations occasional courts of summary jurisdiction has been recently conferred on county magistrates. A police power of admitting arrested persons to bail in petty cases, with a corresponding duty to exercise the power, is vested in the police in authority at stations. This power has existed throughout the metropolitan police district from the first establishment of the police on its present footing, and also in the City of London and in many populous places under local Acts; and the principle has been recently extended to the country.

The selection of persons for the force is a matter subject to general as well as special regulations, varying in each district according to circumstances of place and time. Testimonials as to character and antecedents should be and are in practice always required. For health a medical examination is enforced; as to general education, reading and writing are usually required ; special education for police duties is necessarily unattainable before entry, but in the metropolitan police force of England approved candidates are admitted on probation, and drilled. When finally approved of, on admission to the force they make a declaration, as already stated, to duly serve.

Discipline is enforced by dismissal, reprimand, fines, removal to another division, or degradation in rank. Violation or neglect of duty may be punished by summary conviction.

For the detection of crime and offences it is obviously necessary that some members of the force should perform their duties out of uniform. Some are constantly employed as detectives, others doff their official dress on emergencies. In the English metropolis the detective officers form a distinct branch of the police service, called the criminal investigation department. One of the assistant commissioners of the metropolitan police attends specially to this department, to which a chief superintendent and a separate staff of inspectors and sergeants are attached, having an office in Scotland Yard, with officers of the department placed in the divisions of the district. The qualifications of the principal officers are special, and they are selected for their aptitude, knowledge of foreign languages, and a variety of circumstances rendering the application of the ordinary routine of training undesirable and impracticable. Constables and sergeants of the department are selected from the general body of the force. Officers of the detective department of the metropolis in the performance of their various duties travel all over the globe, to foreign states as well as to the colonies. The number of detective officers in England and Wales for 1882-83 was 551.

The chiefs of the metropolitan police force are the commissioner and three assistant commissioners, one acting in place of a director of criminal investigations, who has recently retired. A legal adviser to the commissioners is appointed by the secretary of state. Besides the divisional superintendents, there are now two district superintendents, who visit the whole of the divisions. All promotions in the service up to the rank of superintendent are made from the next rank below. When vacancies occur the rule is to recommend to the commissioner those best qualified in all respects, seniority of service being duly considered; but an educational examination by the civil service commissioners is requisite. A different standard and subject of examination is provided for each rank:—(1) constables for sergeants ; (2) sergeants for inspectors; (3) inspectors for superintendents.

Orders having the approval of the secretary of state for the government of the police of the metropolis in a variety of matters are printed and issued daily throughout the district. The majority of these orders relate to incidents and contingencies of the passing hour, and affect particular divisions ; others are of a permanent character and require attention throughout the district. Such orders form the practice of the police in almost all matters of detail either not specifically regulated by Act of Parliament or requiring explanation and elucidation ; and, if they are carefully considered and prepared, their issue must produce a uniform code of police procedure for the force.

The cost of a police system is defrayed from a fund formed by local rates or by imperial funds, or both, and in part by the appropriation of fines and the fees payable by law in respect of the performance of individual duties, but not permitted to be retained by the performer. This fund is collected and expended through the medium of a receiver, treasurer, or other officer, and a staff of clerks, with the aid of the superintendents, inspectors, and police officers. The regulation and amount of the salaries (which are generally paid weekly or monthly according to the class), depend of course on local and other circumstances, but do not vary frequently. Where agriculture is the general occupation the pay of members of the force is low. Where mining and manufactures compete with agriculture it is higher; where they are the principal business they create a demand for labour which raises the salary of the constable as well as those of other workers. The pay of the constables of the metropolitan district varies from £62, 11s. 6d. to £83, 8s. 7d. per annum, that of the sergeants from £88, 12s. 11d. to £146, of the inspectors from £88, 12s. 11d. to £351, 19s. 4d. The metropolitan police constable is subject to deductions for pension, and, he contributes on the average about 2d. a week to gratuities for the widows or orphans of comrades who have recently died, and is under a rent of about 3s. 6d. if single and living out of the section house, and about 6s. 6d. a week if married. Analogous conditions exist in all the great city forces. The Liverpool constable begins with 26s. 8d. a week; 8d. a week is deducted at first, and 10d. after, a short period, towards pension fund ; an average of 4s. a week is spent on the lodgings of a single, and from 5s. 6d. to 7s. 6d. on those of a married man. Model scales of pay which were suggested by the secretary of state in 1879 have been adopted by several county forces in Scotland, but not in burghs.

In addition to fixed salaries, the police system generally provides for rewards for extraordinary diligence and gratuities out of the police fund. Gifts or payments to individual officers by private persons ought to be controlled in a well-regulated system, where good conduct and vigilance ought to be closely watched to ensure promotion in due time. Specially meritorious acts, however, are sometimes admitted for pecuniary recognition by magistrates, or representative bodies. In England the police are not now permitted to participate in Government or other rewards for the discovery of crime. Provision is almost invariably made for pensions by a fund formed by a scale of deductions from pay, as already stated, and to some extent by fines. The general subject of superannuation is, however, too large to be entered upon here. For the ordinary services of the police within their local jurisdiction no charge should fall on particular persons who happen to derive special advantage from such police duty. It is a general benefit for which in one form or another the inhabitants are taxed.

Other incidental expenditure in the performance of duties is met in various ways. The heavy cost connected with the conveyance of prisoners to and from prison on committal and remand is in England, except in Middlesex, borne by the state, being paid by the prison commissioners. The preliminary cost attending the arrest in the first instance is generally borne by the police fund. In some exceptional cases where the police perform special duties beyond their district, the cost is thrown on individuals putting the law in motion. Thus the costs incurred under extradition treaties and under the Fugitive Offenders’ Act in following criminals and bringing them back within the jurisdiction for trial where the offence was committed or arose are not expressly provided for by statute ; but the regulations laid down by the secretary of state require all costs to be paid by applicants in the case of fugitive offenders.

The police have special powers in furtherance of their duties; even the exemption from toll (not now of general value) has that aspect. They are not only exempted but disqualified from various local offices as interfering with the time and attention required for the full performance of their duties. Rules of the service generally forbid constables following any trade or occupation of profit even when not on actual duty, and in the metropolitan police district of London this disqualification extends in practice to their wives. The police are protected in the discharge of their duties in a variety of ways. Assaulting, resisting, or wilfully obstructing a peace officer in the due execution of his duty or any person acting in aid of such officer, and assaults with intent to resist or prevent lawful apprehension or detainer, are punishable summarily as well as upon indictment. Refusing to assist a constable in the execution of his duty in order to preserve the peace is an indictable misdemeanour at common law. The law specially provides for offences by the police in stealing or embezzling property entrusted to them in virtue of their employment (24 & 25 Vict. c. 96, §§ 69, 70).

Wearing a distinctive dress or uniform in the general performance of duty is a matter of the highest importance. It commands and has a very great effect in producing obedience and conformity to law and order, and in preventing violence, without the use of even a word or threat; and it has a scarcely less important effect in protecting the public from the illegal or irregular action of the police when on duty, when the dress involves, as it ordinarily does, the exhibition on its exterior of a letter and number.

The extent to which the individual members of a police force are allowed or required to be armed when on duty for the enforcement of the law or for their own protection from violence is a matter of important discretion ; for, although the principles of law, entailing or withholding the right of peace officers or private persons to employ weapons of offence, are comparatively well-defined, the emergency depends on a variety of circumstances on which it is extremely difficult for heads of forces to make regulations for the guidance of the men. In general the only weapon carried about the person of a police constable is the familiar wooden staff of office of the peace officer, and that not in the hands openly, but in a sheath at his side and only drawn when required.

The cost of the police in England and Wales for the year ending 29th September 1883, including salaries and pay, allowances, clothing and accoutrements, horses, harness, forage, buildings, station-house charges, printing, stationery, and other miscellaneous charges was £3,367,678, a net increase of £107,598 as compared with the previous year. The cost of the separate forces for the year and the amounts contributed from the public revenue stand thus:—

TABLE

Deducting the City of London police, towards which no contribution is paid from the public revenue, the proportion of the amount so contributed was 39·5. But if the total charge for the metropolitan police is reduced by £131,560 received from public departments for special services rendered by the police, the proportion contributed from the public revenue, computed upon £1,185,743, was 42·8 per cent. All moneys received for the service of the metropolitan police between 1st April 1883 and the 31st ,March 1884 amounted to £1,469,930, 4s. 5d. Of this total the sum of £639,751, 7s. 4d. was derived from the metropolitan police rate, and £510,933 as the contribution from moneys voted by parliament of 4d. per £1 upon £30,663,903, the assessed rental of property in the metropolitan police district. The pay, clothing, and equipments of the force from constables to superintendents was £1,024,587, 13s. 9d.

In concluding this general account of the existing police system, it is well to mention that the old system of parish constables no longer exists as a general institution. As an auxiliary force, although not forming part of the establishment of a police system, special constables form an important resource in the preservation of the peace (See CONSTABLE).

History of the Introduction of the British Police System.—It is a self-evident proposition that the duties of watch and ward, whether under the Statute of Winchester or otherwise (see CONSTABLE), demanded greater attention in populous places than in scattered hamlets. Nevertheless the inefficiency of the arrangements was notorious from an early period, and is well illustrated by the "charge" of a Dogberry and the graver complaints of Lord Burleigh of the dulness of constables. In relation to London alone its state down to 1828 forms a subject not without general interest (see LONDON). Here it must suffice to say that committees of the House of Commons in 1772, 1793, 1812, 1817, 1818, and 1822 produced facts tending to the formation, but with hesitation, of a police establishment. To Dr Colquhoun, a magistrate, the chief merit is due of having, before the close of the 18th century, in a treatise On the Police of the Metropolis, drawn attention to the subject. He pointed out that police in England may be considered as a new science, the properties of which consist, not in the judicial powers which lead to punishment, and which belong to magistrates alone, but in the prevention and detection of crimes, and in those other functions which relate to internal regulations for the well-ordering and comfort of civil society. His work went through several editions in a very brief period. It was not, however, until 1828 that a committee of the House of Commons, appointed at the instance of Mr (afterwards Sir Robert) Peel, the home secretary, to inquire into the cause of the increase in the number of commitments and convictions in London and Middlesex, and into the state of the police of the metropolis and of the districts adjoining, reported that a decisivechange should be made, and an efficient system of police instituted for the adequate protection of property, and for the prevention and detection of crime in the metropolis. In the following year the famous Act for improving the police in and near the metropolis was passed (10 Geo. IV. c. 44).

The Act constituted a police district, excluding the City of London, with a radius of 12 miles. Two persons were constituted justices of the peace (afterwards called commissioners of police) to administer the Act under the immediate direction of a secretary of state, and having a police office in Westminster. This office, established in a room with a table and two chairs, in an outlet from Whitehall, is the origin (as regards police associations) of the far-famed "Scotland Yard," with its now enlarged staff, but still inadequate structural arrangements. A sufficient number of "able men" (at first about 3000) constituted the force to whom were given, when sworn in, the common law powers, privileges, and duties of constables for preserving the peace and preventing robberies and other felonies, and apprehending offenders against the peace, with the duty to obey the lawful commands of the commissioners. The district was formed into divisions and sections, and ranks established on the same general system as at present exists. A fund was created principally by rates on the district for the maintenance of the force, with rewards for extraordinary diligence and compensation for injuries.

As might have been anticipated, the introduction of the new system of police attracted great public attention. At this distance of time, with the experience of an intervening half century, it is difficult to believe that the change by which the police system became in a few years as much a necessity of towns as their public lighting (and lighting and watching were of much the same age and character, and were frequently coupled in legislation) was regarded otherwise than with the approval of well-regulated minds. It substituted the vigorous action of a really responsible and well-regulated body, acting in an enlarged area, and independently of parochial authorities, for the partial and lax action of a variety of ill-governed and inadequate bodies. Legitimate but passing regrets might be natural as the introduction of vicarious action superseded the necessity for self help and responsibility. No poet could thereafter compose, as a sally of fancy, the adventures of a London citizen between Cheapside and Edmonton mounted on a runaway horse with associated gentlemen galloping after a presumed horsestealer. To arrest the horse, whether a runaway or stolen, only a blue-coated policeman would thenceforward be seen on the track. The objections raised to the new police were of a more serious although scarcely of a more substantial kind. The assumption that a good police could only be attained at the expense of liberty, and that it necessarily involved some arbitrary principle opposed to the free constitution of the country, had been countenanced even by the report of the committee of 1822, in which it was remarked that it was difficult to reconcile an effective system of police with that perfect freedom of action and exemption from interference which are the great privileges and blessings of society in the country. With such sedate misgivings, it is not to be wondered at, when the system was actually introduced a few years later, that cries arose in the streets of "down with the new police," and that the constables were frequently followed by hooting crowds calling them obnoxious names. By associating them with the statesman who introduced the measure, and calling them "Peelers" and "Bobbies," names perpetuated to the present day and apparently likely to last, a compliment was really paid to the minister and to the force. But at that time Peel was attacked in parliament and suspicion thrown on the Act because the same minister had introduced Roman Catholic emancipation.

Within four years of the establishment of the police force the hostility seems to have culminated. It was evinced by the result of a collision between the police and a meeting of Chartists in Coldbath Fields in May 1833, in which three police officers were stabbed and one killed with a dagger. At the inquest the coroner’s jury returned a verdict of "justifiable homicide," in the teeth of the evidence. The crown thereupon adopted the strong but justifiable course of applying to the Court of King’s Bench, and the inquisition was quashed. Committees were appointed by the House of Commons to inquire into the circumstances of the meeting, and also regarding an allegation of inhabitants of the Surrey side that policemen were employed as spies, and a third committee was appointed to inquire into the state of the police and crime in the district. The police system and the force as a whole came out with credit, notwithstanding individual instances of undue exercise of power calling for greater control.

There was no hesitation as to the duty of maintaining the principle of the new system, and the popular hostility gradually died away. After intermediate parliamentary reports and legislation by way of extension, an important Act was passed in 1839, reciting that the system of police established had been found very efficient and might be yet further improved (2 & 3 Vict. c. 47). The metropolitan police district was extended to 15 miles from Charing Cross. The whole of the River Thames (which had been in its course through London, so far as related to police matters, managed under distinct Acts) was brought within it, and the collateral but not exclusive powers of the metropolitan police were extended to the royal palaces and 10 miles around, and to the counties adjacent to the district. Various summary powers for dealing with street and other offences were conferred.





At the same time that the police were put on a more complete footing and the area enlarged, provision was made for the more effectual administration of justice by the magistrates of the metropolis (2 & 3 Vict. c. 71). The changes that occurred in magisterial functions are scarcely less remarkable than the transition from the parish constable to the organized police. The misdirected activity of the civil magistrate in the 17th century is illustrated by the familiar literature of Butler, Bunyan, and others. The zeal of that age was succeeded by apathetic reaction, and it became necessary in the metropolis to secure the services of paid justices. The malpractices of the so-called "trading justices" of the 18th century are described and exposed for all time by Fielding, who honourably performed the duties of justice of the peace for Middlesex and Westminster. At the beginning of the 19th century outside of the City of London (where magisterial duties were, as now, performed by the lord mayor and aldermen) there were various public offices besides the Bow Street and the Thames police offices, where magistrates attended. To the Bow Street office was subsequently attached the "horse patrol," and each of the police offices had a fixed number of constables attached to it, and the Thames police had an establishment of constables and surveyors. The horse patrol was in 1836, as previously intended, placed under the new police. It became desirable that the horse patrol and constables allotted to the several police offices not interfered with by the Act of 1828 should be incorporated with the metropolitan police force. This was effected, and thus magisterial functions were completely separated from the duties of the executive police; for, although the jurisdiction of the two justices, afterwards called commissioners, as magistrates extended to ordinary duties (except at courts of general or quarter sessions), from the first they did not take any part in the examination or committal for trial of persons charged with offences. No persons were brought before them. Their functions were in practice confined to the discipline of the force and the prevention and detection of offences, by having persons arrested or summoned to be dealt with by the ordinary magistrates whose courts were not interfered with.

Important alterations have been made since 1839 in the arrangements affecting the metropolitan police. In 1856 one commissioner and two assistant commissioners were substituted for two commissioners, and a third assistant commissioner has now (1884) been added. In 1866 jurisdiction was given to the metropolitan police in the royal naval dock yards and principal military stations of the war department in England and Wales, and within 15 miles, with the restriction that the powers and privileges of the constables of the metropolitan police when without the yards, naval and marine hospitals and infirmaries, and marine barracks or stations, and not on board or in any ship, vessel, or boat belonging to the queen or in her service, shall only be used in respect of the property of the crown or of persons subject to naval or marine or military discipline (23 & 24 Vict. c. 135).

Under this Act the metropolitan police exercise jurisdiction and perform duties extending from Chatham on the east and Dover and Portsmouth on the south to Devonport, Portsmouth, and Pembroke on the west, and of course including Aldershot. The expenses incurred are defrayed by parliament.

Connected with the last-mentioned Act, and in consequence of it, has been the exercise for eighteen years by the metropolitan police of the powers of the Contagious Diseases Act, 1866, and the medical examination of women under it—a much debated and warmly contested power. The refusal in 1883 by the House of Commons to provide money for the expenses of the Act led to the discontinuance of action by the metropolitan police under it.

The Metropolitan Streets Act, 1867, for regulating the traffic in the metropolis, and for making provision for the greater security of persons passing through the streets and for other purposes, gives great discretionary power to the commissioner of police whether of the metropolis or of the City of London, in relation to prescribing special limits, with the approval of a secretary of state, within which regulations to prevent obstructions in the streets (without interfering with other powers) may be made and enforced. Apart from the special limits, general regulations are prescribed as to hackney carriages, stray dogs, and various other matters.

As already observed, the Acts noticed as to the metropolitan police district did not apply to the City of London, which was and is left as an island surrounded by the metropolis. The nightly watch and "bedels" within the City were regulated, and rates imposed for the purpose, in the reign of George II. In 1839, on the same day that the Act of Parliament passed with respect to the metropolitan police, a corresponding Act was passed for the City of London and a salaried commissioner of the police for the City and its liberties appointed by the common council. The power to make regulations relative to the general government of the police is vested in the commissioner, subject to the approbation of the mayor and aldermen and a secretary of state. In case of emergency the secretary of state may, at the request of the lord mayor, authorize the metropolitan police to act within the City of London under the command of their own officers, and on the other hand the lord mayor may, at the request of the secretary of state, in the like emergency, authorize the City police to act under their own officers within the metropolitan police district. The Act gives various special powers as to offences corresponding with the Metropolitan Police Act of 1839. It provides for a police rate, and the corporation is required to pay out of its revenues a fourth part of the expenses of the police force. No rated person is liable to any watch or ward by virtue of the Statute of Winchester (13 Edw. L), and the ancient custom of electing ward constables is suspended.

In the article LONDON (vol. xiii p. 834) some statistics are given as to the police courts of the metropolis, and the state of crime and the proportion of police to the population under the last census.

In considering the introduction of the police system into the rest of England, it is to be borne in mind that in many towns and places an organized system of watching by paid officers, whether constables, watchmen, or police, was established by local Acts of Parliament, at various dates, but especially in the early part of the present century.

An attempt at a paid county force was made in 1829 (in the same year with the Metropolitan Police Act), but not on corresponding lines, by a local Act to enable the magistrates of the county palatine of Chester to appoint special high constables and assistant petty constables (10 Geo. IV. c. 97). In 1830, and again three years later, provision was made to facilitate voluntary lighting and watching parishes throughout England and Wales. In 1835 the regulation of municipal corporations included power (since renewed) to appoint, by a watch committee, constables called "watchmen" paid by a watch rate.

Great facilities having been given by the legislature for the appointment of special constables (an auxiliary elsewhere noticed), provision was made in 1839 for the appointment of county paid constables where the ordinary officers for preserving the peace were insufficient for that purpose and for the protection of the inhabitants and for the security of property within the county. The number recommended (not exceeding one man for every thousand of the inhabitants, after deducting corporate boroughs already provided for, a restriction in after years removed from the statute book) and the rates of payment were required to be reported to the secretary of state, who made and laid before parliament rules for the government, pay, clothing, accoutrements, and necessaries of such constables; and thereupon the justices appointed, subject to the approval of the secretary of state, a chief constable, who had the appointment, control, and disposition (subject to the approval of the justices) of the other constables, and a deputy and superintendent to be at the head of the constables in each division of the county. On these constables were conferred all the powers and duties of constables by the common law or statute.

At first the salaries and allowances and expenses of the Act were paid out of the county rate (2 & 3 Vict. c. 93), but in the following year (1840) the Act was amended and extended, and a separate police rate levied in the county. Provision was at the same time made for a superannuation fund and for "station houses and strong rooms," and for consolidating the police of a borough with the county; and on the other hand, as the number of constables needed may be different in different parts of the same county, it might be divided into police districts, each district paying for its own constables. Power is given to the chief constable to appoint (with the approval of the justices) additional constables at the cost of individuals, but subject to the orders of the chief constable.

In 1842 an important statute was passed enacting that for the future no appointment of a petty constable, head-borough, borsholder, tithing man, or peace officer of the like description should be made for any parish at any court leet, except for purposes unconnected with the preservation of the, peace, and providing, as a means of increasing the security of persons and property, for the appointment by justices of the peace in divisional petty sessions of fit persons or their substitutes to act as constables in the several parishes of England, and giving vestries an optional power of providing paid constables. The justices in quarter sessions were empowered to provide lock-up houses for the confinement of persons taken into custody by any constable and not yet committed for trial, or in execution of any sentence, or instead to appropriate for that purpose existing lock-up houses, strong rooms, or cages belonging to any parish (5 & 6 Vict. c. 109). Constables appointed under this Act were made subject to the authority.of the chief constable or superintendent, if any, appointed under the Act of 1839.

Under the Acts of 1839 and 1840 the establishment of a paid county police force was optional with the justices. After a further interval of fifteen years it was found expedient, for the more effectual prevention and detection of crime, suppression of vagrancy, and maintenance of good order, that further provision should be made for securing an efficient police force throughout England and Wales, and the previous optional power became compulsory (the Police Act, 1856). In every county in which a constabulary had not been already established under the. previous Acts for the whole of the county, the justices in quarter sessions were required to proceed to establish a sufficient police force for the whole of the county and to consolidate divisions so as to form one general county police establishment,—subject, however, to the power by the queen in council to require the justices to form separate police districts, as provided for in the earlier Acts. The privy council might arrange terms of consolidation of a borough police with the county.

In 1869 provision was made for the abolition of the old office of high constable (the High Constables Act, 1869); and, the establishment of an efficient police having also rendered the general appointment of parish constables unnecessary, the appointment ceased, subject to the appointment by vestries of paid constables who are subject to the chief constable of the county (the Parish Constables Act, 1872). Thus under combined provisions the police system was established and has since continued throughout England.

In Scotland legislation for a system of police began early in the century by local Acts for Edinburgh and Glasgow, some containing provisions of great importance. The police of towns and populous places is now regulated chiefly by the General Police and Improvement (Scotland) Act, 1862, and the county police by an Act of 1857 (20 & 21 Vict. c. 72), under which countries are formed into police districts. Some details of the government, numbers, and cost have been already given.

The police in Ireland comprises two forces,—the Dublin metropolitan police and the royal Irish constabulary. Dublin was in 1808 formed into a district called "the police district of Dublin metropolis" (48 Geo. III. c. 140). After intermediate amendments in 1836, concurrently with the consolidation of police law for Ireland generally, the Dublin system was placed oil the lines of Sir Robert Peel’s Act of 1829 for the metropolis of London,—the chief secretary of the lord lieutenant standing in the place of the secretary of state for the home department (6 & 7 Will. IV. c. 291); and six years later the systems were further assimilated (5 & 6 Vict. c. 22). Several alterations were made subsequently, and police courts regulated. The Dublin police is under the immediate direction of one commissioner and an assistant conimissioner and the offices of receiver and secretary are consolidated. The royal Irish constabulary dates from 1836, when the laws relating to the constabulary force in Ireland were consolidated and a number of older Acts repealed (6 & 7 Will. IV. c. 13). This Act, although often amended, is the foundation of the existilly police system in counties, towns, and baronies throughout Irela. except in the Dublin metropolitan district. An inspector general, resident in Dublin and having an office there, and appointed by the lord lieutenant, has the general direction of the constabulary, and with the approbation of the lord lieutenant frames rules for their general government, classification, and distribution. In this way a uniform administration of police law prevails throughout Ireland without interfering with the Dublin metropolitan police. Under the inspector general there are a deputy inspector general and assistant inspectors general. The Irish constabulary is regarded as a semi-military force. Every man lives in barracks. It does not interfere with the Dublin metropolitan police, but a reserve force is established at a depôt in Dublin. The strength and pay of the force have been already noticed.

Police forces have been formed in all the British colonies, including the Dominion of Canada, mainly on the lines established in the mother country, having for their basis of action the common law existing there.

The early legislation for Sydney followed very closely the metropolitan police Acts, and some of the existing Acts of the Australian colonies exhibit great skill. Colonial forces generally are sworn to serve the queen, and an Act of the colonial legislature of New South Wales in 1853 made provision for the engagenent in Great Britain of persons to serve in the police force & New South Wales. The general features of the Australian police comprise a chief commissioner or other head for each colony or district, appointed by the governor in council, with various grades of officers as at home, some appointed by the governor and the rest by the head of the police. The expense of the police establishments is borne by the colonial revenue (5 & 6 Vict. c. 76, § 46; 13 & 14 Vict. c. 59, § 23).

Nearly the whole of British India is divided into police districts, the general arrangements of the system of the regular police resembling in most respects those of the English police, but differing in details in the different presidencies. All are in uniform, trained to the use of firearms, and drilled, and may be called upon to perform military duties. The superior officers are nearly all Europeans, and many of them are military officers. The rest are natives, in Bombay chiefly Mohammedans. The organization of the police was not dealt with by the criminal code whicl came into force in 1883, but the code is full of provisions tending to make tile force efficient. By that code as well as by the former code the police have a legal sanction for doing what by practice they do in England: they take evidence for their own information and guidance in the investigation of cases, and are clothed with the power to compel the attendance of witnesses and question them. The smallness of the number of the European magistrates and other circumstances make the police more important and relatively far more powerful in India than in England (Stephen). The difficulties in the way of ascertaining the truth, and investigating false statements and suppressed cases, are very great.

As regards the rural police of India every village headman, and the village watchman as well as tile village police officer, are required by the code to communicate to tile nearest magistrate or the officer in charge of the nearest police station, whichever is nearest, any information respecting offenders.

Reports indicating all increase in the number of dacoities and crimes of violence since 1880, especially in Rajputana, Central India, and Hyderabad, are cited as provin the necessity for a system of detective police embracing the whole of India. A scheme for that purpose has been matured and will probably be carried out.

Taking Lower Bengal as an illustration of the existing system throughout India, tile superior ranks of the police comprise an inspector general, deputies, district superintendents of different grades, assistant superintendents, and probationers. The subordinate officers consist of inspectors of four grades, sub-inspectors (who are in charge of police stations), bead constables, and constables. The total budget grant for the year 1881-82 (the last examined) for the police department was 3,695,572 rupees, on a sanctioned strength of 78 superior officers, 3081 subordinate officers, and 14,588 constables, excluding the municipal police but including the civil police and frontier police of the Chittagong hill tracts and the railway police. The strength of the municipal police was 371 officers and 5702 constables. The cost of the force employed on purely police work was 2,154,600 rupees,—the cost per bead of the total population being 6·2 pice. The proportion of police to population was in Bengal proper 1 to 3933. The number of offences reported during the year was 104,153. The percentage of reported cases not inquired into is under four.

In India generally, including Assam and British Burmah, the total regular police of all kinds in 1881 was 147,200. The cost was £2,324,786, of which £2,075,52S was payable from imperial or provincial revenues, and the remainder from other sources. The rural police are not paid by the state, but by village cesses.

In Bengal and the Punjab there are 14 policemen to every 100 square miles, and in the North-Western Provinces and Oudh 27. The ratio of these figures is explained partly by the greater density of population and partly by the frequency of crime.

The police force of the British empire, metropolitan, municipal, and rural together, is about 210,000. Of this total, 51,000 are in fa the United Kingdom and 147,000 in India, the remainder being B in the colonies and dependencies. If to this total be added the e number of village police in India who are legally recognized, whose number is not less than 350,000, the grand total of the police for .the empire is 560,000. Thus we have for the whole empire an average of one policeman to every 671 of the people and to every 16 square miles (Sir Richard Temple).

The United States of America have a system of police closely resembling that of England, and founded similarly on Acts of the legislature combined with the common law applicable to peace officers. Congress as well as the States separately may establish police regulations, and it is to be observed that the criminal law of England has been reproduced in various shapes in nearly all the States. The source of revenue for the maintenance of the police is taxation of real and personal property. Every State and every city in a State has its separate special administration. For the purposes of this article New York must suffice. The regulations of the police of Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and other cities present the same general features.

The police department of the city of New York consists of a "board of police" composed of four "commissioners" (appointed by the mayor with the consent of the board of aldermen) and the "police force" and officers appointed by the board. The board, consisting of the commissioners, is the head of the police department, and governs and controls its business; it is invested with and exercises all the powers conferred by law upon the police department, makes appointments, and by rules and regulations through a superintendent prescribes the general discipline of the department. The orders cannot, however, conflict with the constitution of the United States nor with the constitution or laws of the State of New York.

The police force of the city comprises officers ranking as follows,—superintendent of the whole force, four inspectors (the whole area of the city being divided into four inspection districts, subdivided into precincts, with an inspector to each), sergmiits, and roundsmen, who are visiting officers,—the body of the force being termed "patrol men," with "overmen" at stations and prisons.

The force (clothed in uniform) is divided into as many companies as there are precincts, and such other companies and "squads" as the board may order. The superintendent is the chief executive officer of the force, subject to the orders, rules, and regulations of the board, and it is his duty to enforce in the city all the laws of the State and ordinances of the city, and the rules and regulations of the police board. The superintendent promulgates written or printed orders to the officers and members of the police force not inconsistent with law or the rules and regulations of the board. It is the duty of the police force at all times of the day and night within the city and county of New York, and they are accordingly empowered, to especially preserve the public peace ; prevent crime ; detect and arrest offenders ; suppress riots and insurrections ; protect the rights of persons and of proxerty; guard the public health; preserve order at every primary an public election ; remove nuisances existing in public streets, roads, places, and highways ; repress and restrain disorderly houses and houses of ill-fame ; arrest all street beggars and mendicants ; provide a proper police attendance at every fire in order that the fire-men, fire-engines, and property exposed may be suitably assisted or protected ; assist, advise, and protect immigrants, strangers, and travellers in public streets, or at steamboat and ship landings or railroad stations; enforce any law relating to the suppression find punishment of crime, or to the observance of Sunday, or regarding pawnbrokers, or mock auctions, or emigration, or elections, or gambling, or intemperance, or lotteries, or lottery policies, or vagrants, or disorderly persons, or the public health, or any ordinance or resolution of common councils, within the, said district, applicable to police, health, or criminal procedure.

Special regulations are niade on these and other kindred subjects, such as the regulation of traffic, preventing obstructions, the visita-tion of places of amusement, public houses and drinking places, observation of servants in charge of houses, and of suspicious persons, lost children, processions, balls and parties, elections, &c., and the attendance of an adequate number of police at every assembly of citizens.

The arrest of persons with or without process does not call for special notice as distinguished from the common law and statute law in England, and the practice as to the entry of charges and taking bail by the police is akin to the practice in the English metropolis, but the rules are somewhat stricter. A squad is organized for the sole purpose and duty of serving criminal process. Persons making complaint of a felony or misdemeanour may be required to make affirmation or oath which the police officers have power to administer. Charges against police, whether by members of the force or citizens, are made and dealt with under strict rules, and are tried upon written charges by one or more of the commis-sioners in power, a committee dismissing charges or directing their trial. Evidence is taken upon oath, and if the case is heard by less than three commissioners no judgment can be acted on until the wit-pess is brought before and examined by all the commissioners. The board draws, by its president, on the treasurer of the city for the, cost of arrest and conviction of criminals and others endangering the safety of the community and procuring information the use of which maygreyent crime and enable the department to perform its important duties more successfully and with greater satisfaction to the public. The sum so drawn is charged as a "secret service fund." A place is provided in accordance with statute law for the detention ,of such witnesses as are unable to furnish security for their appearance in criminal proceedings.

The detective force, called the "detective squad," consists of a .captain and other members assigned by the board to detective ,duty. This portion of the force has an office, as other portions of the police force, and is under the direct orders of the superintendent, to whom reports are made, and who in turn reports to the board. There is also a "special service squad" under the officer commanding the detective force.

There is a sanitary code, and a "sanitary police company" is set Apart from the police force by the board of police, performing duties assigned by the board. The captain of the sanitary company assigns policemen to act as school officers. There are barbour police, a police steamboat and steam-boiler inspection squad to enforce the statute law on the subject, an "ordinance police squad" to enforce ordinances of the corporation, and a "property office."

Members of the force are subject to rules; at the discretion of the board, on written application, they are permitted to receive rewards or presents for services rendered by them in the discharge of duties which are both " meritorious and extraordinary," but for such only.

Admission to the force, examination, instruction, drill, and dis.cipline are provided for by special regulations. The right of every member of the police force to entertain political or partisan opinions, and to express the same freely when such expression sball not concern the immediate discharge of his official duties, as well as the right of the elective franchise, is deemed sacred and inviolable ; but no member of the force is permitted to be a delegate or representative to, or member of or to take part in any political or partisan convention, whose purpose is the nomination of a candidate or candidates to any political office. Upon tho days of election for public offices held under the laws of the State, he must do all within his power to preserve the peace, protect the integrity of the ballot box enforce the rights of awful voters, and prevent illegal and fraudulent voting.

The estimated salaries for the police of New York for 1884, comprising upwards of 2816 members of the force of all ranks, amounted to $3,328,333, besides the salaries of the clerical force. The appropriations for the maintenance of the city government (including the police) are made by the board of estimate and apportionment, composed of the mayor, comptroller, president of the board of aldermen, and president of the department of taxes and assessments. Some police statistics are given in the article NEW YORK (q.v.).

Looked at from a general point of view, the police in France may be regarded as divided into two great branches—administrative police (la police administrative) and judicial police (la police judiciaire),—the former having for its object the maintenance of order, and the latter charged with tracing out offenders, collecting the proofs, and delivering the presumed offenders to the tribunals charged by law with their trial and punishment.

Police duties are exercised under the minister of the interior, in the departments and municipalities by the prefects and sub-prefects, appointed by the president of the republic, and mayors, having as auxiliaries the commissaries of police and other officers (appointed by the president, but under the orders of the prefects). One of the chief prerogatives of the administrative police is to make rules to ensure public order. Of these rules some embrace general interests of the state, these being regulations of high or grand police ; others have no other object than the ruling of the particular district and its inhabitants, and are simply termed police regulations. According as it deals with the general interests of the state or only with those of a municipality, the administrative police is said to be general or municipal ; and each of these branches adinits of other divisions according to the subject. The police générale, besides more obvious matters, includes all matters relating to public health, the regulation of prostitution, the inspection of food, the carrying on of trades and manufactures; and in relation to the welfare of the state it embraces public meetings, banquets, societies and clubs, cafés and public places, and the enforcement of laws relating to the publication and distribution of printed or written matter, the sale of journals, the surveillance of strangers or fugitives, the system of passports, the sale of gunpowder and firearms, designs against the state, and a variety of such matters. In this way the police who look after the safety of the state is closely allied with political matters (la police politique). Under a government really representing the popular will the duties of the police politique are trifling, or at least innocuous, but under a despotic government they become of the highest importance. It is matter of history which cannot be treated of here that under Louis XIV. and in succeeding times the most unpopular and unjustifiable use was made of police as a secret instrument for the purposes of despotic government. Napoleon availed himself largely of police instruments, especially through his minister Fouché. On the restoration of constitutional government under Louis Philippe police action was less dangerous, but the danger revived under the second empire.

The ministry of police created by the act of the Directory in 1796 was in 1818 suppressed as an independent office, and in 1852 it was united with the ministry of the interior.

The detection and punishment of crime is theoretically as well as practically regarded by the French as essentially a matter of public concern, and to be provided for by public officials appointed for that purpose, and on the other hand in every French criminal proceeding, from the most trifling to the most important, every person injured by the offence may make himself partie civile. It follows that in many features the French police is organized in a different manner from the British, and has some very different duties (Stephen). An observation has been already cited, that neither in England nor in America is there a system of espionage by which private matters can be made the subject of police investigation or interference. On the other hand the English system is open to the observation that the police, in practice at least, are powerless to protect from annoyance in many matters essential to perfect rule. Short of absolute indecency or obscenity, printed matter of a scurrilous and offensive kind is openly sold in the streets without police interference ; and, owing apparently to the much-abused maxim that an Englishman’s house is his castle, the quiet and freedom from annoyance in the performance and fulfilling of the daily duties and engagements of life are not secured. The annoyance to which Carlyle was subject is only an illustration of the almost daily complaints that arise in the English metropolis. Although the noise of a bell maybe the subject of indictment or injunction, the officers of police do not complain of or even remonstrate with an inconsiderate or selfish neighbour in such a matter, or even in still greater annoyances, such as those arising from animals kept in a state of confinement (not affecting public health), because source of annoyance is within private territory, or because there is no summary mode of dealing with it. It is unreasonable that complainants should be told, as they are every day, and correctly, by magistrates, that the annoyances wbich render the enjoyment of life impracticable may be subject of indictment or injunction, but not of summary police intervention. The fear of drawing down ridicule akin to Verges’s direction to the watch, "If you hear a child cry in the night, you must call to the nurse to bid her still it," probably stands unduly in the way of police interference with real nuisances.

It is not, however, in the minute details of regulation and inspection of the incidents of everyday life that the distinctions between the police systems of the two countries chiefly consist. Such distinctions have of late years greatly diminished ; the intervention in all matters of health, for example, places the English system more akin to the French, and on the other hand all travellers of mature years can testify to the mitigation and even total cessation in France, and on the Continent generally, of the minute investigation of a stranger who is not a "suspect." "To the word espionage a stigma is attached," says Bentham. "Let us substitute the word inspection, which is unconnected with the same prejudices. If this inspection consists in the maintenance of an oppressive system of police, which subjects innocent actions to punishment, which condemns secretly and arbitrarily, it is natural that such a system and its agents should become odious. But if the inspection consists in the maintenance of a system of police for the preservation of the public tranquillity and the execution of good laws, all its inspectors and all its guardians act a useful and salutary part; it is only the vicious who will have reason to complain, and it will be formidable to them alone." It is with reference to criminal matters and the police judiciaire that important distinctions exist between the French and English systems. In every arrondissement there is a juge d’instruction who makes the first formal inquiry in criminal cases; and in every tribunal of first instance, or tribunal correctionnel, there is a procureur de la république who with deputies forms the ministére public of that court. In the court of the juges de paix (who may be compared to police magistrates) the commissary of the police is the ministére public. The juges de paix, the maire, the commissaries of police, the gendarmerie, and in rural districts the gardes champétres and the gardes forestiers, are officers of the judicial police ; and by the Code d’Instruction Criminelle all these officers, even the juges d’instruction, are under the orders of the procureur-général. The vocations of these officers as well as the courts are briefly explained in the article FRANCE (vol. ix. P. 511).

Sergents de ville, in Paris now called gardiens de la paix (the name having been changed thus in September 1870), are the nearest equivalents of English police constables and are not officers of the police judiciaire. Their powers in preserving the public peace closely resemble the common law powers and duties and protection of the English constable. Their reports of cases have not the authority of a procés verbal.

In Paris, as elsewhere, the préfet de police is at the head of the force, with commissaires de police, appointed by the president of the republic on the nomination of the minister of the interior, but acting under the orders of the prefect, and having both administrative and judicial duties. The commissaries see that the laws relating to good order and public safety are observed, and that the police orders are executed, and take special action in serious matters. As officers of the judicial police they are the auxiliaries of the procureur of the republic in correctional and criminal police action, and in the ordinary police tribunal (le tribunal de simple police) they exercise the functions of magistrates.

The organization of the central administration (administration centrale) comprises three classes or functions which together constitute la police. First there is the office or cabinet of the prefect for the general police (la police générale), with three bureaus having for their special object the safety of the president of the republic, matters connected with the use of arms, various societies, the regulation and order of public ceremonies, theatres, amusements and entertainments, movements of troops, the military police (la police militaire), and various other matters ; secondly, the judicial police (la police judiciaire) already spoken of, with five bureaus, in constant communication with the courts of judicature, and including the service of the prisons of the Seine, matters relating to aliens, and the protection of children ; thirdly, the administrative police (la police administrative), with four bureaus, including everything relating to supplies, navigation, public carriages, animals, firemen, public health, and the enforcement of the law respecting the employment of young persons. Some minor matters are under the supervision of the prefect of the Seine. Concurrently with these divisions there is the municipal police, which comprises all the agents in enforcing police regulations in the streets or public thoroughfares, acting ander the orders of a chief (chef de la police municipale) with a central bureau. The municipal police is divided into two principal branches—the service in uniform of the gardiens de la paix, and the service out of uniform of inspecteurs de police, the latter a comparatively small number.

For purposes of municipal police, Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements (corresponding in a great measure with the divisions of the metropolitan police of England), which the uniform police patrol.

The total Police strength of the Paris arrondissements, according to the latest return, showed 5932 gardiens de la paix, each arrondissement officered by an officier de paix (an office peculiar to Paris), with 3 or 4 brigadiers and from 24 to 27 sous-brigadiers under his command. There are two divisional inspectors.

Besides these divisional gardiens de la paix police, there is a central administration consisting of 6 central brigades of 100 each, 4 of the brigades carrying out the orders of the prefecture at theatres, assemblies, races, and in the Bois de Boulogne, and elsewhere in the capital where their presence is required. while the 5th brigade regulates traffic generally, and the 6th prevents obstructions in the markets.

The service de sûreté, or detective department (out of uniform), with which is now amalgamated the brigade des moeurs (which deals with public morals, houses of ill fame, prostitutes, and so forth), comprises a commissary, principal inspectors, brigadiers, and 211 inspectors. There are a number of other branches of service including a fire brigade.

The proportion of police to inhabitants as last estimated is 1 in 352.

The pay of the gardiens de la paix is from 1400 to 1700 francs; brigadiers, 2000 francs ; sous-brigadiers, 1800 francs ; officiers de paix, 3000 to 6000 francs. The estimate of expenditure of the whole Paris police for 1884 was 23,952,631 frances—of which the state contributed 7,693,825 francs.

Whether the police of Paris are more effective than those of the English metropolis is doubted. Persons who are best entitled to express an opinion, having practical experience, think that, while a multitude of offices and officers for a multitude of subjects and stages of investigation—a system, in short, of bureaucracy-exists, which creates an impression, the actual detection of grave offences is not commensurate with the display of attention.

It is impossible in the narrow limits of this article to go through all the police forces of Europe. It must suffice to allude to a few principal states, noting the police forces of their capitals as illustrating the systems. Taking the Berlin force as illustrative of the police system in the German empire, police duties are as various as in France ; the system includes a political police controlling all matters relating to the press, societies, clubs, and public and social amusements. Police duties are carried out under the direction of the royal police presidency, the executive police force comprising a police colonel, with, besides commissaries of criminal investigations, captains, lieutenants, acting lieutenants, sergeant-majors, and a large body of constables (Schutzmänner). The total in 1883-84 amounted to 3441 executive officers, including criminal investigation officers, the political police, and the department for the supervision of prostitution. Taking the population of Berlin from the statistical bureau of 27th July 1884 at 1,242,820, this gives 361 to each officer. The pay of the police is principally provided from fiscal sources, and varies in an ascending scale from 1125 marks and lodging allowance for the lowest class of constable.

Taking Vienna in the same way as illustrative of the Austrian police, it is to be observed that there are three branches,—(l) administration; (2) public safety and judicial police; and (3) the Government police. At the bead of the police service in Vienna there is a president of police, and at the head of each of the three branches there is an Oberpolizeirath or chief commissary. The head of the Government branch sometimes fills the office of president. Fach of the branches is subdivided into departments at the head of which are Polizeirâthe. Passing over the subdivisions oftbe administrative branch, the public safety and judicial branch includes the following departments:—the office for public safety, the central inquiry office, and the record office or Evidenzbureau. The Government police branch comprises three departments:—the Government police office, the press office, and the Vereinsbureau or office for the registration of societies.

The Sicherheitswache or executive police of Vienna consists of a central inspector and chief, district, divisional, and other inspectors, with about 2500 constables, Sicherheitswachmänner. The detective department comprises a chief and other inspectors, and 130 agents. In July 1884 the proportion of police constables to the inhabitants was 1 to 436. In the latest return, the entire police service comprises 2816 persons, at a cost of 2,355,710 florins,—of which the state contributes 1,730,740 florins, and the communes the greater part of the remainder. The pay of the constable ascends from 360 florins with allowances of 90 florins.

It is obvious that there is a general resemblance between the organization and scope of the police forces of Germany and Austria and of France.

In Belgian municipalities the burgomasters are the heads of the force, which is under their control. The administrator of public safety is, however, specially instructed by the minister of justice to see that the laws and regulations affecting the police are properly carried out, and he can call on all public, functionaries to act in furtherance of that object. The administrator of public safety is, however, specially charged with the administration of the law in regard to aliens, and this law is applied, as in the case of Victor Hugo, to persons stirring up sedition. The duty of the gendarmerie, who constitute the horse and foot police, is generally to maintain internal order and peace. In Brussels as elsewhere the burgomaster is the head, but for executive purposes there is a chief commissary (subject, however, to the orders of the burgomaster), with assistant commissaries and commissaries of divisions and other officers, and central and other bureaus, with a body of agents (police constables) in each.

There are two main classes of police functions recognized by law, the administrative and the judicial police, the former engaged in the daily maintenance of peace and order and so preventing offences, the latter in the investigation of crime and tracing offenders ; but the duties are, necessarily performed to a great extent by the same agents. The two other functions of the judicial police are, however, limited to the same classes of officers, and they perform the same duties as in Paris,—the law in practice there being expressly adopted in Brussels.

In Brussels the police force numbers, according to the latest report, 485 of all ranks. For the population (162,489), this gives 1 to every 335 persons. Strictly speaking there is no detective branch so called, but the special and judicial officers are employed in detection as the necessity arises. The pay and establishment charges are defrayed by local taxation. The annual pay of a constable is 1500 francs.

While this article is goin through the press the idea is put forward, in consequence of political disturbances, to place the police of the larger Belgian towns under the control of Government instead of that of the respective municipalities as at present, and establish a sort of prefecture of police in Brussels. The attempt, if made, will probably meet with opposition from local authorities.

In Switzerland, which is sometimes classed with Belgium as among the least policed states of Europe, the laws of the cantons vary. In some respects they are stricter than in Belgium or even in France. Thus a permis de séjour is sometimes required where none is in practice necessary in Paris or Brussels.

In Italy there is in every province a prefect at the head of the police. See ITALY.

The police in the Netherlands, as regards the sources from which its powers are derived, is divided into the state police and the communal police, the former forming part of the general executive government, and the latter, although regulated by the executive, enforcing general and local police legislation. Regulations for the state police are framed by the minister of justice. For the purposes of the state police the country is divided into five districts, with a director of police at the head of each district responsible for the control and government of the state police within it, and to see that the laws and ordinances for the safety and quietness of the state, the security of persons and property, and the equality of all before the law are carried out. The duty specially includes the supervision of strangers and their admission into and departure from the country, and extends even to the enforcement of shooting and fishing licences. In each district there is an officer of justice who directs the prosecution of criminal offences.

At the head of the communal police stand the burgomasters, and under them police commissaries entrusted with the observance of police regulations, whose appointment and removal rest with the crown, but they are paid by the commune. The whole of the communal police are bound to assist the state police ; and, on the other hand, the latter assist the police, especially in the country districts. The duties of the officer of justice may be carried out by the commissary of police, who for the time being is an assistant officer of justice. In large communes the police force is divided into several grades. Besides commissaries, of whom one is chief, there area chief inspector, classes of inspectors, and brigadiers ; but the arrangements differ in almost every municipality.

The total strength of the police is 6000; at The Hague there is supposed to be one constable to 1000 inhabitants. Only in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague are there special departments of detective police. Police salaries vary in different communes. The highest are at The Hague, and range from 600 florins for a third-class constable to 1800 florins for a chief inspector. The Cost of the state police and the expenses incurred in prosecutions for crime are defrayed by the state. The expenses of the communal police are paid out of local rates on houses and land.

An official Russian document specially obtained for this article affords the following scanty particulars regarding the police in European Russia.

At the head of a police district there is a police master, who has subordinate officers on his staff. A number of constables are appointed, depending or the population. Large towns are sub-divided into districts with insfectors and assistants, smaller towns with an assistant inspector. In villages police duties are executed by the inhabitants elected for that purpose, constituting "hundreds" or "tenths" according to the number of inhabitants. There is a control over the villages by the police of the district, and the governor general has a controlling power over all, including the Police master. Besides the ordinary police there are police brigades in large towns with duties of a special kind, as attending parades and fêtes. Each member of the brigade has five hundred inhabitants to look after or control. In the capitals there is a secret police having a staff in St Petersburg of a chief and his assistant, four cler and twenty inspectors, and in Moscow of a chief, two clerks, and twelve inspectors.

The principal active duties of the Russian police comprise the enforcement of police laws and the suppression of nuisances disturbances, and crime. The details of these duties are laid down in a special Act, which is subdivided into different statutes, taken from the criminal code. The provincial towns are governed by a special law, passed in 1876, as supplementary to the already existing law. The towns provide the funds for the maintenance of the police. Laws of 1853 regulated the lodgings and necessaries for the whole police staffaccording to their rank; but a change has been introduced since 1873, and many officers receive payment in the place of lodgings. Police pay varies from 200 roubles upwards.

In closing this article, it is well to observe that the distinction between the exercise of judicial power and police functions should be always borne in mind. "The functions of justice and those of the police must be apt in many points to run into one another, especially as the business would be very badly managed if the same persons whose more particular duty it is to act as officers of the police were not upon occasion to act in the capacity of officers of justice. The idea, however, of the two functions may still be kept distinct" (Bentham). The employment of police powers in the ante-judiciary part of criminal process, which previously to the establishment of a police force in England was thought to require an apology as founded on convenience and utility rather than on principle, has become a necessity.

The necessity for a police force as part of any system of orderly government is exemplified by its recent introduction into Egypt. Amid differences of opinion on every subject, and even on the administration of the force and its duties, the abstract propriety of a police force is apparently beyond dispute.

In every country the difficult question, apart from any as to the extent of interference with the freedom of individual action, arises in actual police administration—Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

By whatever name the head of a police force is known, whether as commissioner, chief constable, superintendent, or otherwise, the efficient performance of his duty involves inquiry, and judgment upon that inquiry. The character and efficiency of his force must largely depend upon the insight as well as vigour brought to bear upon the individual members of that force.

In relation to the public generally a perfect police code must be full of restraints, with coextensive powers of inquiry, even in matters that do not involve punishment. The extent to which these restraints and powers are applied greatly depends on time and place. Precautions which are necessary, Bentham observes, at certain periods of danger and trouble, ought not to be continued in a period of quietness, and care should be taken not to shock the national spirit. One nation would not endure what is borne by another.



The above article was written by: J. E. Davis.



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