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Time Line 1829 - 1849

Until 1829, law enforcement had been lacking in organisation. As London expanded during the 18th and 19th centuries the whole question of maintaining law and order had become a matter of public concern. In 1812, 1818 and 1822, Parliamentary committees were appointed to investigate the subject of crime and policing. But it was not until 1828 when Sir Robert Peel set up his committee that the findings paved the way for his police Bill, which led to the setting up of an organised police service in London.


1829

The formation of the Metropolitan Police Force on 29 September 1829.

Sir Charles Rowan and Richard Mayne are appointed as Justices of the Peace in charge of the Force.

Sir Robert Peel, founder of the Metropolitan Police.


1830 PC Joseph Grantham becomes first officer to be killed on duty, at Somers Town, Euston. The Metropolitan Police ranks were increased considerably to 3,300 men.    

1831 Further riots. A crowd attacks Apsley House, home of the Duke of Wellington, and break all the windows. The police eventually restore order.    

1832 Richard Mayne, the Commissioner, tries to clarify the roles of the Magistrates and the Commissioners as the Bow Street Runners continue their existance.    

1833

Coldbath Fields Riot (Grays Inn Road). A major crowd disturbance was dealt with by the Metropolitan Police with controversial use of force.

PC Robert Culley was killed at this event, and the jury returned a verdict of Justifiable Homicide.

The Cully Cup
This was presented to those who returned the verdict criticising the police for the unnecessary use of force.


1834 The Select Committee designated with the task of inquiring into the state of the Police of the Metropolis reported 'that the Metropolitan Police Force, as respects its influence in repressing crime and the security it has given to persons and property, is one of the most valuable modern institutions'    

1835 In October a fire breaks out at the Millbank Penitentiary and 400 Metropolitan Police officers and a detachment of the Guards are called to restore order. This prompted the press to call for the police to be put in command at all large fires.    

1836 The Metropolitan Police absorb the Bow Street Horse Patrol into its control.

An officer in a replica Mounted Horse Patrol tunic


1837 Select Committee appointed to look into the affairs of the police offices. They also propose that the City of London be placed under the control of the Metropolitan Police.    

1838 Select Committee finally reports and recommends incorporating of Marine Police and Bow Street Runners into the Metropolitan Police and the disbandment of the Bow Street Office and other Offices. These were all agreed and put into effect.    

1839 The two Justices of the Peace, Rowan and Mayne are termed Commissioners by the Metropolitan Police Act 1839. Enlargement of the Metropolitan Police District by the same Act.    

1840 Gould Interrogation case in which Police Sergeant Otway attempts induced self-incrimination in the accused, which is immediately discountenanced by the Courts and Commissioner Richard Mayne.    

1841 Formation of Dockyard divisions of the Metropolitan police.    

1842 Formation of the Detective Department.

The memo appointing the first officers to the Detective Body


1843 The Woolwich Arsenal became part of the area to be patrolled by the Metropolitan Police.    

1844 Richard Mayne, Commissioner, called to give evidence to the Select Committee on Dogs. He stated that in the Metropolis there were a rising number of lost or stolen dogs. In the preceding year over 600 dogs were lost and 60 stolen. He declared the law to be in a very unsatisfactory state as people paid money for restoration of dogs. 'People pay monies to parties whom they have reason to believe have either stolen or enticed them away in order to get the reward...' Mayne believed it to be organised crime.    

1845 The Commissioners, in returns to the Home Office, states that the aim of the Force was to have one Policeman to 450 head of population.    

1846 Plain clothes officers were frequently used at this time, but a June order made clear that two officers per division would be employed on detective duties, but that police in plain clothes must make themselves known if interfered with in their duty.    

1847 Statistics for the year were; 14,091 robberies; 62,181 people taken in charge, 24,689 of these were summarily dealt with; 5,920 stood trial and 4,551 were convicted and sentenced; 31,572 people were discharged by the magistrates.

The Metropolitan Police were still, despite their good record on crime prevention, facing discipline problems amongst their officers on the 18 divisions, with 238 men being dismissed in the year.

   

1848 Large scale enrolement of Special constables to assist the Metropolitan Police in controlling the Chartist Demonstrations.

Metropolitan Police Officer takes a break during the Chartist demonstration on Kennington Common


1849 Authorised strength 5,493. In reality 5,288 were available for duty. The population at this time in London was 2,473,758.