Friday, November 18, 2005

Peel's Principles

A correspondent in the top letter to the Torygraph today reminds us all of Sir Robert Peel's Nine Points of Policing.

I reproduce them here, in full, for two reasons. Firstly, Sir Robert's prose is of superlative quality. No mention of "diversity" or "partnership" or any other meaningless flim-flam. Secondly, they were correct at the time and - tellingly - remain true today. I have added a little emphasis for good measure.

Sir Robert Peel's Nine Points of Policing

  1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
  2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.
  3. Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
  4. The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
  5. Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
  6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.
  7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
  9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

Would Sir Robert, I wonder, approve of this sort of behaviour? Or this? Or this?
But I suspect this gentleman dreams wistfully of the day when he might be able to apply them.


Thersites said...

In 1829 Sir Richard Mayne, joint first Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, wrote:

“The primary object of an efficient police is the prevention of crime: the next that of detection and punishment of offenders if crime is committed. To these ends all the efforts of police must be directed. The protection of life and property, the preservation of public tranquillity, and the absence of crime, will alone prove whether those efforts have been successful and whether the objects for which the police were appointed have been attained [my emphasis].

“In attaining these objects, much depends on the approval and co-operation of the public, and these have always been determined by the degree of esteem and respect in which the police are held. Therefore every member of the force must remember that his duty is to protect and help members of the public, no less than to apprehend guilty persons. Consequently, whilst prompt to prevent crime and arrest criminals, he must look upon himself as the servant and guardian of the general public and treat all law abiding citizens, irrespective of their social position, with unfailing patience, courtesy and good humour.”

Is it not too much to ask for, is it?

Akaky said...

I cannot agree with you, sir, on this matter, given that your drunken young lout may have caused irreparable psychic harm to that horse. Quadrapeds in the police service of Her Majesty the Queen deserve better at the hands of the public than this sort of filthy abuse. Take the young snotty out to his college and have him publicly flogged, sir, flogged to within an inch of his life, and perhaps then we will see the end to this sort of abuse.