History of law enforcement in the United Kingdom

The history of law enforcement in the United Kingdom charts the development of law enforcement in the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It spans the period from the Middle Ages, through to the development of the first modern police force in the world in the nineteenth century, and the subsequent modernisation of policing in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.[1][2]

David Kirkwood being detained by police during the 1919 Battle of George Square.



Middle Ages


Early concepts of policing in Britain were based on the ancient laws which relied heavily on all subjects of the crown having a responsibility to assist in maintaining law and order. The posse comitatus originated in ninth century England along with the creation of the office of sheriff. Henry II of England made an Assize of Arms of 1181 which created an obligation on all freemen of England to possess and bear arms in the service of king and realm. The assize stipulated precisely the military equipment that each man should have according to his rank and wealth.

The Ordinance of 1233 required the appointment of watchmen. The Ordinance of 1252 provided for the enforcement of the Assize of Arms of 1181 and the appointment of constables to summon men to arms, quell breaches of the peace, and to deliver offenders to the sheriff. It expanded the 1181 Assize of Arms by adding the system of watch and ward, and pointing the way forward to subsequent legislation along similar lines by Edward I and Henry IV.[3][4]

The Statute of Winchester 1285 was the primary piece of legislation that regulated the policing in the period after the Norman Conquest until the nineteenth century. Of particular note was the requirement to raise hue and cry, and that "the whole hundred ... shall be answerable" for any theft or robbery, in effect a form of collective responsibility.[5][6][7]

Watchmen and constables


During this period, law enforcement and policing were organised by local communities such as town authorities. In Scotland, the first statutory police force is believed to be the High Constables of Edinburgh, who were created by the Scottish parliament in 1611 to "guard their streets and to commit to ward all person found on the streets after the said hour".[8] Within local areas in England, a constable could be attested by two or more Justices of the Peace, following a procedure that some sources say had its roots in an Act of the Parliament of England of 1673.[9]

From the 1730s, local improvement Acts made by town authorities often included provision for paid watchmen or constables to patrol towns at night, while rural areas had to rely on more informal arrangements.[10] In 1737, an Act of Parliament was passed "for better regulating the Night Watch" of the City of London which specified the number of paid constables that should be on duty each night.[11]

Henry Fielding established the Bow Street Runners in 1749; between 1754 and 1780, Sir John Fielding reorganised Bow Street like a police station, with a team of efficient, paid constables.[12]

In 1800, some town authorities became more involved in improving local policing. An Act of Parliament in 1800 enabled Glasgow to establish the City of Glasgow Police. As the population in industrial towns grew, more local Acts were passed to improve policing arrangements in those towns, such as Rochdale in Lancashire in 1825, and Oldham in 1827.[10] In Ireland, the Belfast Borough Police (1800), Dublin Metropolitan Police (1836) and Londonderry Borough Police (1848) were founded. (At this time, all of Ireland was part of the UK.)

Sir Robert Peel, appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1812, found local magistrates and the Baronial Police unable to maintain law and order. He set up a Peace Preservation Force in 1814 and a system of county constabularies under the Irish Constabulary Act 1822.[13]

Robert Peel (as Home Secretary) introduced the Metropolitan Police Act 1829, based on the findings of a committee originally set up in 1812, and the Metropolitan Police was founded on 29 September 1829.[14] The new constables were nicknamed 'peelers' or 'bobbies' after Peel. 'Bobbies' continues to be commonly used.

In November 1830, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway set up their own police establishment under legislation going back to 1673. They were to preserve law and order on the construction site and to control movement of railway traffic by hand signals. Signalmen are known as 'bobbies'. This practice spread with the development of railways, and small shelters were erected at these stations, becoming known as police stations. Where there was no police control, they were just known as stations.


Victorian Police Officer with itinerant circa 1900 - recreation. The officer is pictured wearing a duty armband on his left wrist.

London in the early 1800s had a population of nearly a million and a half people but was policed by only 450 constables and 4,500 night watchmen. The idea of professional policing was taken up by Sir Robert Peel when he became Home Secretary in 1822.

Peel's Metropolitan Police Act 1829 established a full-time, professional and centrally-organised police force for the greater London area known as the Metropolitan Police. The new Metropolitan Police were responsible for an area of 7 miles in radius from the centre of the city (excluding the City of London), which was later extended to 15 miles.

The government intentionally tried to avoid creating any likeness between the police and a military force; in particular the officers of the new police force were not armed, and a blue uniform was chosen that was dissimilar to those used by the army. During this period, the Metropolitan Police was accountable directly to the Home Secretary (whereas today it is accountable to the Mayor of London and the Metropolitan Police Authority).[15][16]

The City of London was not included within the remit of the Metropolitan Police. The Mayor and Corporation of the City of London refused to be part of a London-wide force because the City of London had certain liberties dating back to Magna Carta.[15] The London City Police was formed in 1832, later renamed in 1839 to the City of London Police.[17]

Boroughs and counties


In the early 1800s, Newcastle had a police force that was accountable to the mayor and council. Liverpool, at the time a city of around 250,000 people, had only watchmen and parish constables for policing; with a small police force for the dock area.

The establishment of more formal policing in cities started to gain more support among the public as cities grew and society became more prosperous and better organised; through better understanding of legal rights, higher standards of education, and better informed through the press. [18]

In 1835 the Municipal Corporations Act was passed by Parliament which required 178 Royal Boroughs to set up paid police forces.[11] In 1839 the Rural Constabulary Act allowed county areas to establish police forces if they chose to at a local level: Wiltshire was the first county to do this.[16] A further eight county police forces were formed in 1839, twelve in 1840, four in 1841 and another four by 1851.[19]

By 1851 there were around 13,000 policemen in England and Wales, although existing law still did not require local authorities to establish local police forces.[16]

In England the Retford Borough Police are possibly the shortest existing police force, having been formed on 1 January 1836 and then amalgamating with the Nottinghamshire Police on the first day it was allowed to under the County Police Act 1839 only its 5th anniversary - 1 January 1841.

National policing


The UK's first national police force was the Irish Constabulary, established in 1837. It received the appellation Royal Irish Constabulary in 1867 after its success in suppressing the Fenian Rising.

In 1847 two pieces of national legislation were enacted - the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Harbours, Docks, and Piers Clauses Act 1847.[9] Parliament continued to discuss the idea of national policing and, by the early 1850s, the Government was thinking about implementing policing across the nation.[20]

After the County and Borough Police Act in 1856, policing became a requirement throughout England and Wales paid for by central government Treasury department funds distributed to local government. In addition, the Act formed a "central inspectorate of constabulary" that would assess the effectiveness of each constabulary and report regularly to the Home Secretary. Parliament passed a similar Act for Scotland in 1857.[16]

By 1900, England, Wales and Scotland had 46,800 policemen and 243 constabularies.[16]

The Police Act 1946 led to the merger of a number of smaller town forces and surrounding county forces, leaving 117 constabularies. Further mergers took place following the Police Act 1964 which cut the number of police forces in England and Wales to 47, and Scotland to 20.[16]

Modern policing


Chief Constable Captain Athelstan Popkess is credited with being largely responsible for transforming the British Police Service from its Victorian era 'beat policing' model to the modern reactive response model, through his development of the 'Mechanized Division'.[21] Under his stewardship from 1930 to 1959, Nottingham City Police were the first force in the UK to develop the use of two-way radio communication. As early as 1931 they used radios to deploy mobile police patrol cars remotely, and receive updates from them in return. [22]

Eurocopter EC 135 T2 providing law enforcement and medical assistance in the Avon and Somerset Police, and Gloucestershire Police areas, based at Bristol Filton Airport.

Popkess and the Nottingham City Police would expand this pioneering method and develop tactics to use it to its full potential, including: overlaying mobile patrol areas on top of several existing foot beats, allowing responding Mechanized Division officers to collect colleagues on foot and take them to incidents; 'snatch plans' to pot up police cars at key road junctions in the event of serious crimes; and 'Q Cars' or 'Q Cruisers', unmarked vehicles disguised as civilian cars or delivery vans for covert patrol.

In 1947 he further linked this to an automated burglar alarm system which reported potential break-ins directly to a police control room where police cars could be deployed instantly to attend.[23]

Since the 1960s, police forces in the United Kingdom have been merged and modernised by several Acts of Parliament.

Height of officers


In the 19th and early 20th centuries most forces required that recruits be at least 5 feet 10 inches (178 cm) in height. Nottingham City Police had a minimum height requirement of 6 feet. By 1960 many forces had reduced this to 5 feet 8 inches (173 cm), and 5 feet 4 inches (163 cm) for women. Many senior officers argued that height was a vital requirement for a uniformed constable.[24] Some forces retained the height standard at 5 feet 10 inches (178 cm) or 5 feet 9 inches (175 cm) until the early 1990s. In May 1990, the minimum height requirement was dropped by the Metropolitan Police, and other police forces had followed suit by September 1990. No British force now requires its recruits to be of any minimum height.

The MacPherson report of 1999 recommended against height restrictions, arguing that they may discriminate against those of ethnic backgrounds who are genetically predisposed to be shorter than average.[25] The shortest officer in the UK, PC Sue Day of Wiltshire Police, is 4 feet 10 inches (147 cm) tall.[26] The tallest is PC Anthony Wallyn of the Metropolitan Police who is 7 feet 2 inches (218 cm) tall.[27] Both officers had to have their uniforms specially made for them due to their size.

Timeline of Selected Events

Year England and Wales Scotland Ireland (before 1922)

Northern Ireland (after 1922)

1707 At the time of the formation of the Kingdom of Great Britain, only Edinburgh had any sort of police force - the Edinburgh Town Guard that had been formed in 1682 to police the city and enforce an initiated curfew.
1726 Edinburgh Town Guard gained notoriety when its Captain Porteous became the trigger for the Porteous Riots.
1749 London's Bow Street Runners established - considered the foundation to all modern police forces.
1779 Glasgow Magistrates appoint James Buchanan as the first Inspector of the Glasgow Police, with an establishment of eight police officers, though it was disbanded in 1781 due to a lack of money.
1788 The Glasgow Police re-established, but failure to succeed in getting a Bill before Parliament meant that the force again failed, in 1790.
1798 The Marine Police was established, based in Wapping - a localised force with a limited remit.
1800 The Glasgow Police Act, the first such Act in Britain, was finally passed through the persistence of Glasgow city authorities. This allowed the formation of the City of Glasgow Police, funded by taxation of local citizens, to prevent crime.[28] This was quickly followed by the establishment of similar police forces in other towns. Belfast Borough Police founded
1812 A committee examined the policing of London, and made several suggestions on their findings to help evolve the existing state of affairs.
1814 The Peace Preservation Act creates the first organised police force in Ireland, becoming the Irish Constabulary in 1822, and was awarded the Royal prefix after putting down the Fenian Rising of 1867.
1817 Edinburgh Town Guard disbanded.
1818 Further committees examined the policing of London.
1829 Based on the committees' findings, Home Secretary Robert Peel introduced the Metropolitan Police Act 1829, prompting a rigorous and less discretionary approach to law enforcement.

The Metropolitan Police was founded on 29 September 1829.[14] The new constables were nicknamed 'peelers' or 'bobbies' after the Home Secretary, Robert Peel.

1831 Special Constables Act 1831 passed.
1835 Municipal Corporations Act 1835 passed.

The act required each borough in England and Wales to establish a Watch Committee, who had the duty of appointing constables "for the preserving of the peace". The jurisdiction of the borough constables extended to any place within seven miles of the borough.

1836 Irish Constabulary reorganised under the Constabulary (Ireland) Act; Dublin Metropolitan Police founded.
1839 County Police Act 1839 passed.

First county police force created, in Wiltshire.

1840 County Police Act 1840 passed.
1842 Within the Metropolitan Police a detective department is founded.
1848 Londonderry Borough Police founded.
1856 County and Borough Police Act 1856 made county and borough police forces compulsory in England and Wales and subject to central inspection by the Inspectorate of Constabulary.

By this time around thirty counties had voluntarily created police forces.

1857 The General Police Act (Scotland) 1857 required each Scottish county and burgh to establish a police force, either its own or by uniting with a neighbouring county, the latter was usually the case if the area in question was small and had little means of acquiring such manpower.
1860 By this year there were over 200 separate forces in England and Wales.
1867 Irish Constabulary renamed Royal Irish Constabulary after suppressing the Fenian Rising.
1873 Thomas Hartley Montgomery is hanged for murder, the only policeman in Ireland to receive that punishment.
1878 As a result of the 1877 Turf Fraud scandal, the Metropolitan Police's Detective Department was reorganised and renamed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in 1878.
1890 Liverpool City Police introduce horse-drawn ambulances.
1902 Harry Jackson becomes the first person convicted as a result of Fingerprint evidence in London, UK.
1907 The City of London Police introduce a motorised police ambulance
1908 North Eastern Railway Police trial the use of police dogs for the first time: PD Jim, with his handler Sgt Allinson.
1910 For the first time Police Officers are given one weekly rest day.
1914–1918 World War IBritish police became unionised.

During the War, resignations were not permitted except on grounds of ill-health.

1914 Special Constables Act 1914. Allowed for the appointment of Special Constables during wartime, due to the fall in numbers of regular officers.
1915 The first warranted female officer Edith Smith (police officer) takes to the streets in Grantham, Lincolnshire
1918–1919 Police strike over pay and working conditions.
1919 Police Act of 1919 passed in response to the police striking. The polices' right to strike and form a union was revoked. It criminalised the police union, replacing it with the Police Federation of England and Wales. The act also guaranteed a pension for police where previously it had been discretionary.
1919–1922 1920 Irish War of Independence.

410 policemen (RIC, DMP and Harbour Police) are killed during the conflict.

Ulster Special Constabulary founded as a quasi-military reserve special constable police force.
1921 An R33 airship is used to support traffic control around Ascot and Epsom Downs racecourses.[29]
1922 Following the partition of Ireland; the Royal Irish Constabulary is replaced by the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Northern Ireland, and the Civic Guard (later renamed Garda Síochána) in the Irish Free State.
1923 Special Constables Act 1923 throughout the UK is passed.
1925 Harry Daley becomes the first openly gay police officer in the UK, joining the Metropolitan Police, despite male homosexual activity being illegal at the time.
1931 Nottingham City Police trial the first two-way radios and patrolling police vehicles under the direction of the Chief Constable Athelstan Popkess.[21][22]
1934 The country's first national Forensic science laboratory opens in the Headquarters of Nottingham City Police[21]
1939-1945 World War IIWomen's Auxiliary Police Corps and war reserve constables are introduced.
1946 Police Act 1946 passed. This abolished nearly all non-county borough police forces in England and Wales. This left 117 police forces.
1946 Ministry of Civil Aviation Constabulary founded.
1950-1959 Introduction of personal police radios to individual constables
1960-1964 The Royal Commission into the Police.

The commission results in the Police Act 1964, defining the independence of the police from politics.

1964 The Police Act 1964 created 49 larger forces in England and Wales, some covering two or more counties or large urban areas.

Legal jurisdiction of territorial police officers in England and Wales is expanded to cover England, Wales, and their territorial waters. Jurisdiction was more geographically limited prior to this point.

1966 Mohammed Yusuf Daar becomes the first non-white police officer in the UK in Coventry City Police
1968 Sislin Fay Allen becomes the first non-white female police officer, joining the Metropolitan Police.
1970 Metropolitan Police Helicopter Unit are formed, based at Elstree, Hertfordshire.[30] Ulster Special Constabulary disbanded.
1971 Karpal Kaur Sandhu becomes the first female Sikh police officer.
1974 Local Government Act (1972) amalgamates several constabularies in England and Wales, reducing the number of police forces in England and Wales to 43.
1974 The Police National Computer is launched
The West Midlands Serious Crime Squad is established. They would eventually be disbanded after found tempering with evidence.
1975 The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 amalgamates Scotland's 17 police forces into 8 new forces.
1975 The Sex Discrimination Act means that the division between 'Women Police' and 'Men Police' ceases to exist
1977 Corruption at the Flying Squad of the Metropolitan Police leads to the Operation Countryman investigations by Dorset Constabulary and the conviction of Detective Chief Superintendent Kenneth Drury.
1981 1981 Brixton riot sees large swathes of predominantly the Black community rioting against the police.

Officers have no specialist equipment to deal with the riots and hundreds of officers are injured.

The Brixton riots prompts a review of police riot training, tactics and equipment; eventually leading to shields, flame-proof overalls and NATO helmets for police use.
1984 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). PACE regulated the actions of the police in England and Wales, particularly in relations to arrest and searches/powers of entry. It also instituted the PACE Codes of Practice. PACE did not extend the regulations of police to Scotland, but dealt with other subjects there.
1984 The UK miners' strike (1984–85) sees the police face largescale widespread disorder around coal-mining areas, leading to several large clashes between police and miners including the Battle of Orgreave. Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government introduce pay and conditions reforms and recruit thousands more police officers.
1985 Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 removes the police from prosecuting all but the most minor (mostly road traffic) offences at courts, transferring that duty to the Crown Prosecution Service.
1988 Colin Pitchfork becomes the first person convicted on DNA evidence of a murder, following an investigation by Leicestershire Police.
1989 The West Midlands Serious Crime Squad is disbanded. The Serious Crime Squad were shown to have been tampering with statement evidence to secure convictions, and a series of around 100 criminal cases fail or are overturned in the West Midlands, including the Birmingham Six.
1990 The Metropolitan Police removes its height requirement for constables. Others follow soon afterwards.
1995 Pauline Clare becomes the UK's first female Chief Constable
1999 Most police powers and functions in Scotland are devolved to the Scottish Parliament as a result of the Scotland Act 1998.
1999 The MacPherson report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence describes the Metropolitan Police Service as "institutionally racist".
2001-2005 Roll-out of Airwave radios undertaken, providing a secure, digital radio network to the police and other emergency services using the O2 mobile phone network.
2001 Under the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000, the Royal Ulster Constabulary continued in force under the new title, the 'Police Service of Northern Ireland (incorporating the Royal Ulster Constabulary)' - to be styled for operational purposes as the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
2002 Police Reform Act 2002 introduced Community Support Officers, investigating officers, and detention escort officers in England and Wales only.

Community support officers are commonly referred to as Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), although the term does not appear in any legislation. None of the new roles are Police constable, but they do have certain specific powers of a constable, for example in relation to lawful detention.

2002 The Soham murders lead to a large-scale review of police intelligence sharing and information processing. This results in the MoPI (Management of Police Information) standards being introduced and leads ultimately to the Police National Database in 2011.
2003 Michael Fuller becomes the first Black Chief Constable, of Kent Police.
2006 The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 comes into effect. The majority of the Act applies only to England and Wales, with only a few sections applying to Scotland or Northern Ireland.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency is established as part of the act.

The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 overhauls powers of arrest and extends powers available to PCSOs in England and Wales. The Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 comes into force.
2012 Police and Crime Commissioners are introduced, replacing Police Authorities.
The National Police Air Service is launched, consolidating all police air support in England and Wales.[31]
2013 All 8 remaining Scottish territorial polices forces are amalgamated into a single force: Police Scotland.
2014 The College of Policing replaces the National Policing Improvement Agency and Centrex (police training agency) to become the Professional body for policing.



Police History has become an area of study in itself with organisations such as the Police History Society existing since 1985 to further develop this field of knowledge. It is recognised as specialist area of academia; with notable experts including Clive Emsley, Dr Chris Williams, Martin Stallion, and Richard Cowley.

Sub-fields of police history include Ripperologists, a group devoted to looking into cases linked to Jack the Ripper and the state of policing of the time.

An imprint from the publisher Mango Books called 'Blue Lamp Books' specialises in policing history works.

See also



  1. ^ Terrill, Richard J. (2015). World Criminal Justice Systems: A Comparative Survey (revised ed.). Routledge. pp. 30–53. ISBN 978-1317228820.
  2. ^ Dempsey, John S.; Forst, Linda S. (2015). An Introduction to Policing (8 ed.). Cengage Learning. pp. 6–8. ISBN 978-1305544680.
  3. ^ W Stubbs Select Charters Illustrative of English Constitutional History (Oxford 1895) p. 370-1
  4. ^ W Stubbs Select Charters Illustrative of English Constitutional History (Oxford 1895) p. 154
  5. ^ Critchley, Thomas Alan (1978). A History of Police in England and Wales. The Statute of Winchester was the only general public measure of any consequence enacted to regulate the policing of the country between the Norman Conquest and the Metropolitan Police Act, 1829…
  6. ^ Terrill, Richard J. (2015). World Criminal Justice Systems: A Comparative Survey (revised ed.). Routledge. pp. 30–1. ISBN 978-1317228820.
  7. ^ Dempsey, John S.; Forst, Linda S. (2015). An Introduction to Policing (8 ed.). Cengage Learning. pp. 4–8. ISBN 978-1305544680.
  8. ^ "High praise for city's first police".
  9. ^ a b "Independent Port Constabularies - History" (PDF). Independent Port Constabularies. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Watchmen and constables". UK Parliament. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  11. ^ a b "British Police Service". City of London Police. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Sir John Fielding". The National Archives. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  13. ^ "A History of Policing in Ireland | Police Service of Northern Ireland".
  14. ^ a b "History". Metropolitan Police Service. Archived from the original on 9 July 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  15. ^ a b "Sir Robert Peel and the new Metropolitan Police". The National Archives. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  16. ^ a b c d e f "Metropolitan Police". UK Parliament. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  17. ^ "History of City of London Police Key dates". City of London Police. Archived from the original on 4 October 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  18. ^ "Provincial Police Forces". The National Archives. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  19. ^ Stallion (1) and Wall (2), Martin (1) and David S (2) (2011). The British Police: Forces and Chief Officers 1829 – 2012. Bodmin: The Police History Society.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ "Creating the nation's police force". UK Parliament. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  21. ^ a b c Andrews, Tom (2020). The Greatest Policeman? A Biography of Capt Athelstan Popkess CBE, OStJ Chief Constable of Nottingham City Police 1930 - 1959. Blue Lamp Books. ISBN 978-1911273899.
  22. ^ a b Popkess, Capt Athelstan (1 January 1933). "Pursuit by Wireless: The Value of Mobility". The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles. 6, 1.
  23. ^ "New Police Alarm To Fight Theft Wave 1947". British Pathé.
  24. ^ Royal Commission on the Police, Interim Report, 1960
  25. ^ "Britain's smallest police officer nicknamed laptop". 2010-01-16. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  26. ^ "People look up to Britain's shortest cop". Swindon Advertiser. 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2010-03-30.
  27. ^ Cooper, Charlie (4 March 2013). "High and low security: Britain's tallest policeman Anthony Wallyn stood guard with Met's shortest officer outside hospital where Queen was treated for gastroenteritis". The Independent. London.
  28. ^ "The Glasgow Police Museum". Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  29. ^ "Airshipsonline : Airships : R33earlylife". www.airshipsonline.com. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  30. ^ "UK Police Aviation". www.aeroflight.co.uk. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  31. ^ "New police air service takes off". BBC News. 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2022-04-18.

Further reading

  • Churchill, David. Crime control and everyday life in the Victorian city: the police and the public (2017).
  • Churchill, David C. "Rethinking the state monopolisation thesis: the historiography of policing and criminal justice in nineteenth-century England." Crime, Histoire & Sociétés/Crime, History & Societies 18.1 (2014): 131-152. online
  • Emsley, Clive. "Police" in James Eli Adams, ed., Encyclopedia of the Victorian Era (2004) 3:221-24.
  • Emsley, Clive.Crime and Society in England, 1750–1900 (5th ed. 2018)
  • Emsley, Clive. The English police: A political and social history (2014).
  • Lyman, J.L. "The Metropolitan Police Act of 1829: An Analysis of Certain Events Influencing the Passage and Character of the Metropolitan Police Act in England," Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science (1964) 55#1 pp. 141–154 online
  • Taylor, James. "White-collar crime and the law in nineteenth-century Britain." Business History 60.3 (2018): 343-360.
  • Wilson, David. Pain and Retribution: a short history of British Prisons 1066 to the present (Reaktion Books, 2014).