Sir Robert Peels, Nine Key Principles of Policing: Fair and Impartial Policing Defined Back In 1829!

Defining the path to community policing is based on Sir Robert Peels, nine key principles of policing he offered up back in 1829. When reading these I cannot help but think all the time we in policing spend trying to re-invent the wheel of sound ethical, fair and impartial policing when all we really need to do is adapt what already exists to the current climate.

  • Principle 1 – “The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.”
  • Principle 2 – “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.”
  • Principle 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.”
  • Principle 4 – “The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.”
  • Principle 5 – “Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to the public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.”
  • Principle 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.”
  • Principle 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.”
  • Principle 8 – “Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.”
  • Principle 9 – “The test of police efficiency (i.e., effectiveness) is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.”

These Principles are universal and timeless, as relevant today as they were when written back 1828!.

Stay Oriented!

Fred