English Heritage in Policing Essays

943 Words Jul 5th, 2012 4 Pages
Ivon Martinez
What is our English Heritage in policing? Paper
CJA/214 Intro to Police Theory & Practices
Rudy Pichardo
November 30, 2011

The American system of law and criminal justice was borrowed from the English. The first references to an English criminal justice or law enforcement system appeared some 1,000 years earlier than Sir Robert Peel established the first English police department in 1829. England’s King Alfred the Great was preparing his Kingdom for a Danish invasion; his strategy against the Danes was maintaining stability in his own country and providing a method for people living in villages to protect one another (Dempsey & Forst, 2010, p 4-9). King Alfred established a system of mutual pledge a
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Three: enforcing the criminal law (Dempsey & Forst, 2010, p 4-9). Persons serving on the watch would pronounce the hue and cry if necessary and all citizens would then be required to leave their homes and assist the watchmen. The Statue of Winchester made it a crime not to assist the watch and also established the office of parish constable, who was responsible for organizing and supervising the watch. The parish constable was the primary urban law enforcement agent in England. The next criminal justice positions to be created were magistrates and beadles (Dempsey & Forst, 2010, p 4-9). Magistrates assisted the justices of the peace by presiding in courts, ordering arrests, calling witnesses and examining prisoners. Beadles were assistants to the constables and walked the streets removing vagrants. The impact of the magistrates, constables and beadles was minimal, and they were mostly corrupt. In the seventeenth-century English policing system also used a form of individual, private police called thief-takers. Thief takers were private English citizens with no official status who were paid by the king for every criminal they arrested; they were similar to the bounty hunter of the American West (Dempsey & Forst, 2010, p 4-9). The major role of the thief-takers was to combat highway man and also received its horses, arms, money and property. Many thief-takers

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