What is our English Heritage in policing? Paper
CJA/214 Intro to Police Theory & Practices
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 form of society control where citizens grouped together to protect each other. People were supposed to police their own communities. The constable were the first form of English Police Officer, was responsible for dealing with more serious of the law (Dempsey & Forst, 2010, p 4-9). In the early English Sheriff were known as Shire-reeve which were English official place in charge of shires (countries) as part of the system of mutual pledge. In 1285 C.E. the Statue of Winchester was enacted in England and established a rudimentary criminal justice system in which most of the responsibility for law enforcement remained with the people themselves (Dempsey & Forst, 2010, p 4-9). The statue formally established (1): the watch and ward, (2): the hue and cry, (3): the parish constable, and (4): the requirement that all males keep weapons in their home for use in maintaining the public peace. The watch and ward required all men in a given town to serve on the night watch. The watch can be seen as the most rudimentary form of metropolitan policing (Dempsey & Forst, 2010, p 4-9). The watch was designed to protect against crime, disturbances, and fire. The watchmen had three major duties: one, patrolling the streets from dusk...
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