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hend the characters described in his warrant, and that the rest might peaceably depart. He then desired them all to file off slowly and gradually, and the officers selected the more notorious, who were carried to the office; the bear-ward was committed to the House of Correction, as a rogue and vagabond ; the common thieves were holden to bail; the bear-bait ceased, the place was shut up, and the rendezvous destroyed. Another public annoyance, of much longer standing, was in a short time, by means of this new police, removed. There was a particular part of the parish whither thieves and infamous characters of all sorts resorted in mid-day, and where gaming, transfer of plunder, and every sort of iniquity was continually practised. It had been sought in vain even to mitigate this nuisance; but, by the more effectual means which a large police afforded, and the apprehension which it excited, this place was also completely cleared; and thus the parish was freed from these two sources of annoyance and danger to which it had so long been exposed. The streets, too, were brought to a state of security, from the vigilance and perambulation of a constant nightly Patrole. The neighbouring parish was, about the same time, infested by the practice of bull-buits, and the consequent accumulation which they brought of the desperate characters of the town. With the aid of a numerous internal force, raised by the same spirit, and created upon the same principles as the former, that parish also, with equally laudable efforts, completely removed those brutal scenes, and restored peace and security to its inhabitants. Such, then, was the influence of a mere temporary incidental police to meet extreme emergencies; and here was no legislation, nothing but what every body can understand, may be done any where, and which requires nothing but an adequate force to do every where.
I am nevertheless aware that it would be too much to expect the devotion of time which is called for, and the personal hazards to which such public-spirited persons must be exposed, in the gratuitous discharge of services like those which I have mentioned ; it must, therefore, devolve upon the regular establishment, to afford the security which, in these instances, private individuals procured for themselves.
If, in answer to these illustrations, the familiar argument be used, that it amounts to nothing more than expulsion from one parish, and a pressure upon another, I would say to each
'I am informed, that this parish continues still in a state of quiet and security, from the mere effect of this accidental police.
in succession, (applying myself to the established police,) “Do thou likewise;" and so, wherever it might be necessary, to the very bounds of the metropolis.
In an adequate permanent police, therefore, the arrangement of our offices should form the objects of primary attention, that from them may spring all the energies of the system, which, in its detail, is to give security to the metropolis. With this view, each office should be the depository of all information which may tend to the good order and regulation of its district, and should daily have under its view all circumstances and characters connected with that object. In every office there should be a register of all houses which are the receptacles of known thieves, and of such discoverable persons as have no visible means of honest subsistence. This information would afford to the magistrates that local knowledge and insight into the character of the district, which is one of the most useful properties of magisterial jurisdiction; it would give them a view which their own eye cannot command, and make offenders their object, rather then offences their daily business; it would also bring the principle of preventive police into immediate action, by forcing upon the officers, inspection, vigilance, and daily communication, and render flight the only security for those who were subjected to such incessant observation. Here is, at once, an extent of police, upon which the great question of improvement may ultimately depend; but, if improvement be necessary, it will be impossible to avoid the full developement of the means by which it may be attained.
In every district, then, there should be a superintending police commensurate with the character, neighbourhood, and extent of its population, and with the facilities and temptations which they produce for the commission of crime. This force being duly apportioned, each oflice should give to it such a daily distribution as to cover every part of the inhabitancy demanding protection. There is nothing new in this principle; the Bow-street and Thames Police Establishments are founded upon it; and if the former has fallen short of its intended operation, the failure is attributable to insufficiency of strength, not to any error in the principle of its formation; and I trust that the instance which I have heretofore adduced will confirm this opinion. But to revert to the distribution of our police; it will not be enough that officers be directed to pervade with their different divisions the districts committed to their protection, but they must pervade, and be known to pervade them; the force so regulated should, therefore, make a daily
report in writing to its immediate office, of the circuits which it has separately and collectively covered, and of all incidents worthy of observation ; such reports should form a continued police diary, regularly embodied into the public records of the office.
Much must be done before this description of discipline can be effected; in the first place, a great addition must be made to the number of officers. The public has complained, with justice, of a want of protection; but neither the Government, not the police, have been able adequately to afford it. During the time in which I have acted in a public office, I have had within my jurisdiction two of the most extensive districts in the metropolis, one containing, according to the Census of 1811, a population of 160,000 persons; and that in which I am now placed, according to the same Census, above 300,000; in the former, there were six acting constables, and in the latter there have been, (till within a very short time past), the same number, two having been lately added, all differing necessarily in talent and fitness. Can, therefore, our present state be matter of surprise ? Besides, this force, from the smallness of its number, is incapable of a right application; it is principally occupied in the apprehension of offenders, or wasted upon comparatively minor objects; in waiting or watching for the casual fees of ordinary warrantserving, and in endeavouring to allay the angry passions, rather than to frustrate the criminal propensities of mankind; it has, in truth, almost exclusively an ex post facto operation. Under our present limited system it is the interest of officers to be concentrated at the office, remaining there, to take advantage of what has been done; instead of spreading themselves abroad, to prevent what may be done against society. Nor can it be expected to be otherwise; neither the pay nor the inducements of officers are sufficient to give the proper impulse to their exertions. They receive only one guinea per week as salary, all other legitimate emoluments being derivable from the public or from individuals requiring their assistance, after they have suffered either in person or property; consequently, the commission of crimes becomes the officers' pecuniary interest. There are not funds, and the magistrates have not the power to reward them for the performance of the more useful and arduous duty of prevention; the duty of prevention is constant; incessant vigilance can alone produce it; and it is absurd to expect it without the action of a sufficiently powerful stimulus.
Before, however, we consider the means of giving a better
direction to the exertions of officers, it is necessary to look to possible evils of a more formidable nature than those that we have just contemplated.
Exclusive of the magnitude of our official Criminal Calendars, every body conversant with police must know that an infinitely larger number of offences are committed than are ever exhibited in them. The trouble and expense of prosecution, the efforts made on behalf of prisoners, the impulses of humanity, the spirit of mercy so prevalent in this country, together with the difficulties and doubts of law, stop the course of thousands at the beginning, or in the progress of criminal accusation; offenders know this, and they calculate accordingly. Hence the want of a check upon their original career produces another result, which no law can obviate; or rather, which law or the apprehension of its consequences in the minds of prosecutors greatly aggravates, because, in proportion as the law discourages a prosecutor it encourages an offender. The operation of police should therefore be to step in between the criminal and the crime, and if it cannot amend his heart, at least to defeat his act, and to anticipate ultimate punishment by instant prevention.
But, we have not yet seen all the mischiefs of which our present police may be productive: it is sufficiently melancholy to reflect that in principle, and in means, it is thus defective, and that the operation of our laws has frequently a tendency to augment rather than to diminish crime. But still further, however painful the continued examination of the system may be, we must not blind ourselves to the possible frightful contingency of its corrupting those who are engaged in its administration. I must unequivocally disclaim any imputation upon the persons to whom the foregoing observation refers; it is to the moral tendency of the system that I alone apply it.
Let us then examine the grounds of this apprehension as officers are now circumstanced ; they may derive their emoluments in criminal cases from one or more of three sources: from the public, from the accuser, or the accused: from the public out of the county stock, by the order of the court, on alleged consideration for loss of time, trouble, and expenses whilst indictments and trials are pending. Large as the aggregate sum is, from which this supposed remuneration is given, it is on many occasions insufficient to cover the inevitable charges which are incurred, in waiting for days and sometimes for weeks successively, to attend parties to prefer an indictment or to appear at a trial. Officers are very frequently engaged as
parties to several prosecutions in the same session; but the avowed principle of compensation to them is apon a computation of time according to the number of days which they have attended the court; in fact, paying them as for one prosecution, regardless of the exclusive attention which each case may have required for weeks or months before it could have reached a court of justice, and, perhaps justly grounding the order of the court upon the consideration that for such services they are rewarded as the servants of the police. The public allowance then affords little encouragement to the officers in the prosecution of offenders, and we have seen that it does not pretend to consider them in the prevention or discovery of offences.
Their next source of supposed reward, namely, from the accusers, if even it were an adequate inducement, is in its consequences highly exceptionable; police is for the protection of the whole public, for the poor as well as for the rich ; but has not the present system of reward an inevitable tendency to make the rich rather than the poor, the objects of an officer's attention? The public, as we have seen, do not reward them, the poor, cannot ; where then can a fair reward be expected, but in cases where the more wealthy require their aid? And are we to expect that this description of persons is of all others never to be actuated by interest ? can this be right ? and is it not possible that this species of reward may be directed more to restitution than punishment, and that officers may thereby be made instruments to defeat rather than to promote justice ?
But we must not stop here; for after the review which we have just taken, may it not follow, that if officers be not properly rewarded, they may be corrupted? Most strictly confining myself to the principle upon which these observations are grounded, should I not further ask whether it may not, by possibility, be the officer's interest that the guilty should escape, rather than that the poor or the parsimonious should prosecute; always remembering that the wealthy and the generous are the only persons to whom interest would call his exertions. It is likewise impossible to exclude from our consideration the probable contingencies of an officer's life; his pursuit exposes him to the corruptions, and to a great degree, acquaints him with the corrupted part of mankind; he must therefore have need of a more than common virtue not to acquire a familiarity with the objects of his constant attention. It is in human nature that he should do so, and that his severity must thereby be relaxed towards those with