In an interesting and thought-provoking lecture which was reasonably well attended, Terry Stanfod Ph.D. described aspects of the origins and early development of the Thames and Metropolitan Police from the time of Peel to the present. To keep things relatively simple he chose to look at things from the point of view of a constable vividly describing the tough discipline, extremely long hours, low pay and difficulty winning public respect that was the lot of those early policemen and women.
He pointed out that despite comparatively good pay, the battle for respect and co-operation from the public in many ways continues. He also emphasised that the cry of the public for “more bobbies on the beat” is nothing new, in fact it is perennial. His talk was vividly illustrated with his own props of the uniform and equipment he used at the start of his career which he contrasted with the high tech equipment and luminous garb of his succesors and as he did so one became aware of what a huge and complex subject policing is and how many questions it raises, questions which could never be addressed in a single lecture. Perhaps we shall be hearing more.