POLICE IN THE UK
In the 18th century, law enforcement was left entirely to local initiative based on watchmen and constables. There was no nationally organized police force. With a growing population of about one and a half million people, it was difficult to regulate order in the UK.
Professional policing was taken up by Sir Robert Peel when he assumed the role of Home Secretary in 1822. The Metropolitan Police was then put in place. The government made sure not to create any notions that the police was a military force and therefore they were not armed. The issue of policing however spread into all regions of the UK and the police force was officially established.
Today, in the British model of policing, police officers are citizens in uniform. They exercise their powers to police their fellow citizens only with their consent. In the United Kingdom, every person has limited powers of arrest if they see a crime being committed. The police force still works under the same regulatory laws as the citizens.
Most police officers are members of the territorial police forces. Upon taking an oath for any of the forces, they have all the powers and privileges, duties and responsibilities of a constable in one of the three distinct legal systems of that country.
Police forces employ police staff whose duty is to perform many functions to assist officers and support the smooth running of their police force. These individuals are under the direction and control of the Chief of Police who decides which powers they may use.
Members of the armed forces also carry out the duties of police officers when need be. Police officers are allowed to carry guns today as a means of self protection as well as crime regulation. With this in place, the UK is a safe place to live.