Sunday, May 20, 2007

Peel on policing

"Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law...

The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it."

So said Robert Peel. Peel set up the Metropolitan police in 1828 during a stint as Home Secretary and later served two terms as Prime Minister, (though as a stern opponent of Catholic emancipation, he wasn't too popular in my homeland).

Can you even imagine the current incumbents of those high offices, held by Peel, understanding let alone seeking to apply such principles to any of the areas of public service that they have nominally been reponsible for. I suspect Peel would have been contemptuous of the current brand of shallow Blairite political PR and cronyism.

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