In this thesis the process by which crime investigation, detection and prosecution
became an integral function of the British police service is analysed through an
examination of public records, contemporary papers and documents, and by
reference to the literature on policing. The impact of the adoption of that
function on the role, organisation and management of modem British policing is
It is established that at its foundation by Robert Peel's Metropolitan Police Act of
1829, the British professional police service was intended to be a purely
preventive and protective body of uniformed patrolling constables. The function
of crime investigation, detection and criminal prosecution was then subsequently
added to its responsibilities by government using administrative rather than any
democratic or legislative means, thus creating the present dual crime prevention
and crime detection role of the police.
Major recurrentp roblemse xperiencedb y the modemB ritish police servicea re
identified as arising from that change in its original functions and purposes, and
proposals for action to resolve them are set out.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.