Modern Police forces worldwide owe their origins to a Tamworth based politician whose life and works are being celebrated at a special exhibition in his home town. Whilst Sir Robert Peel’s career as prime minister had many notable achievements it his creation of the first modern police force that has left an indelible mark upon our society.
The Peelers or ‘Bobbys’ as they were commonly known were officers of the London’s Metropolitan Police which became a model for similar law enforcement bodies across the globe. The Metropolitan Police Act, 1829, was the culmination of seven years of criminal justice reform by Robert Peel. This was the necessary enforcement of the law in a growing population. This act is still relevant today in the 48 police forces in the United Kingdom as well as many in the Commonwealth.
The new police force was one of many significant achievements by him including The Tamworth Manifesto, the world’s first party political manifesto, and the Repeal of the Corn Laws, which ensured social stability in England, Wales and Scotland during the terrible years of the failure of the potato crop between 1845 and 1850. He established free trade thus bring food prices down for the working classes.
The exhibition at Tamworth Library was produced by the Peel Society and includes an illustration of Sir Robert Peel with the distinctive Peeler’s uniform of top hat and white breeches.
‘’Peel lived nearby at Drayton Manor which is now a famous theme park and their sponsorship has helped us to create this tribute to a remarkable man and his legacy.’’ Says Nigel Morris, Chairman of the Peel Society ‘’ We hope this exhibition will encourage people to visit Middleton Hall where we have a larger, permanent display of the Peel family records and artefacts in a beautiful country house setting’’.
The official opening of the Tamworth library display will take place on Friday March 3rd. at 11.30. Chief Superintendent Ovens of the Metropolitan police will perform the opening.
The Library display was made possible by the support of Colin Bryan O.B.E. and Drayton Manor Park.