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Evolution Of Policing Essay

1174 words - 5 pages

Early policing used to be a “...private matter. Citizens were responsible for protecting themselves and maintaining an orderly society. However, in Rome in the 5th century B.C.E the first specialized investigative unit was formed known as the questors. According to the textbook, questors means “trackers of murder,” but in another article I found that the word is quaestor and means “the man who asks questions.” They actually started with two men who served as accountants and then led into a group “who served under the Roman kings. Their task was to investigate murder cases - they were police inspectors.”
Then came the sixth century in Athens when we first saw unpaid magistrates that would adjudicate cases, but private citizens made the arrests and punished them. The first one was “Solon as archon (magistrate) to serve as mediator and lawgiver.” The main focus of Solon at the time was poor people who were slaves to the rich, he “cancelled most debts and freed those Athenians who had been enslaved, but he refused to redistribute property or to deprive the aristocracy of most of the political power.”
The time of Christ brought around a few different groups created by Roman emperor Augustus. He had three specialized groups to ensure safety of the palace and emperor, the city, and the citizens Such as, the Praetorian Guard which is considered to be the first group of police officers. According to United Nations of Roma Victrix, the Praetorians served as Augustus body guards and were picked from the Romans version of the marine core in these times. Augustus also created the Praefectus Urbi or the “...urban Cohort to protect the city.” Then he formed the Vigiles of Rome, these men started out as firefighters who received law enforcement duties such as, patrolling the streets and protecting citizens.
As time progressed a more formal government began to form and the beginnings of the criminal justice system was formed. This government set the Statute of Winchester in 1285 C.E. which “...formally established the watch and ward, the hue and cry, the parish constable, and the requirement that all males keep weapons in their home for use in maintaining the public peace.” This statute made it mandatory for the men to patrol the town at night while being supervised and all other citizens were required to aid anyone thats a victim of a crime. England also adopted a system of using tithings as a means of protection.
Then the 17th century came around and victims began paying private people to catch potential suspects. This soon grew into a job opportunity with an act of Parliament in 1693 when “...a monetary reward for the capture of any road agent or armed robbery,” which led to men known as thief-takers taking on the role of todays bounty hunter.
In the 18th century it was up to the victim to prosecute the offender, if the person was found guilty they would usually be hung or sent out of the town. In this time period there weren’t any policing officials,...

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