For most of the nineteenth century, the training that officers received was rudimentary. Until the end of the century training, such as it was, lasted for two weeks and was strongly influenced by the military, focusing on drill and sword exercise. A superintendent delivered a few lectures on aspects of the job, and a large amount of legal material had to be digested. By the turn of the century training lasted between three and five weeks, though it was not until 1907 that a formal training school was established at Peel House in Regency Street, Pimlico, SW1. In 1934 the Metropolitan Police College was established in the buildings of Hendon Country Club; when the RAF left Hendon in the 1960s, the college was rebuilt and the Hendon Police College was opened in 1974. Today the college is commonly refered to as the Peel Centre.

At the time that Battle joined the force, initial instruction lasted for ten weeks. Yet officers stress that what counted was the informal training learned on the beat, and the habits (not always good ones) picked up from 'old sweats'.

Other modules discuss how officers applied their training when policing the streets.


William Edward Pearce 1853-1883 William Edward Pearce 1853-1883