The Old Bill

In 1829 Sir Robert Peel set up the Metropolitan Police with 3,000 men and made their headquarters at Scotland Yard.

There are many suggestions about how the police force got its many nicknames. On the street the police were known as ‘bobbies’ and ‘peelers’, which came from the name of their founder.

‘Coppers’ came from the bands of copper on their truncheons and the name ‘Old Bill’ was used because the policemen bore the symbol of the king – William IV.


One comment

  1. Most interesting. The modern names, especially since the 1960s, are less sympathetic. I’m wondering whether that William IV is the William that gave his name to King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape… ? A short reign, I believe.

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