The plaques are selected from all walks of life, and all points of the London compass – and I'm taking requests too!
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The River Police, Wapping…
London’s oldest police force – known popularly as the Thames River Police – the Marine Police Force was founded in 1798. They still operate out of their original HQ on historic Wapping High Street – which is where you can find this plaque, presented by the Stepney Historical Trust.
In the late 18th Century, cargo to the value of £500,000 was being stolen from the Pool of London every year. The force was set up on a one-year trial basis only – it has been extended somewhat, of course! – by magistrate Patrick Colquoun, Master Mariner John Harriott and utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham. Each man brought his expertise – in the fields of law and order, seafaring and social reform respectively – to found a police force that predates the Metropolitan Police by 31 years and the City of London Police by a decade more.
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