Police Board

Sir. Robert Peel's Policing Principles

Halton’s Police Service is founded upon and operates by the nine Peelian Principles of Community Policing. These Principles focus on community development, relationship building, and prevention rather than a reaction to social problems. Our police service is proudly a forefront leader in Canada in its devotion to the Peelian Principles. Halton Region has continued to secure our ranking as the safest of Canada’s large municipalities. Having these principles as our foundation has shaped our department and has helped make our community the safest in Canada.

Sir Robert Peel, considered the father of modern policing, developed these principles with the focus on the prevention of crime rather than catching criminals. He argued that this must be done through earning the support of the public by putting in the hard work to build a reputation.

The nine Peelian Principles that are the foundation of our service are:

  • PRINCIPLE 1 “The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.”
  • PRINCIPLE 2 “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.”
  • PRINCIPLE 3 “Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.”
  • PRINCIPLE 4 “The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.”
  • PRINCIPLE 5 “Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to the public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.”
  • PRINCIPLE 6 “Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.”
  • PRINCIPLE 7 “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”
  • PRINCIPLE 8 “Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.”
  • PRINCIPLE 9 “The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.”

© 2017 Halton Police Board