Metropolitan Police Act 1839

Metropolitan Police Act 1839

Metropolitan Police Act 1839

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The Metropolitan Police Act 1839 (2&3 Vict. c .47) was an Act of Parliament passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Act enlarged the district of, and gave greatly increased powers to the Metropolitan Police established by the Metropolitan Police Act 1829.

Section 2 of the Act allowed for the enlargement of the Metropolitan Police District to include places in a radius of 15 miles (24 kilometres) from Charing Cross.

Section 5 gave constables of the Metropolitan Police all "powers and privileges of constabulary" in the counties of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and on the River Thames within or adjoining Middlesex, Surrey, Berkshire, Essex, Kent and the City of London (the MPA 1829 had already given them constabulary powers within Middlesex, Surrey, Essex and Kent).

The Act gave the police force powers over shipping arriving in the Port of London and using the Thames. Among these powers were:
  • Power to inspect vessels to prevent smuggling
  • Power to seize unlawful quantities of gunpowder
  • Powers to seize guns loaded with ball


A number of activities were to regulated within the Metropolitan Police District:
  • Fairs were only to be open during agreed hours.
  • Public Houses were to closed on Sundays, Christmas Day and on Good Friday until 1 pm. No alcoholic drink was to be sold to persons under 16 years of age.
  • Police were empowered to enter unlicenced theatres.
  • Police could enter premises where bear baiting or cock fighting were being carried on, and......
  • ...

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