I’m pleased to hear the government has finally come to its senses and Gordon Brown is planning to bring back the more traditional style of policing with bobbys on the beat.
I personally think that's what's sadly lacking in this country. We don't have enough police presence on our streets anymore. In addition, there is now so much bureaucracy and red tape that many police officers spend most of their time in the office sorting out paperwork and filling in forms rather than being out on the streets catching criminals. This has been a bone of contention with many officers themselves, some have even left the force because of it, disillusioned with the face of modern policing. Is it any wonder there is so much crime on the streets of Britain! This is another issue which Gordon Brown has pledged to tackle and he has vowed to cut down the mountain of paperwork which modern day officers have to complete. We can only live in hope. I personally would welcome the return of bobbys on the beat. I always think the sight of police on the streets is great as it helps to bring local communities together, especially when policemen and women take the time to stop and talk to people. It certainly makes for good public relations. Everyone feels a lot safer. Apparently part of the new initiative will involve communities telling police officers which crime hotspot areas to target. Sounds like a great idea to me.
"Bobby" is an English expression used to describe a British policeman or cop as our American neighbours refer to them. The term “bobby” was first used many years ago and is derived from Sir Robert Peel who was the Home Secretary in England when the Metropolitan Police Force was created in the 1800’s. The British “bobby” is still to this day a treasured icon in England. However nowadays you're more likely to see them on motorcycles, in police cars or even on horseback rather than pounding the beat on foot like they used to in the old days. ("Pounding the beat" is another British expression. It means walking round the streets looking for any wrong doing).
Other expressions we use to describe a British policeman are “Plod”, which comes from the policeman character of Mr Plod in Enid Blyton’s Noddy stories and “Copper” which comes from the expression “copping” which literally means watching what criminals are up to and catching them.
You might also be interested to know that one of the most popular expressions we associate with the British "bobby" is, "Hello, hello what's goin' on here?". It's a popular line used on tv and in comedy sketches where policemen are featured.