Gonnae nae dae that? Glesca polis see off Metropolitan untruths
The Advertising Standards Authority has rebuked the Metropolitan Police for untruthful advertising and upheld the claim of the Glasgow force to be the oldest police service in Britain (if not the world).
The Met had advertised for royal protection officers, saying in the ad that "We're not just the oldest police service in the world, We're also the most modern." This led to a complaint to the ASA, apparently from a Glasgow police source. Investigations showed that the Glasgow police were set up in 1800, 29 years before Sir Robert Peel (from whom "bobbies" and "peelers") did the same in London. The dispute was then settled without a formal adjudication when the Met assured the ASA that the wording of the ad would be amended appropriately.
According to The Times for 4 July 2008, the Met spokesperson said: "We are always pleased that our adverts receive attention and we welcome feedback." An unidentified "Glasgow police source" was also quoted as saying: "It's a bloody cheek. You think they would check these things out first."
A Times reader comment suggested, however, that the oldest police force in Britain was in fact the Thames River Police, set up, as its website also claims, in 1798. For its part, Scots Law News notes that Glasgow police are now part of Strathclyde Police, wonders if anyone has complained about the claim to the most modernity, and also whether there are any post-modern police out there.