It was at 6pm on Tuesday 29th September 1829 that the first parties of the ‘new police’ – England’s new, original Metropolitan Police Force – went on duty. At first this was a far from safe role and the men were subjected to criticism and prejudice; exposed to criticism and prejudice, and ridden down and bludgeoned on patrol. However, within a year of its formation this new police force had 3,000 men organized into seventeen divisions outside of the London city centre. However, their discipline, patience, courage and humour won the day. Over the following 40 years similar forces were formed across the country and, by September 1979, there were 51 individual forces comprising over 123,000 officers. It was on Tuesday 26th September 1979 that the British Post Office postal service issued a set of four postage stamps in their honour.