To a large extent, policing remained ad hoc for much of the Medieval period. In the 17th century, with religious wars rampant in Europe, new forces were created that became responsible for policing in England and France. The term "police" is used during the period of the English Civil War, as a force to protect citizens and maintain order was created during a period of instability. In Paris, the first dedicated police department was created. The responsibility of the department was to protect citizens and remove any threat of disturbances. Similar to what happened in Rome, it was population increase and rise of crime that led to the development and impetus to create a more organized force to police the city. The police were led by a police lieutenant who was assisted by commissioners that maintained control of different districts within Parsi. This system by the late 17th century was extended to the entire country, creating effectively the first national police force.
In Britain, unofficial positions such as watchmen in towns, that had developed in the Medieval period, began to become more formalized in the 18th century, where watchmen began being paid .