In the Medieval period, policing began to emerge from municipalities that faced increasing crime and banditry in areas where kings could not or did not send soldiers or guards to protect citizens. One development during the Anglo-Saxon period and later was the concept of sheriff, a government official in charge of a shire or county. The office derives from a revee, who were officials responsible in a shire for security. Their jobs were to maintain order in shires and security, where in the early Medieval period banditry and raiding were common. During this time, policing was often at local levels such as shires or counties. Watchmen were often employed or appointed in towns to look out for any disruptive or illegal behavior. Local towns would often band together and form groups to protect travelers on roads. Local lords and nobles were largely responsible for maintaining order in their lands. Constables were sometime employed to help enforce laws in shires, villages, and towns.
The Santa Hermandades were one such group created in Spain who often kept pilgrims and others safe on roads. They were an association of individuals who saw their task was to keep order and security. Protective councils largely maintained the authority and power to protect citizens in many regions throughout Europe. In France, the positions of the Constable and Marshal of France were military positions that were also responsible for internal security. These officials were responsible for repelling internal strife but also keeping peace in the cities and highways of the country.