The College was opened on 31 May 1934 in the former buildings of Hendon Country Club, Hendon Aerodrome's clubhouse.
The school was the brainchild of Hugh Trenchard, who was the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police from 1931 to 1935. Trenchard's college was founded upon a modern and scientific approach to training. There were forensic science laboratories, detective training facilities and a police driving school.
When the Royal Air Force left Hendon in the 1960s, the Metropolitan Police decided to rebuild the college, and the new Peel Centre, named after Robert Peel, was opened in May 1974.