When official social organizations and special interest groups failed to adequately protect the workers, some community members took matters into their own hands. Gang violence in young Bytown was common, as labourers banded together in order to increase their collective influence and power. Brawling between factions of new immigrants was so common that Lt. Col. By was eventually forced to pull some of his best Royal Engineers from the canal project and reassign them to street patrol in order to help quell the violence and disorder, but their influence was limited. As the violence progressed, residents formed their own Preservation of the Public Peace force, made up of 200 volunteer constables acting under the municipal council. These efforts did little to curb mounting unrest as many felt the municipal authorities targeted specific people or groups. By the time a police force was established independently of the municipal authority in 1863, Bytown was already well on its way towards stabilization, thanks in large part to the successful efforts of lobby groups to secure labour and voting rights for the poorer classes.