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Tuesday 5 April 2011

Police Inspector

In Loving Memory of
Frederick William Busby
Late Inspector of Police
died at Woburn
3rd May 1926
aged 45 years
and his wife
died 4th April 1976
aged 93 years

The British Police Force

The Metropolitan Police, were founded in 1829 by Sir Robert Peel. Those early 'Peelers' as they were known, were paid 19 shillings (95p) a week, of which approximately four shillings would have been spent on their accommodation.

They received no pension or payment for injury or disablement. The job was harsh and they were expected to walk their entire beat at least once every 15 minutes. They did however, receive an annual allowance of enough cloth to make two uniforms.

Moustaches were part of the uniform for the police of
Barnet, Hertfordshire in 1910

A Police Inspector ~ A Sargeant ~ Two Constables circa 1920
The constable's powers were considerable, he had the right to enter any house without a warrant, where he thought adultery and fornication were taking place. A reflection of the values of those times.

Earlier policing methods had changed little since medieval times. Each year local Parishes elected an unpaid constable to serve for a year ~ or got the poor man to pay for someone else to do the job ~ and an assistant constable, called a headborough. There are records of such appointments going back to the 1600s.

The job of patrolling the parish streets was done by a small team of watchmen, under the guidance of the parish constable. The watchmen consisted of the very poor and the simple-minded men of the Parish, who were widely regarded as figures of fun and called 'Charlie', hence the derogatory phrase ' A Proper Charlie'.

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