Crown copyright Michael Rosen and Emma-Louise Williams explain the background to their website, Sec Modwhich is collecting memories of education at secondary modern schools in Britain.
The police service in Plymouth By Brian Moseley Watch and Ward Long before our modern police service was set the enforcement of law and order in parishes was set up by the Statute of Winchester in the year This obliged communities to look after their own law and order and introduced the Parish Constable.
In towns such as Plymouth this was achieved by setting up a system known as Watch and Ward. The Watch was the name given to the men who guarded the town gates and walls at night. Any wrongdoers caught during the night were then handed over to the Parish Constable in the morning.
Their daytime duties were called the Ward. The constables carried a bell in the earliest days, a rattle later, with which to rouse the inhabitants and they called out the time and the weather at frequent intervals.
Two other implications of the Statute of Winchester were the system called the Hue and Cry, whereby a person wishing to make an arrest could call on the men, and presumably women, to join him in the chase, and the requirement that all men between the ages of 15 and 60 had to own a weapon with which to help keep the peace.
It is recorded that in Plymothians were asked to provide themselves with clubs. This ancient system of law enforcement did not change until when Plymouth and Plymouth Dock started to promote local Acts of Parliament authorising the collection of rates to pay Action research furneaux 1956 street lighting and men to watch the Towns at night.
From Michaelmas to Lady-Day there were to be eleven men and a corporal on duty from 10pm until 6am, the men getting 9d each per night at this time of the year.
The remainder were to be alternately patrolling the town, and no fewer than three of them must be on patrol at any one time. They were to be armed with a halberd each and a bell and were to call the hour and weather throughout the night.
In addition to this, it was considered that there should be six men on Ward or day-time duty on a Sunday at a payment of 4d each, as part of their duties was to visit the inns, taverns and beer shops to ensure that the Sabbath was maintained.
A list of Plymouth's Constables was published in in the local directory "A Picture of Plymouth", which shows that the men sworn in were from all walks of life in the Town and from almost every part of Plymouth.
It is quoted below, with spellings as originally published : Plymouth's Watch Committee held its first meeting at the Guildhall on January 16th [1b].
At first the Council just took over the unpaid householders who were already operating the Watch and Ward operation. This meant that there were thirty-eight Constables, eight living in the Sutton ward and six in each of the other Wards.
One man in each election Ward was named the Ward Constable and their names and places of residence were published and lists affixed to public buildings around the Town. An Inspector and six 'Street-Keepers', as they were named, were to be constantly on duty and allocated between the Wards.
There was apparently a seventh Street-Keeper so presumably one man had a day off each week. In addition there were four Captains, six Rounders, ten Patrol-men and fifty-four Watchmen of the night police.
Remuneration was vastly better than it had been. The Inspector got paid 18s per week and the Street-Keepers 15s, although they had 1s a week deducted to pay for the uniforms. However, there was still some concern about the organisation of the police and on September 2nd the Mayor of Plymouth, Mr Thomas Gill, had a meeting with a Mr Maine, from the Metropolitan Police in London.
He recommended that the Force should consist of one Inspector, three Serjeants sic and twenty-seven men. The second group would patrol until 10pm when they would be relieved by the first group plus 'a reserved number of thirteen from the other divisions'.
No explanation was given as to the meaning of 'other divisions' but it appears that twenty Constables were on duty between 10pm and 6am along with two out of the three Inspectors. Mr John Sweett was appointed Superintendent to replace Mr John Eastridge Adams, who had resigned on August 6th but stayed in office until the new man had been taken on.
A Serjeant sic was to be borrowed from the Metropolitan Police to provide advice and training. Whether Mr Williams could not afford his frock coat is not known but he resigned soon afterwards and was replaced by Mr William White. At 9am on Monday October 31st the officers and men paraded at the Guildhall, in the presence of Serjeant sic Haining of the Met, took their oaths before the Mayor, and commenced duty.
This seems to have been the formal commencement of the Plymouth Borough Police Force. He came from Bristol but as he married a lady from Cobham in Surrey and his three eldest children were born in London, he evidently served with the Metropolitan Police.
The family lived at 1 Portland Terrace, Plymouth.
The Force then consisted of eight officers and 49 men. The Mayor complemented then men 'on their creditable appearance and on their general efficiency'. Afterwards the town surveyor, the market inspectors, the Hoe constable, the Great Western Docks' policemen, the special constables, the relieving officers and other officials were also sworn in.
Whistles were issued in Plymouth inprior to them becoming standard issue from Septemberwhen neighbouring Devonport received theirs. Approval was given on February 24th for the construction of a branch police station in Octagon Street, on the corner with Granby Street.
Its number was Plymouth Mr Sowerby had been a senior police officer at Leeds before the appointment. His Great Grandson, Mr Owen Sowerby, has pointed out that he was only years-old at the time and even today still holds the record as the youngest person ever appointed as Chief Constable in this country.
But for his first 40 weeks in the Force the Constable would have one shilling deducted every week 'for fear that he might run away with his uniform'.Impediments to Information Systems Replacement: A Calculus of Discontinuance.
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