The British police: Police Forces and Chief Officers 1829 – 2000

Martin Stallion and David S Wall (Police History Society, 1999) A5, 262pp. ISBN 0-9512538-4-0.

This is a comprehensive directory of all the police forces known to have existed in the UK since 1829. Each entry lists the dates of formation and abolition, its predecessor and successor, initial and final or current strength, names and dates of chief officers (with an index). There is also a good bibliography of force histories. The first chapter explains the growth of today’s police forces from their beginnings to 2000, followed by sections explaining police organisation 1829 - 2000, plus alphabetical lists of police forces and chief officers. This is an important reference source for everyone who has a policeman in the family or ancestors who served in a local police force. An example entry for Berkshire Police Force (formed 1856) includes the absorption dates of Wantage, Wallingford, Newbury, Abingdon, Maidenhead and Windsor boroughs, finally becoming part of the Thames Valley Police in 1968.

Jean Debney

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