n response to the new Police Act, Caithness-shire Constabulary was established in 1858. It had hitherto consisted of two men, one in Wick and the other in Pulteneytown as well as a Chief Constable, Mr. A Mitchell, and a Superintendent. An additional Constable was to be added with the formation of the Force. The pay of the Chief Constable was set at £100 per year, including an

allowance for a horse and personal expenses at markets but exclusive of clothing. The allowance of the Superintendent was £1 per week, including a horse, if he should choose to keep one, and an allowance for personal expenses at markets but exclusive of clothing. The allowance of Constables was set at £45, also inclusive of personal expenses and allowances, except clothing.


By as early as 1878, the position of Superintendent had been eliminated with only Sergeants and Constables under the Chief Constable until Sergeant Sinclair was promoted to Inspector. Sergeant Sinclair served Caithness-shire Constabulary for 47 years, joining in 1865 at 20 years of age, promoted to Sergeant after eight years, to Inspector after a further five years and appointed Chief Constable in 1884, a position he held until his retirement in 1912. By 1880, the force consisted of one Chief Constable, one Inspector, one Sergeant and 16 Constables in three classes.


Mr. W.K. Cormack succeeded Chief Constable Sinclair in 1912 and held the position until his retirement in 1952. Sergeant John W. Georgeson, OBE, was appointed Chief Constable in 1952, having served sixteen years with the force apart from a short period of war service. He retired after thirty-three years of service when Caithness-shire Constabulary became part of Northern Constabulary on 16 May 1969.


Fourteen officers of Caithness-shire Constabulary c 1874; George Reid is seated 2nd right



Caithness-shire Constabulary, this time 17 officers, c 1877. George Reid is centre seated on ground


  1. The British Newspaper Archive:
    Banffshire Journal and General Advertiser, 3 November 1857
    John o' Groat Journal, 30 May 1878; 8 August 1878; 22 July 1880
    Banffshire Journal and General Advertiser, 21 June 1881
    The Scotsman, 14 February 1930
    Aberdeen Evening Express, 13 December 1952
    Aberdeen Press and Journal, 11 April 1969

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