From the early days of rattles and whistles forward to modern radios and mobiles, these pages present the origin and follow the development of policing in Britain. Steeped in tradition yet advancing with the times, the fascinating histories of police forces from Aberdare Canal Police to Zetland County Police await you here.

— Recent Additions and Updates —

Caledonian Railway Police
Ministry of Munitions Women Police Service
Brighton, Lewes and Hastings Railway Police
Montgomeryshire Police
Edinburgh City Police
Rolls Royce Constabulary
Aer Rianta Airport Police Fire Service
Airport Police Service
Newton Abbot Police
UK Football Policing Unit
See All Additions

— The Journal of British Police History —


We are pleased to publish the eighth issue of our quarterly Journal.

It features articles on the Lincoln City Police Merit Badge, Royal Gibraltar Police, Police Telegraphic Code, White Helmets for the City of London Police, "3s 4d" and much more.

We hope you enjoy this eighth instalment:

The Journal of British Police History
Fall 2020

— Force Timelines Added —

Use the timelines on the force overview pages to navigate between related forces.
Available forces will be displayed in dark text, e.g., Reigate Borough Police below:

— View the British Forces —

Select a letter below to view the list of forces in alphabetical order

  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z  

Select a year below to view the list of forces in chronological order

  1775 1800 1825 1850 1875 1900 1925 1950 1975  2000

Select a count below to view the list of forces by force size

1 10 50 100 500 1000 5000

Select a type below to view the list of forces by unit


Enter text below to search for forces

— Photograph Albums Updated —

Among our recent updates to the site is a new format for the force photograph albums.
Use the links below to explore some of our albums.

— "Collect Them All" —

If you are interested in a small, weekly dose of British Police History, we invite you to return to the Members Page in the coming weeks, or follow one of our social media accounts to view the new British Police History trading cards. Each Sunday we will highlight a person, force, location or item. If you follow one of the social media accounts, they also feature a photograph on a daily basis.

Below is a sampling of the first three cards that have been published. Hover over a card below to flip the card to see the reverse side. Keep your mouse over the card to keep it flipped to the reverse side for reading. We hope you enjoy the new feature.


Our modern take on the Quarter Sessions report of Chief Constable Major T W Best, 7 July 1885. Read more about Merionethshire Constabulary on the force pages.

Do you have photographs of officers or photographs relating to policing in Britain?
If you do, we would be delighted to include them on these web-pages.
Please send your images to

— "Calling All Cars" —

A new section of the site where we will highlight organisations working
to preserve British Police History that are in need of support
as well as bits of that history that are in need of attention and preservation.


Please tag one of our social media accounts
or email with the details of worthy additions

— Turn the tables ... select an icon below to follow us: —


— Please support this site by visiting our sponsor: —


  1. Card 001:
    Leicester Chronicle, 23 Jan 1836, 04 Jan 1840 - The British Newspaper Archive
    Leicester Journal, 23 October 1840 - The British Newspaper Archive
    Portrait courtesy of Leicestershire Police
  2. Card 002:
    Hampshire Advertiser, 13 Dec 1856 - The British Newspaper Archive
    Southern Times & Dorset County Herald, 18 Jan 1862, 04 Jun 1886 - The British Newspaper Archive
    Sherborne Mercury, 24 Apr 1866 - The British Newspaper Archive
    Western Gazette, 12 Apr 1918, 28 Jan 1921 - The British Newspaper Archive
  3. Card 003:
    Police Review and Parade Gossip, 09 March 1894
    Lichfield Mercury, 26 May 1905 - The British Newspaper Archive
    Portrait courtesy of and © Paul Davies