Ref NoD3376
TitleDerbyshire Constabulary and predecessors (including Borough constabularies)
Date19th-20th Cent
CreatorDerbyshire Constabulary and predecessors (including Borough constabularies)
Organsation TypeOfficial Bodies - Justice, Law and Order
Organsation Sub-TypePolice
DescriptionThe following description is a summary collection level guide only, providing information on scope, content, dates and access conditions: Records of Derbyshire County Constabulary; Derby Borough Constabulary; Chesterfield Borough Constabulary; Alfreton Sessions licensing register 1940s-1970s; Long Eaton Sessions (Ilkeston and Heanor) licensing register 1920s-1970s; Unveiling war Memorial plaque incl. Photo 1948; 'The Police Officers Assistant' by F L Bunn; Bakewell Section, Record of Juries at Inquests 1953-1980; Record of Dogs found (Dog Act 1906) Matlock 1928-1942 & Bakewell 1943-1985 (1 vol); File of correspondence re internment camps for enemy aliens and prisoners of war in Derbyshire, incl correspondence & newscuttings re escapes 1935-1944 (1 file): Chesterfield Borough Register of Prisoners with photographs 1910-1925 includes photos and details of Black people suspected/charged with crimes; D3376/Box 13/1 Criminal Register which contains photographs taken post mortem.
An interim list of the collection is available for download from this catalogue entry.

Unlisted accession, Apr 2019
Derbyshire Constabulary Pocket Book used by [Reserve] Constable G H Lodge, Oct 1941-Feb 1942, issued 19 Oct 1941 at Chesterfield. From back appears to contain a daily beat schedule/route. According to the 1939 Register, George H Lodge of East View, Heath was born on 24 Apr 1886 and was a Police Reserve. He seems to have been drawing a police pension, and had therefore probably retired from the police before the war. At the time of the 1911 census and his marriage in 1912 to Mabel Wilson, George was a Police Constable in Buxton. Born in Romford, Essex, George's father had also served in the police
Extent83 flat boxes 27 Volumes
Administrative HistoryThe County Police Act of 1839 allowed county justices discretionary rights to established Police Forces. The decision to establish a police force in Derbyshire is recorded in the Quarter Sessions of December 1838. Although a flood of petitions against the initiative, mainly on the grounds of cost, led to the project being abandoned; by the mid 1840s, new lock-ups were built at various locations including Ashbourne, Belper, Wirksworth.

The advent of industrialisation and railway building brought with it an increasing number of disorderly navvies, lead to the creation of the paid post of the Superintendent Constable, to assist the Parish Constable.

By 1854, the county had eleven Superintendent Constables; but these soon disappeared as the Derbyshire Constabulary was formed in March 1857. It comprised of eight divisions: Ashbourne; Bakewell; Belper (including Ilkeston); Chesterfield (including Eckington); Derby (DHQ at Litchurch); Glossop (including Chapel-en-le-Frith); Melbourne (including Repton and Gresley); and Matlock (including Wirksworth and Alfreton. The Force had 156 officers.

Barracks were formed in various areas of the county, this continued until 1892. However, establishing the Force does not appear to have been an easy task. Early lapses in discipline and lawlessness within the ranks saw Divisional Superintendents issued with cutlasses. The intention being to pass these onto those working under their command for their own protection.

There was a grading system amongst Constables, running from fourth to first. Pay for a third class Constable was 18 shillings, while a Superintendent received £1 .18s. Punishment for misdeeds usually meant a drop in one or two classes, and a drop in pay and a transfer. Transfers came at the officer's expense, and involved being sent to anywhere in the county. Force members assembled for quarterly foot and cutlass drills at Derby Arboretum. They were required to take their spare uniforms and books for inspection. This process was still in place as late as 1960.

The Constabulary's Headquarters were originally at Belper Police Station, but by 1859 the headquarters had moved to Derby. It was temporarily located in St. James' Terrace before finally moving to St. Mary's Gate.

As the population of the county increased, the numbers in the Force grew. In 1882, the growth in Glossop's population meant that it qualified for Municipal Borough status, and hence formed a police force of its own, which also provided the town's fire and ambulance service. Manufacturers also began appointing Police Officers to look after the security of their works. The officers were known as local Constables and were paid by the manufacturers.By 1889, the strength of the Force had increased to 282 men, including 13 local Constables.

To deal with the Derbyshire Coalfield strikes of 1892 and 1893, a temporary mounted section of 10 men was formed, and trained by the local yeomanry.

After the Superintendent was allocated a motor car following the First World War, the first motor cycle and side-car patrols came in as a result of the Road Traffic Act of 1930. While the first policewomen drivers were employed during the Second World War.

The motor cycle and side-car patrols were replaced by the Austin sports car in 1932. Although the sports car was phased out in 1947 as they were unsuited to carrying prisoners. The switch to the Wolsey, and later the Zephyr was made.

Fingerprinting and forensic evidence became prominent in the Derbyshire Constabulary between the late 1920s and early 1930s. At this time the only other Force dealing with fingerprints was Liverpool City. In 1932 Derbyshire ran C.I.D. courses for other Forces.

The Chesterfield and Glossop Borough Forces re-joined the county force again in April 1947. While the Derby Borough Police and the Derbyshire Constabulary were amalgamated to form the Derby County and Borough Police in April 1967.

The list of Derby County Police Chief Constables uo ti this point reads: Willoughby G Fox (1857-1873); Captain Francis Joseph Parry (1873-1892); Major G A Godfrey (1892-1897); Captain H C Holland (1897-1916); Major Philip Francis Ross Anley (1918-1941); James Main Garrow (1941-1951); Willis Clarke (1951-1952); and William Ewart Pitts (1953-1967). William Pitts was suseeded by the first Derbyshire Constabulary Chief Constable, Sir Walter Stansfield (1967-1979). His successorsm were: James Fryer (1979-1981); Alfred Sherwen Parrish (1981-1985); Alan Oliver Smith (1985-1990); and John Frederick Newing (1990-1998).

The Constabulary's Headquarters moved to Matlock in April 1958, with the move to Butterley Hall, Ripley coming in December 1970.The name Derbyshire Constabulary was re-adopted following boundary changes in 1973.The Cotton Lane Police Station, Derby; and stations in Ilkeston and Chesterfield were established between 1978 and 1981. At this time the Force had grown to 1767 officers.
<A Short History of the Derbyshire Constabulary, printed by Derbyshire Constabulary, 1982>
Custodial HistoryThese records were deposited at Derbyshire Record Office at various dates between 1990 and 1994
Access ConditionsThe document attached is an interim list. It cannot be regarded as accurate or definitive; when the collection is catalogued, the list will be subject to considerable change. If you wish to order documents from this collection to view in the search room, or to ask us to provide copies or carry out research on your behalf, please begin by contacting us to discuss your requirements. We generally expect documents from any interim-listed collection to take significantly longer to retrieve than in the case of a fully listed collection.

To protect the rights of individual data subjects in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, certain series of records which contain personal data and which are less than 100 years will not be made available for public consultation.
Publiction NoteOne document in this collection is number 5 in Derbyshire Record Office’s “50 Treasures” selection. For more information, click the link below.
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