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Hello Mervyn,

I remember the cutlasses being displayed on the staircase of the Bradford City Police Headquarters building (near to the Chief Constable's Office) prior to the Force disapperaring in 1974.

Your question on population is extremely pertinent. The following will give you some idea as to why poor old Bradford found itself reeling in the 19th century :-

1801 13,264

1811 16,012

1821 26,309

1831 43,527

1841 66,715

1851 103,778

1864 118,098

1871 147,101

1881 183,032

1891 216,495

With the coming of the Industrial Revolution the township went from being an extremely pleasant semi rural community to a huge filthy city suffering from a multitude of complex social problems. Many important national social changes (some extremely positive, and others destructive) grew out of Bradford which was a power house of radical thinking. When one reflects on the profound changes affecting the city (mirrored, of course, throughout the industrial north) sense can be made of the unrest seen during that period. I am looking at several areas of interest and will endeavour to share any findings here over a period of time and hopefully generate a sharing of knowledge.


quote name='Mervyn Mitton' timestamp='1286358552' post='424592']

Kevin - the account of the strike made very interesting reading and one quickly realises that even in the UK the difference between law and order and chaos - is a very thin blue line. This has always been so - I have advocated massed shotguns for years (!) Usually the old reports are dealing with London or, other major centres - this was different being for a County town. What would the population have been at that time ?

When I was in the Met. we used to have to go to special training days - they taught what would happen in serious trouble. I always remember that it would take only 3 atom bombs to wipe out London and that the estimate between food shortages and rioting was 2 to 3 days. I witnessed this in Bournemouth (of all places) in the 70's. We had heavy snow for several days and supplies couldn't get through - by the third day crowds were trying to break into shops and were fighting amongst themselves.

I was particularly interested in mention of Bradford buying redundant navy cutlasses. I have never heard of this for any Force and rather doubt if it is correct - although as we explored once before - the Bradford Watch Committee seemed to be a law unto itself ! Are any still in your local museums ? Mervyn

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The population figures for Bradford are quite startling - no wonder the authorities had trouble in coping. Bear in mind that the numbers for England and Wales in 1800 , were (approx) only 15,000,000.

I don't want to cut across this interesting thread, so will answer 'HF' re swords in another post. Mervyn

ps. Did you buy the 2 volumes on Police headgear and badges by Jon Weston. They are very good and I will do a review for our Police Forum.

Edited by Mervyn Mitton
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'Constabulary Code' City of Bradford' continued....


The Chief Detective Inspector will be held responsible to the Chief Constable for the following :-

1. The discipline, efficiency, and government of the whole of the Detective Department.

2. To inspect all reports and correspondence of every description and also the results of the inquiries made by the several Detectives in such cases, the same to be submitted to the Chief Constable.

3. To act as Chief Inspector under the Explosives and Petroleum Acts.

4. To officiate at the City Court as the Chief Constable may direct from time to time.

5. To supervise all the correspondence in connection with the working of the Department in all its branches.


The above Officer will be held responsible for the whole of the government of the Detective Department in the absence of the Chief Detective Inspector, and in the event of his absence the Officer next in rank will take charge of the Department.


All the Books of the Department are to be kept by the Detective Clerks, who will also take reports, write out statements of Witnesses, etc., circulate descriptions of persons wanted, property stolen, and attend generally to the telephones: also prepare Summons Sheets for the City Court, which are to be in readiness by 9-45 a.m. prompt.


To generally instruct the men under his charge with reference to cases which may be given to them to investigate.


Every Detective Officer should act with the greatest energy and tact, and strenuously endeavour to avoid all censure, etc., and also endeavour to work in harmony with his fellow Officers, as success is largely dependent on unity of work in this branch of the Police.

All information, whether private or otherwise, gained by inquiry must be immediately reported to the Superior Officer on duty, unless it is absolutely necessary to take immediate action in the matter.

It is impossible to formulate any fixed code with regard to the duties of a Detective Officer, but the following hints may be of material assistance to the Officers concerned.

Detectives should at all times be careful in their inquiries not to endanger unnecessarily the repute of a person whose conduct may be the subject of their investigation.

In consequence of being so immediately in contact with crime for the purpose of tracing its various intricacies, Detectives should be men of vast experience, tact, judgement, sterling fidelity, untiring energy, and of indomitable will.

They should exercise great acuteness and foresight in preparing their cases in order that no link may be wanting in the detection and investigation of crime.

As they not only deal with property but also ther character of persons, who might by indiscreet inquiries be unfairly predjudiced, Detective Officers should show great discretionary powers in their conversation and conduct at all times.

Successful Detective work will not allow of any hasty conclusions to be drawn as to the perpetrator of any crime, and they must guard against any tendency to construe circumastances in order that they may coincide with any pre-conceived theory which in their opinion may lead to the discovery of the criminal.

Solid facts should be carefully studied before forming any theories on the matter.

Detective Officers are more especially responsible for the carrying out of the Statutory Provisions relating to Supervisees and Licence Holders.

In the performance of this duty it should be borne in mind that every assistance should be given to those who may give evidence of being disposed to live an orderly and honest life. These persons should not be unnecessarily interfered with, but should be made to feel that they will be protected by the Police as long as they continue to live a respectable and honest life.

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'Constabulary Code' 'City of Bradford' contunued...


For The Guidance of


Police Correspondence.

1. No Officer will be permitted to correspond either by letter or telegram with any other Police Force or person upon Police Business, without the sanction of the Inspector in charge, except in cases of urgent necessity where time is of vital importance, and all such exceptional caes must be reported with the least possible dealy.

Inormation to the Press.

2. To prevent premature and injurious publication of matters connected with duty, it must be distinctly understood that, while it is desirable to aid the Press in every reasonable way, no oifficer shall be allowed at any time to supply information to the reporters without the express sanction of the Chief Officer in charge, who will never withold from them any communication that may safely be made public. Any deviation from this Rule will be treated as a direct disobedience of orders.

Original Documents.

3. No original documents or telegrams to be taken out of the Office without the permission of the Chief Detective Inspector or the Inspector in charge, but extract memoranda should be made from them in the pocket-book of the Officer whom they may concern as a guide to him upon any future inquiry on the same subject.

Incautious talking.

4. Officers are to bear in mind that it is very necessary that extreme care should be taken not to mention to persons unconnected with the Force anything concerning the duties of the Police, and it is expected that Officers on all occasions will render each other every assistance in their power in whatever cases they may be engaged.

Mutual support on Duty matters.

5. It is only by every member working harmoniously and failry together that the delicate and responsible duties entrusted to the Detective Staff can be efficiently carried out, and no petty jealousy, unworthy selfishness, or private animosity ought for a moment to be allowed to hamper the free intercourse and proper feeling that should prevail throughout the Department in all matters connected with the public service.

Private interviews.

6. Every facility must be afforded to persons desirous of conferring with individual Officers privately, and no other Officer will be allowed to interrogate or in any way interfere with such persons. Should the interview be on Police business the general nature of the same must be reported, either verbally or otherwise, to the Chief Detective Inspector, or in his absence the Inspector in charge, as soon as practicable.

Interference with Prisoners.

7. No Officer or Constable will be permitted at any time to speak to or in any way interfere with a prisoner either while at the Detective Office or at the Police Courts, except with the concurrence of the Chief Detective Inspector and the Officer in charge of the case.

Previous Convictions.

8. All Officers having prisoners committed for trial are to inform the prosecuting Solicitor of any previous convictions that may be known against such prisoners or which may come to their knowledge after the commitment.


9. All Warrants obtained from the Magistrates must be taken at once to the Warrant Office for registration, where they will be filed until actually required for execution.

Night Charge Office.

10. The Superior Officer in charge on night duty is authorised to open letters marked "immediate" and all telegrams received during his tour of duty. In cases requiring prompt attention he should send for the nearest available Inspector or Sergeant, but in any very serious matter he must at once despatch information to the Chief Detective Inspector and, if necessary, to the Chief Constable or Deputy Chief Constable. In the event of any difficulty arising he should send for and consult an Officer of superior rank. He will will be held responasible that no drinking, smoking, or improper conduct is permitted in the Office. Information of serious robberies during the night must be sent at once to the Superintendents or Inspector in charge of the Division.

Letters, etc., to be copied.

11. All letters and telegrams must be copied before being despatched and submtted to the Chief Constable at the earliest opportunity.

Retiring from duty.

12. All Officers and Constables must parade punctually at the appointed hour, and must make out their duty reports before retiring from duty stating fully how they have been engaged during their tour of duty. Any Officer employed on the outskirts of the City may report himself "going off duty" at the nearest Police Station, if for any special reason, and request the Inspector on duty to telephone to this Office for orders before retiring, stating in his report the following morning why he so retired.

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Another interesting Bye-Law from the city.. How things have changed.



Bye-Laws made by the Lord Mayor Alderman and Citizens of the City of Bradford acting by the Council AS TO PERSONS WAITING TO ENTER PUBLIC VEHICLES.

1. When six or more persons are waiting in any street in the City of Bradford to enter any public vehicle at any stopping-place or terminus they shall form and keep a queue or line and a person shall not take or endeavour to take any position in such queue or line otherwise than behind the persons alrerady forming same or enter or endeavour to enter any such vehicle before any other person desiring to enter the same vehicle and having taken up his postion in such queue or line before such first mentioned person.

2. A person waiting in any street in the city of Bradford to enter any public vehicle shall not

(a) Unreasonably obstruct or interfere with the passage of any person or traffic using the street;

(b) Wilfully interfere with or impede any person alighting from the vehicle or intending to enter the same;

© Mount or attempt to mount the vehicle otherwise than by the doors or openings provided for that purpose;

(d) Mount ot attempt to mount the vehicle whilst it is in motion; or

(e) Wilfully obstruct or impede any conductor, driver or servant of the owner of the licensee of the vehicle acting in the performance of his duty upon or in connection with the vehicle.

The provisions in the foregoing paragraphs © (d) and (e) shall not apply to tramway cars trackless trolley vehicles or omnibuses of the Lord Mayor Aldermen and Citizens of the City of Bradford.

3. Every person who shall offend against any of the foregoing bye-laws shall be liable for every such offence a penalty of forty shillings Provided nevertheless that the the justices or court before whom any complaint may be made or any proceedings may be taken in respct of any such offence if they think fit adjudge the payment as a penality of any sum less than the full amount of ther penality imposed by this bye-law.

THE COMMON SEAL of the Lord Mayor Aldermen and Citizens of the City of Bradford was hereunto affixed this 4th day of March, 1927, in th presence of


Lord Mayor.


Deputy Town Clerk.

Edited by SCcollector
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  • 3 weeks later...

I believe that Bowling Station was one of the places where My Great Grand Father (Sam Briggs) was Inspector - maybe even at the time of your photo?

Hi Harry,

I would be very interesting if you could manage to list any photographs that you might have of you Great Grand Father.

Kind regards,


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I don't have many:

1. A portrait of him (formally posed) in the uniform of an Inspector (I think - two rows of lace on the cuff).

2. What looks like a snap of him standing in a park (?) wearing uniform and a greatcoat.

3. A newspaper picture of hm with some of his men winning a First Aid trophy. This was published in the Bradford T&A some 27 years ago when I was at school - they were asking what the photo was about. I spotted Sam and wrote in telling them who he was.

4. A print of a newspaper picture of a parade where some of the men are wearing the cutlasses talked about previously - quite a variety of uniforms on this.

5. A posed group photo of when my Grand Father joined up for WW1. There is my Grandfather in his RAMC uniform, one of his brothers in a Tram Driver uniform, another brother (George Briggs) in a Constables uniform and Sam in uniform with a medal that looks like it may be a King's Police Medal.

These photos are squirreled away in various places, but I'd be happy to photocopy 'em and send them to you as and when I come across them - just let me have an address :)

I don't think I can post pics on here can I?

Edited by Harry Flashman
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  • 9 years later...

Hi All,

I have just found this thread and the photos of the fantastic collection of badges @SCcollector has posted.

I'm trying to get hold of a KC Bradford police cap badge and was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction?

It's to go in a frame with some medals so I don't really want a helmet plate, it's too big.

Thanks for the help, 


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