History of Hastings Police 1836-1967

William Montague Glenister
Sussex Police
Circa 1860. Police Sergt. Thomas jones, who died whilst serving in the Force in February. 1870. Member of a Hastings family of many generations
Sussex Police

Research and drafting undertaken by Mr Charles banks, a former Inspector of the Force 1967

On 29th May, 1857, the Watch Committee appointed William Montague Glenister, age 30 years, a Police Inspector of the Great Western Railway, as Inspector of the Hastings Borough Police. Mr Glenister commenced duty in his new post on 27th June, 1857, at a salary of £120 per annum,

At the Meeting of the Watch Committee held on 17th July. 1857, the Committee considered a “report dated 30th June from Captain Edward Willis. H.M. Inspector of Police, as to the efficiency of the Borough Police Force wherein Captain Willis recommended an addition to the Force of four sergeants and nine constables and also some alteration in the day and night duties”. The Committee recommended that such report be not adopted as it would entail too much additional expense to the Borough.

In the next month Inspector Glenister’s recommendation “that the services of the Keeper of the Watch House be dispensed with and that an additional Regular Police Constable be appointed in order that there may always be a Constable up and on duty at the Police Station nightly from 9 pm. to 9 am., visiting any persons in the Watch House during that time every half hour” was approved by the Committee,

In September 1857, the Watch Committee agreed to the change in Mr. Glenister’s designation of “Inspector” to that of “Superintendent”.

In November, 1857, the Committee agreed to the recommendation of H.M. Inspector of Constabulary that six additional men should be appointed to the Borough Force, “seeing that one fourth part of the total expenses of the pay and clothing of the Police will be repaid by Government and the only extra expense thereby incurred by the Borough will be about £27”. The six additional Constables commenced duty on lst January, 1858.

The Superintendent’s salary was increased £15 per annum after completing one year’s service, and in October, 1858, he reported to the Committee that he had been presented with a gold watch and chain “as a token of satisfaction felt by the tradesmen in the Borough for his exertions in carrying out the duties of his office”. The acceptance of the gift was approved, and the Committee had

“much pleasure in recording their high approval of the lucid manner in which the first annual report of the state of crime in the Borough for the preceding 12 months had been prepared, and presented by the Superintendent”.


At their Meeting in January. 1859, the Committee agreed that the pay of the Sergeants be 22/- per week, with 6d. extra Boot Allowance, and that the Constables be divided into two Classes, the First Class to consist of six men of the most merit and service, to be paid 20/- and 6d. for boots. and the Second Class, the remaining portion of the Force, be paid 18/- per week and 6d. for boots.

Also at this Meeting the Committee, for the first time, decided on the amounts that were to be deducted from Police pay for Superannuation purposes, as required by the Act dealing with this question, and made that year.

At this time the strength of the Force was 1 Superintendent, 5 Sergeants and 14 Constables.

In May. 1860, the Superintendent reported to the Committee that he had established a library for the use of the Police Force, and the Committee agreed that the men should contribute 2d, each monthly for this to defray expenses.

The first mention of the method employed of policing the district of Bohemia appears in the Watch Committee Minutes of March, 1861, when they allowed P.c. Morley 10/- for the removal of his goods from his lodgings to Bohemia Road, and that a notice board with the words “Police Station” should be affixed outside his premises.

In January, 1864, the Superintendent reported a case of burglary to the Committee, and they approved that he “get the attendance of two detectives to assist him”. This is the first time that “detectives” are mentioned in the records of the Hastings Police.

An augmentation by four men for the Force was approved by the Committee in February, 1865, and in July of the following year the pay of the Police was increased, excluding the Superintendent, who, however, was allowed £15 a year as Inspector of Hackney Carriages, pleasure boats, bathing machines, etc.

Consequent upon the rapid increase in the population of the Borough, and property development; the Watch Committee agreed in January, 1869, to add three men to the Police Force, and a further two men in October, 187l.


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