History of Hastings Police 1836-1967

1921. Hastings Police Mounted Sectlon. Left to right P .Cs. Milton. lavender. Funnell, Taylor and Wood.
Sussex Police

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

Leave, Pay and Appointments

At their Meeting held on 30th April, 1871, the Committee considered a Memorial from the Police Force applying for fixed times of leave, and a shorter time for promotion. The Committee agreed that each man would be allowed a day off a month and five days Annual Leave; that on appointment as 3rd Class Constable a man would be paid £1 5s. 6d. per week, and be on probation for six months. The pay of a Constable was increased so that after five years’ service a 1st Merit Constable was paid £1 Ss. 6d. per week. The pay for Sergeants was also increased by 1/- per week, and in consequence of the foregoing decision affecting leave, the strength of the Force was increased by one man. In October of the following year the pay of sergeants and constables was increased by another shilling a week.

C.I.D. Staff

The first detective in the Hastings Police Force was P.C. Weston (187S). but by 1879 there was a Detective Sergt, and two Detective Constables. By August. 1883, however, there was only a Detective Sergeant.

The appointment in February, 1881, of Sergt. Dennis as an Inspector is noteworthy. It was the first time that this rank was established as we know it today. The pay of Inspector Dennis was £100 per annum. In October. 1883 Sgt. Streeter was also promoted to the rank of Inspector. Mr. Streeter was promoted to Superintendent in 1895, and he retired on pension in 1903, having completed 50 years’ service in the Force.

By December, 1882, an additional Constable had been appointed to “watch the East and West Hills, and Torfield”, an Undertaking having been given by Alfred R. Sayer, Receiver of the Estate of Edward Henry Sayer-Milward. “to pay one half of the yearly expenses of the Constable’s pay and clothing. not to exceed in anyone year the sum of £35”.

The Police Force took formal possession on 7th November, 1883, of the new Police Station which had built in Bourne Street on the site of the demolished Gaol, and the original Police Station underneath the Town Hall in High Street was vacated.

The date of 13th November. 1885, is a milestone in the Force’s history, for it was on this date that Mr. Glenister, who since October, 188, had been styled “Chief Superintendent”, was named “Chief Constable”.

In April. 1888, application was made to the Home Office for the approval of the appointment of six more constables, 900 new buildings and one and a half miles of new roads having been laid out since the last authorised increase of strength in 1883. The Home Office refused to sanction this until the following October, but nevertheless the Committee approved that one Constable be appointed at the expense of the Borough Fund until Home Office approval was obtained.

In connection with the implementation of the provisions of the Police Act 1890, the Watch Committee introduced from 26th December of that year a new pay structure for Inspectors, Sergeants and Constables, the rates of pay for each rank on appointment being £2 2s. Od , £1 11s. 6d., and £1 4s. 6d. per week respectively. This Act also introduced superannuation deductions from pay for pensions.

The population of Hastings in February, 1892. was 52,223. and from April of that year four additional constables were appointed.

The Mounted Constables

Consequent upon complaints received “about the unruly behaviour of certain day excursionists” the Committee In July, 1893. authorised the appointment of an additional constable for Mounted Duty.

From this date a mounted P.C. became a familiar figure in the Borough, being employed in patrolling the Fire Hills and rural areas, On the occasion of the visits of important personages, up to four constables were engaged in escorting processions, and in crowd control duties, horses being hired from a local establishment.

The Mounted Section was finally disbanded in 1942. owing to the shortage of animal foostuffs. Mare “Kitty” was put out to grass at Pevensey. She enjoyed several years of retirement, but unfortunately had to be destroyed on account of injuries she received from falling into a dyke.

During the course of his long career, Mr. Glenister received many commendations for his valuable services, and on completing 25 years’ service in the Force he was the guest of honour at a banquet held in the Queen’s Hotel. At this function he was presented with a cheque for nearly £400. His great grand-daughter is employed at the Hastings Police Headquarters as a shorthand-typist.

Mr. Glenister died on 15th December, 1894, with thirty-seven years approved Police Service. His devoted service to the community and Police Force cannot be measured, and his great work in connection with the organisation and operation of the Volunteer Fire Brigade is most commendable.

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