Joining the Police 1839 Style
This was seen in a London newspaper of 1839.
These are the conditions you must expect when joining the London Police.
1. You must be aged between 23 and 40 years of age and be able to prove your
2. Your Salary will be as follows: –
Constable. 17/- (85p)
Sergeant. £1.1s. (£1.05p)
Superintendent. £3.10s (£3.50p)
Chief Constable. £13.10s (£13.50p)
(Note this is annual pay.)
3. Your working hours will be 8, 10 or 12 hour shifts, 7 days a week.
Every encouragement will be given to officers to grow beards as shaving is
regarded as unhealthy. However beards must not exceed 2 inches in length.
4. Uniform will be worn at all times, this is to prevent accusations of spying on
the Public whilst in ordinary clothes. A duty band will be worn to indicate
whether or not you are on duty.
5. You are not allowed to vote in elections.
6. You must not gossip with the public. In particular, avoid conversation with
female servants or other women on duty. Do not walk or converse with your
comrades, merely exchange a word and pass on.
7. During your shift you will walk 20 miles.
8. No rest days are allowed and only one week’s holiday per annum, unpaid.
9. No meal breaks are allowed. The top hat may be used to hold a snack. You
Must inform the superintendent before you associate, eat or drink, with any
10. Before attending for medical examination and interview to join the police
It is advisable to take a bath.
11. You are not allowed to sit down in public houses at any time.
12. You must expect a hostile reception from all sections of the public and to be
Prepared to be assaulted, stoned or stabbed in the course of your duties.