The history of policing in Brighton and Hove

There have been lots of books published about the history of Brighton and Hove, but those in the list that follows deal mainly with policing in the area or about the social context of local communities as the two towns developed into the modern city.


Most, unfortunately are now out of print, but can be borrowed or seen in reference collections at the Brighton & Hove City Library, East Sussex County Libraries, or at the East Sussex Record office at Lewes.


From 1857 onwards police forces, including the then separate forces in Brighton and in Hove, had to send statistical returns to the Home Office about crimes and other incidents in their areas.  These were published in book form by the government.  Some of these books of crime figures are held by university libraries, but a complete collection is held in the National Police Library at Bramshill House in Hampshire.

All of these libraries have websites (see our useful links page) that will give you more information about how you can access this material.

  • Attwick, W, Jubilee of the Brighton Corporation, (1904), Brighton Herald.
  • Attwick, W, Brighton Since the Grant of The Charter. 1854-1929, (1929), Brighton and Hove Herald.
  • Baines, G. History of The Brighton Police. 1838-1967, (1968), Brighton Borough Police.
  • Brighton Borough Police, County Borough of Brighton Police Centenary 1838-1938, (1938), Brighton Corporation.
  • Brighton Gazette, Fifty Years of Municipal Government, (1904), Brighton Gazette.
  • Carder, T. The Encyclopaedia of Brighton, (1990), East Sussex County Libraries.
  • Critchley, T A, A History of Police in England and Wales, (1967), Constable.
  • Dale, A, “Not So Fashionable Brighton”, (1954), Sussex County Magazine, 28, p233-9.
  • Dale, A, Fashionable Brighton 1820-1860, (1967), Phillimore.
  • Dale, A, BrightonTown and Brighton People, (1976), Phillimore .
  • Dale, A, A History of the Kemp Town Gardens. Brighton, (1964), Dale, Brighton.
  • D’Enno, D, Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths Around Brighton, (2004), Wharncliffe Books.
  • Erredge, J A, History of Brighthelmstone, (1862), Brighton, E. Lewis.
  • Fossey, K, “Slums and Tenements, 1840-1900”,pp 53-58 in: Farrant, S. Fossey, K and Peasgood, A, The Growth of Brighton and Hove. 1840-1939, (1981), University of Sussex Centre for Continuing Education.
  • Gilbert, E W. “The Growth of Brighton”, (1949), Geographical Journal, CXIV, p30-52,
  • Goodman, J (ed.), The Seaside Murders, (1985), Allison & Busby.
  • Hove Police Commissioners, Rules, Regulations, Orders and Directions for the Government of the Officers and Men of the Hove Police Force, (1859), Hove Commisioners.
  • Johnson, W H, Sussex Murders, (2005), Alan Sutton Publishing.
  • Kemnitz, T.M. “Chartism in Brighton”, (1969), Sussex University, unpublished DPhil thesis.
  • Kyrke, R V, History of East Sussex Police, 1840-1967, (1967), East Sussex Police.
  • Middleton, J. A History of Hove, (1979), Phillimore.
  • Nash, W E, Guide to Brighton, (1885), Brighton Times Office.
  • Oakensen, D J, “The Origins and Development of Policing in Brighton and Hove, 1830-1900” (1994), University of Brighton, unpublished PhD thesis.
  • Porter, J H. The History of Hove. Ancient and Modern, (1897), Combridges, Hove.
  • Poulsom, N. Rumble, M, and Smith, K, Sussex Police Forces, (1987), Middleton Press.
  • Radzinowicz, L, A History of the English Criminal Law and Its Administration from 1750. (Volume 4), (1968) Stevens and Sons.
  • Ray, M G I, “Who were the Brunswick Town Commissioners? A Study of a Victorian Urban Ruling Elite”, (1989), Sussex Arch. Collections, 127, p211-228.
  • Ray, M G I, “The Evolution of BrunswickTown. Hove”, (1987), SussexUniversity, unpublished MPhil thesis
  • Rowland, D, The Brighton Blitz, (1997), SB Publications.
  • Rumble, M and Cheal, D, “The Solomon Murder: The Death of Brighton’s Chief Constable”, (1983), Spring, Police Insignia Collectors Association Magazine, p7-9.
  • Spector, D, “Jewry in Sussex- 2”, (1982), 3, no.4, Sussex Genealogist.
  • Taylor , M B. and Wilkinson, V L, Badges Of Office, (1989), R Hazell & Co.
  • Thomas-Stanford, C, Wick, a Contribution to the History of Hove, (1923), Combridges, Hove,
  • Victoria History of the County of Sussex. Volume 7 , (1940) Oxford.
  • Webb, S & B. English Local Government from The Revolution to The Municipal Corporations Act: The Manor and The Borough Part One (1908) Longmans, Green & co.
  • Webb, S & B. English Local Government, Volume One: The Parish and The County, (1963), Frank Cass & co.
  • Wells, R. “Implementation and Non-implementation of the 1839-40 Policing Acts in East and West Sussex”, (1991), Policing and Society, 1, p299-317.
  • Wells, R. “Southern Chartism”, (1991), Rural History, 2, (1), p3 7-59 .
  • Wells, R. “Popular Protest and Social Crime: The Evidence of Criminal Gangs in Rural Southern England”, (1991), Southern History, 13, p32-81.

Comments about this page

  • Can anyone help me? I am a mature student looking into the seafront clashes involving the Mods & the Rockers in 1964. Is there any information on events in that year or has anyone any memories of the policing of the troubles? Would be grateful for any information you have.

    By Rose Withers (30/04/2010)
  • I well remember the Brighton Blitz because I was walking home to lunch along Lansdown Road from Christ Church School in Bedford Place just after noon, when the pips went. My three companions and I took shelter in a deep doorway (Still there) as machine gun bullets swept the street. I believe that two Policemen were killed on that day.

    By Bryan Kidd (08/01/2008)

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