Blue plaque honours pioneer policewoman
A HUNDRED years of women in policing was marked last Monday with the unveiling of a blue plaque honouring the life of WPC Gladys Moss, Worthing’s very first female police officer. Her plaque was erected at the police station in Chatsworth Road. It was unveiled at a ceremony in the Richmond Rooms, Worthing, attended by nephew Derek Moss and his wife, Jean, together with chief officers from Sussex Police, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne and Worthing Mayor Michael Donin. In a career spanning 21 and a half years, WPC Moss was posted to stations across Worthing – including time in Anne Street, High Street and, latterly, Heene Road (now replaced by a block of flats).
Responding to an advert in the Worthing Gazette, a newspaper later absorbed by the Herald, a 35-year-old Miss Moss began her career in Worthing in 1919. Her appointment followed a ten-month stint as a policewoman in a munitions factory in Hereford during the First World War. She was previously a member of the Women’s Police Service, which began as an unofficial body founded by philanthropist Margaret Damer Dawson and women’s suffrage activist Nina Doyle. Following her appointment, WPC Moss gained attention as the first motorcycle-riding policewoman in the country.
This proved somewhat of a necessity as she was responsible for cases involving women and children all across Sussex county. In 1915, the first police-woman with full powers of arrest was sworn in and Evolve, the Sussex Police Women’s Network Group, has organised a range of events celebrating 100 years of women in policing. Detective Inspector Jacqui Jenkins, who leads the Women in Policing Centenary Project Team and is the deputy chairman of Evolve, said WPC Moss’ service stood out as significiant among the stories of other early female officers. She said: “It is a fitting tribute that we acknowledge the significant achievements of the pioneer policewomen in Sussex, including WPC Moss, through the unveiling of an historical blue plaque.
“The centenary year of women in policing provided an opportunity for us to take stock of how far we have come, how much has changed but also to acknowledge that there is still work to be done to achieve gender equality even in the the police service of today.”
Read more at: https://www.worthingherald.co.uk/news/blue-plaque-honours-pioneer-policewoman-1-7082418