Cells Female

Margaret Dawson & Mary Allen 1916
The Caffyns Collection

Represented within these cells is the history of policewomen in Sussex

from the first commandant, Margaret Damer Dawson, born in Sussex, to the modern day female police officer, from the Equal Pay Act in 1970 to the Sex Discrimination Act of 1975, from separation to full and proper integration with their male colleagues. See how the changing styles of uniform reflect the developing role of women within a modern, progressive police force.

Why did it take from 1916 to 1967 for women to be amalgamated into the county police force?

What did their male colleagues think about serving with policewomen?

What did the policemen’s wives think about their husbands working closely with women?

Displayed on the wall is the Caffyns Collection of truncheons and tipstaffs. It is one of the finest in the country which covers all types from the purely ceremonial to the lethal and brutal.

Unlike the male cells, these have wooden floors and natural light. Unfortunately the women still had to slop out!

The individual female cells also showcase the constituent police forces which were amalgamated in 1968 to form Sussex Constabulary (later Sussex Police). Cell 2 shows West Sussex, cell 3 East Sussex, cell 4 Eastbourne and Hastings and cell 5 Sussex Police from the amalgamation.


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