Webpage created: August 27, 2019
Webpage updated: August 27, 2019
POLICING OLD PLYMOUTH
In the year 1285 the Statute of Winchester required all communities to look after their own law and order and introduced the Parish Constable. In Plymouth he was aided in his work by what was known as the Watch and Ward. The Statute also introduced the Hue and Cry, whereby any person wishing to make an arrest could call upon the other residents of the Town to join him in the chase. The miscreant, when caught, would be handed over to the Parish Constable.
From 1770 onwards both Plymouth and Plymouth-Dock promoted local Acts of Parliament for the collection of a rate to pay for the cost of watching and lighting the Towns. The Mayor of the Borough of Plymouth was the chief magistrate so he was not a person to upset.
As a result of the Municipal Corporations Act 1835 local authorities were enabled to form police forces and the Borough of Plymouth Police Force came into being in 1836.
Finally in 1967 the City of Plymouth Police Force was amalgamated with the Devon County Constabulary and the Cornwall County Constabulary to become the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary.