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Brecon and district
Crime and punishment
  Policing the area  

At the beginning of Queen Victoria's reign the area was policed mainly by parish constables. None of these men were paid or had any training. They had to do their duties as well as their own jobs, so you can imagine that not many people were keen to be a constable.
They served for one year without pay, and often were not allowed to finish their duties by the courts unless they found someone else to take over.
From 1839 the borough of Brecon employed three constables to keep the peace in the town. They wore uniform and were paid. Each of them had a beat to patrol and they were supervised by town councillors.
At this time other counties like Montgomeryshire set up a proper county police force or constabulary.

This drawing from
PUNCH magazine shows us
how Brecon's first constables
might have looked
  By 1856 the government could see that these county constabularies were much more effective at dealing with crime, and all counties were instructed to set up such a police force.
Like many other counties, Breconshire appointed a "gentleman" to be the new Chief Constable. He was Lieutenant Gwynne of the Royal Brecon Rifles. Although experienced policemen from elsewhere applied for the job, 28 year old Lt Gwynne of Brecon was appointed on a salary of £250 per year.
  The new Constabulary amalgamated with the Borough's little force of three to make a total of 29 men in all.
Brecon had the Chief Constable, a Superintendent, a Sergeant and 3 Constables. There was a sergeant based at Defynnog and a constable at Trecastle.
  More about the Breconshire Constabulary...  

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