Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Llandrindod and district
Crime and punishment
  Policing the area  

At the beginning of the period 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 wanted 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 find someone else to take over. From the early Victorian period the county employed Superintendent Constables to oversee the parish constables.


In 1857 the Radnorshire Constabulary was set up. This was the first proper police force. Policemen were stationed across this area at Penybont, Colwyn, Llanbister and Newbridge. There were no telephones or cars so if the got into trouble they were pretty much on their own.

Police Constables were expected to be able to read and write, but some were better than others. They got no holidays, worked seven days a week, were expected to be of the best behaviour, and even had to get permission from the Chief Constable before they were allowed to marry !
When they were off duty they had to go home and stay there until it was time for their next spell of duty. Life was hard for the Victorian policeman!

Some of the police stations were not too comfortable either. Below is part of the report on the state of Penybont police station.
  extract from Court records

It reads:
"This station requires very considerable repairs. The damp penetrates the whole of the walls exposed to the West and I beg to recommend as the only remedy likely to prove effectual that the front and ends of the building be slated."
The report also said the roof leaked, the windows were cracked and the stairs up to the constables room unsafe!

Again life was hard for the Victorian policeman.


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