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Crime and punishment
  The Radnorshire Constabulary  

Before the creation of the Radnorshire Constabulary there was no real police force in the county.
Each parish had a constable, and each group of parishes had a chief constable. 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 could list three men who had not served as a constable for ten years. From this list a replacement would be chosen.
This was so unpopular that the Chief Constable of Knighton ran away rather than do his duties !
From the 1840s the government allowed counties to set up a proper county police force or constabulary. Montgomeryshire set up such a force, but Radnorshire didn't. It did employ Special Constables to oversee these local parish constables, though.
These were the first paid policemen in Radnorshire.

Stop thief !

This system still did not work very well, and eventually the government forced counties to set up proper county police forces. The Radnorshire Constabulary was set up in 1857, and the old Superintendent Constable jobs were abolished.
A full-time paid Police Constable from the new force was based at the lock-up in Rhayader.

More about police in the Rhayader area...

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