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Policing the Rhayader area  

After much discussion and argument, it was agreed that Rhayader should have a Police Sergeant.
Sergeant John Constance was appointed, and he took up his duties at the Rhayader lock-up. A year later it was decided that one man could not cover such a huge area, so a Police Constable was appointed to help Sergeant Constance.


These two policemen had to look after law and order on their own in a huge area. The county police headquarters were at Penybont, and the nearest other police station was at Newbridge-on-Wye.
If the Rhayader police got into difficulties they would have to deal with it themselves, because in Victorian times you couldn't radio for assistance !
Police Constables were expected to be able to read and write, but some were better at this 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 !

Victorian policeman.
  Police stationA new police station and court room were built in Rhayader, and in the 1890s the local police were reinforced by extra officers when thousands of workmen came to the area to construct the Elan Valley dams.
A constable was based at the Elan village, and extra police were based at Rhayader and along the line of the pipeline at Nantmel, and Gwystre. This must have been a busy time with so many strangers moving through the area.

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