Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Talgarth and district
Crime and punishment
  Men in blue  

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 could find someone else to take over.
At the beginning of Queen Victoria's reign the government passed an Act to allow counties like Breconshire to set up a County Constabulary or police force.
Montgomeryshire set up such a force soon after (see the pages on Constable Jones' journal) but Breconshire did not. Instead the County appointed a number of paid Superintendent Constables to oversee the local parish constables and give them support.
In autumn 1850 orders were made by the magistrates for giving these Superintendent Constables a proper uniform. The picture (right) shows what they may have looked like.

Early Victorian Superintendent Constable
  Victorian PC In 1856 the government introduced a law which forced counties to set up proper police forces. The Breconshire Constabulary was formed the following year with one police officer based at Talgarth to cover the whole area.
It was a hard life being a policeman in Victorian Talgarth. The officer worked seven days a week, and between 10 and 12 hours per day. He had to patrol a large area on foot and didn't even get his boots paid for until 1873.
If he got into difficulties he couldn't call for back up. The nearest other policemen were in Brecon, Crickhowell or Hay!

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