Hey guys!! So this week, as part of my Art homework, I have been researching the Hull City Police Force. The task was to create a 2D or 3D piece of art which illustrated a part of our local history. So because my late grandad George Duncan Kitching was part of the Police Force from December 5th 1955 I decided I wanted my base my homework on the Hull City Police Force. Hull City Police Force was a big part of Hull’s history and I’m really grateful to be related to a member of its later Police Force. In today’s blog post, I’m going to be sharing some key points of the history of Hull City Police Force with you all.
In the early 1800s, Hull was a magnet for many forms of crime since criminals were driven there due to the improvement of policing in other areas. The overcrowded streets saw many robberies and stabbings. Houses were frequently broken into and during daylight, gangs of boys, run by older men, picked pockets in the market place.
In 1835, Parliament passed an agreement on Municipal Boroughs (a type of local government which existed in England and Wales from 1835 to 1974) appointing watch committees and forming new style police forces. Hull were quick to jump in and in early 1836, a comittee of the council was established under William Woolley to build up the foundations of Hull City Police Force. When the police force was first established, there were around 96 parish constables, 102 watchmen, 9 dock constables and 15 dock watchmen. However, ten of the watchmen were over 60 years old, 48 were over 50 and at least half were totally unfit for their duty. Most of the watchmen were of poor quality and could not properly perform their duties. Watchmen were only on duty during the night and got paid a measly seven shillings, reduced to five shillings and threepence because the shorter nights required less work. But a lot of criminal activity still took place in the evenings before the watch started and in the morning after their duties had finished.
Hull City Police Force developed and grew better over the years. It served the City well until 1974 when it was merged with a number of neighbouring forces to form Humberside Police Force. This helped with the effiency of policing and was a step forward in improving the different police forces across the country. My grandad continued to serve in Humberside Police Force until his retirement in March 1987 as a police sergeant after 31 years of public service. He first started at Gordon Street Police Station and spent the early part of his career walking down streets that now no longer exist. There were no radios in those days and very few police cars and it would’ve been very different being a policeman then than it is now.
Thank you for reading this blog post!! Do you have any family history linked to Hull? Let me know if you do! There will be another blog post out next week but until then bye for now!!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull