When Hull had a Police Force!!

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.

Picture taken of my grandad 1958 c. Outside Carmichael’s Jewellers Hull during the filming of training video 

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.

These are the jacket buttons my grandad would’ve worn as part of his uniform

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.

This is a my grandad’s helmet badge, showing the three crowns of Kingston Upon Hull

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


  1. I think that this is your best blog so far Amelia! The personal connection has provided a direct link for you with past life in Hull. What an interesting life your granddad must have had in those days!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amelia, I worked with your grandad when George and I were both sergeants in Hull. I had crossed the river from Grimsby – on the ferry! – and George introduced me to the city which has been my family home ever since.
    Thank you for stirring some very happy memories of a lovely man and a really good cop.
    Julian R

    Liked by 1 person

      • Firstly, we both worked in ‘Legoland’ – prefabricated buildings in George Street, where the Technical college now has a building, and which housed Prosecutions, Training and the Uniform Stores!. George was in prosecutions, I was in Training.
        Later we were both secton sergeants at Priory – another pre-fabricated building! – but not on the same relief.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s so sad you didn’t meet Grandad. When I first met George, I was young and newly promoted, and he was in his last few years of service, and took me under his wing, always ready to help and give advice.
        He was greatly respected and had a great sense of humour, That was in the early 80’s and I am now a grandad myself, with seven amazing grandchildren, who are also curious about the police in the olden days.
        If you google ‘Hull City Police newsletter’ you will find loads of memories of bobbies who would have served with Grandad when he was a very young man and I’m sure would be pleased to help you with your research
        Best wishes
        Julian R

        Liked by 1 person

      • I really do wish I could’ve met him it’s really sad having to grow up with only one day of grand parents and George and Beryl sound amazing. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post I really appreciate it 😊


  3. This was so informative and interesting, Amelia! I love learning about family and city/state history, because it helps me to feel a deeper connection to my state and family members by knowing more about them! 😊 Those items that you have of your grandfather’s are very cool! It would have been neat if you could have met him.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Amelia. I enjoyed your article on the police force of Hull. I’m trying to figure out where the Central Police Station would have been in and around the years of the First World War. I suspect it was on Alfred Gelder Street, but I would like confirmation, so I was wondering if you had unearthed any relevant information during your research of the topic.


  5. […] When Hull had a police force: The Hull police force is an integral part of Hull’s history especially from my perspective as my Grandad served in the force for a number of years. It served the city well until 1974 when it was merged with several other local forces to form the collective Humberside Police Force. Since I never met my grandad, this post was a way for me to understand him better and explore something that was an important aspect of his life. Plus, it further proved to me that Hull has a rich history that was interesting to research. […]


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