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I am looking into the history of policing in Blackheath/Springfield/Rowley and up to Halesowen and Oldbury. I am interested in the period of the 1880s. I believe that there was a an overlap between the Forces of Shropshire, Worcesestershire and Staffordshire -is that right for that period?

Also, what would the ranks and complement have been? Would it have been no more than one officer for every thousand head of population, as laid down in one of the Police Acts? Any ideas about what rank would man a station, and did the station gaols transfer prisoners to Safford Gaol for trial, or was there somewhere in Dudley?

This is material for a novel. Any advice would be gratefully received. Cheers!

December 14, 2015 at 9:39 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posts: 1413

An interesting subject Hugs, and, for the area itself, a bit complicated. Rowley Regis, which included the three districts you mention, had it's main Police Station in Old Hill, The building included cells and also housed the Magistrates Court, which was always refered to as Old Hill Police Court. The Stations compliment, as far as I can work out in 1884, listed an Inspector, two Sergants, and eight Constables. There were two Constables based in Rowley Village, and down in Blackheath, in the Station in Holly Road, were a Sergant in charge, and six Constables. This may seem like overmanning given the various Police acts, but the area was more or less like a frontier town of the old wild west. It was growing rapidly and the beats extended as far as the Oldbury boundry, the borders with Dudley and Brierley Hill, and of course Halesowen. To complicate the system, the other side of Halesowen Street in Blackheath, was actually part of Halesowen, as was the area from the Railway line and the Church, it being called Cakemore, also part of Halesowen. The two areas had merged, and were called Hill and Cakemore. The Police Station for this part was in Station Lane in the Nimmings. ( later Nimmings Road ) This also included cells for holding prisoners. Most cases of wrong doing were handled by the various Police Courts in Old Hill, Halesowen, Oldbury, and Brierley Hill. Only the serious cases ( capital crimes, or when the sentencing powers of the court were inadequate ) were committed for trial to the County Gaols at Stafford, or Worcester.  From 1911, trials for murder were still carried out at County level, anyone sentenced to Death were then transferred to the Birmingham Prison, in Winson Green, to await their fate.There was a great deal of co-operation between the forces, on occasions, a Superintendent or an Inspector being summoned from Brierley Hill to deal with a murder, there being no Detective Division in Rowley Regis.I hope this helps you, and I am sure there are more folk out there who know far more on the details than I do. Good Luck with the Book.


A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

January 26, 2016 at 7:16 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 3

Er, i know it's a bit late but i've just realised i never thanked you for this info. So Thank You Tons!

The situation you decscribed was even more convoluted than i had thought - artistic licence will have to come to the rescue!

September 30, 2017 at 1:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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