A return of crime and a big increase of the police force sanctioned

Hertfordshire Mercury, 10th May 1913


The following statistics were reported at a meeting of the Hertfordshire County Council, held in the Town Hall in St Albans on Monday 5th May 1913.

‘The Chief Constable presented the return of crime in the county for the past quarter, which showed that 502 persons were apprehended and summoned, of which 13 were committed to trial, 443 summarily convicted and 43 discharged. This showed a decrease of 11 compared with the corresponding quarter of 1912.

During the quarter 68 males and 8 females were proceeded against for drunkeness in the county and all but three of the males were convicted, there being an increase of 14 males convicted for this offence.  No holder of a licenced house was proceeded against.

In the course of the three months, 102 felonies were reported, 36 of which were detected and 66 remained under investigation.’

Big increase of the police force

At the same meeting, it was reported ‘that the Home Secretary had sanctioned an increase of the police force by the addition of four Constables, the full strength now being one Chief Constable, eight Superintendents, eight Inspectors, thirty-four Sergeants, and 249 Constables.

The Standing Joint Committee also recommended that application be made for sanction to the further increase in the force by fifty Constables, their enlistment to be spread over the next three years. They had also given directions to the Chief Constable to register 200 additional men willing to serve as special constables.

The Council had previously decided to enrol a police reserve of 120 men with past training in the police, the army, or the navy, and to pay them 9 shillings a day when employed, but this scheme had failed owing to an insufficient number of suitable men coming forward.  It was then resolved to try and revive the old system of appointing Parish Constables, but this was rejected by the Court of Quarter Sessions.

The Chief Constable in a comprehensive report showed that it was necessary to have another 50 men, and after careful consideration the committee made the above recommendation. The cost of the proposal would be £5,000 annually.

The Chairman said that several schemes had been proposed and failed, and now they were obliged to increase the force permanently in order to meet the requirements of the Weekly Rest Day Act.  If they did this then they had every reason to believe that they would be able to give satisfaction to the Home Office as to the adequacy of the force.’

The recommendations of the committee were approved.

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