Notable Events In Week Twentyfour

Ian Curley

Hertfordshire Constabulary Historical Society

This Week In History

Saturday 6th June 1864

Watford Observer
REFUSING TO LEAVE A PUBLIC HOUSE. John Levy, of Pinner, (who did not appear) was charged with refusing to leave the Compasses public house when required do by the police. Police Constable Jennings said that on the 24th inst., he was on duty in Watford Market Place. He was called upon by Jacob Large, the landlord of the Compasses to put the defendant Levy out of the house. The defendant was very quarrelsome, and the worse for liquor. Witness asked him to go out, and he refused to do so. Witness then put him out, and he went away. A little while afterwards he was called to put the same man out of the house again. The defendant refused to leave and witness put him out again. He returned twice again, and witness put him out altogether four times. He then took him in custody and locked him up. The landlord, Mr. Large corroborated this evidence. The defendant was convicted, and fined 10s plus 17s. 6d, costs. 14 days imprisonment in default of payment.

Watford Observer
HARPENDEN RACES. John Coley brought up on remand from last week, charged with stealing a watch, the property of Mr W.G, Hickman, of the London Road. The case was adjourned last week in consequence of the absence of the prosecutor. The following additional evidence was now given. Mr. Hickman said he was at Harpenden Races, on the 20th of May, and had gold watch and chain in his right-hand waistcoat pocket. The watch was attached to the Albert chain now produced. Whilst the second race was being run (about two o’clock) he was standing against the rails the left hand side from the grand stand, when the prisoner attempted to push in before him between witness and the rails. He would not allow the prisoner to get before him, and just as the race was being run he felt a hand about the right side of his waistcoat, and he immediately put his hand to his side and seized the prisoner’s hand against his waistcoat. Finding the watch was gone he called out “This fellow’s got my watch”. The prisoner resisted and tried to get away, and after second or two he succeeded. Witness gave him chase. Before he ran away, the moment witness seized his hand he saw the prisoner hand something some other person who slipped away amongst the crowd: He saw the prisoner after he was captured. Prosecutor had not recovered the watch. The watch was a gold one, and originally cost twenty guineas. The prisoner pleaded guilty. There was previous conviction known against him, but it was stated he was keeper of a brothel in Shoreditch. Evidence was given by Mr. Trustram that the offence was committed on the boundaries of the two parishes of Wheathampstead and Harpenden, but in Wheathampstead parish. Mr. Annesley argued that the case was fair one to take under Criminal Justice Act, because no previous conviction was known against the prisoner. Sentenced to six months’ imprisonment with hard labour. A watch was restored to the prisoner which had been thrown away or dropped by him, and which was at first supposed to be the prosecutor’s watch.

June 14th 1845

Herford Mercury and Reformer
Jonathan Wackett was fined 5 shillings for being drunk at Berkhamsted. Humphrey Willis was convicted in the penalty 1 guinea, including costs, for being drunk and disorderly, and assaulting police-constable Dunn. It appeared that there had been dispute between the defendant and others at the Red Lion beer shop, Little Berkhamsted, relative their several abilities at sheep-shearing, which led to a fight, and the police-constable interfered prevent it, when he was assaulted by the defendant. Willis had no money, and was about to be sent to the House of Correction in default, when Wackett stepped forward, and expressed his hope that the Bench would not send his companion to gaol, offering to pay half the penalty down, and the remainder next week. The Bench assented, and the defendant was discharged. John Taylor, the keeper of the beer house referred the last case, was charged with permitting drunkenness in his house. The evidence was contradictory, and the Bench dismissed the case, remarking severely at the evidence of one the witnesses against Taylor, whom they believed to have spoken, that which was not the truth.

James Camp, of Hertford, was fined 1 shilling and costs, for assaulting the keeper of the tollgate at Ware Bridge. Camp claimed exemption from toll on the grounds that he drove a spring cart. The gate was shut against him and Wheatley, the keeper, laid hold of his horse and backed it, to allow another vehicle to pass through. Camp thereupon struck him with his whip. Mr. James appeared for the defence.

Wood stealing. Jane Head, a young girl, and Eliza Lincoln, an elderly woman, were convicted of breaking and stealing dead wood in White Hill wood. They were ordered to pay 11 shillings each, including damages and costs, and in default committed for fourteen days. Hannah Sharp was charged with similar offence in company with the other prisoners, but the charge was not pressed, in consideration of her having a young child.

Saturday 10th June 1905

Herts. Advertiser
ST. ALBANS OFFICERS PROMOTED. Head Constable William Henry Smith, who for the past four years has been the chief officer in charge the police of St. Albans, on Wednesday evening definitely accepted the more responsible and more remunerative position of Chief Constable of the county borough of Burnley, which had been offered him by the Watch Committee as the selected candidate out of no fewer than 57 applicants. He will therefore relinquish the office, which he has held to the general satisfaction of all concerned, on July 3rd. and. on the following day, will take up his new duties, fortified by the volume of good wishes on the part of those amongst whom the last four years of his official career have been passed. By the change St. Albans loses an officer who, the diligent discharge of the important duties entrusted to him, has gained hearty approbation, but while that is the case, the inhabitant of Burnley are to be congratulated upon gaining the services a gentleman who there is every reason to believe, will worthily uphold the best traditions of the important department to which he is now attached. In view of the selection of Head Constable Smith for Burnley, the Watch Committee of the St. Albans City Council have had under consideration the question of the appointment of a successor at Albans. The matter was one engaging great deal of careful thought. The primary question was as whether they should publicly advertise the vacancy, thus throwing the appointment open to all comers or whether selection should be made from the City Force.

Finally it was decided that the new head constable should be found within the limits of the force as at present exists. The careful deliberations of the committee resulted in a decision recommend to the Council the appointment of PS George Whitbread the position, and it was further decided to recommend the creation of new rank of inspector, to which it proposed to appoint Thomas Phillips. These appointments are not as a matter fact, but subject to confirmation by the Council, but they are recommended as a matter of courtesy, although of course the question of salary has to be decided upon by the premier authority. PS George Whitbread, the Head Constable designate, is a native of Toddington. Bedfordshire. He joined the St. Albans City Police Force Nov. 10th 1892, a constable, having been previously attached to the Bedfordshire Constabulary, which be joined October 18th 1888. He was stationed successively Biggleswade. Markyate Street (which was at that time within the Bedfordshire police area), and New Mill End. Therefore, Sergeant Whitbread has record of sixteen and a half years of service. On June 12th. 1909, was promoted to the rank acting sergeant, being raised six months later to the position of sergeant. Since that date has been engaged almost entirely in office work, and in that way has gained insight into all the details of police work, which will doubtless prove of the greatest assistance to him in the position to which is now elevated. Sergeant Whitbread is one who believes thoroughly the gospel of self-help. At some time past he has been a student the St. Albans Technical Institute, and only recently went in for examination typewriting and bookkeeping, the results of which are not yet made known. In the same connection it is interesting to record the fact that he succeeded in winning quite lately the instructor’s special prize for neatness, display, and general proficiency in typewriting. PS Phillips, who, in the course of a month, is to attain to the rank of Inspector, joined the St. Albans City Police Force on Sept. 1st, l890 and has therefore close upon 15 years of service to his credit. On March 18th, 1898 he was promoted to the rank of sergeant. His record is one which has been in every way satisfactory and the Watch Committee have not been slow to express their appreciation of his work, for in February, 1908, he received special commendation in their hands for general efficiency and for special exertion in effecting the arrest of a notorious lodging-house thief who was “wanted” at Bedford.

The appointments which reference has been made, which, it should be mentioned not take effect until Head Constable Smith relinquishes the reins office on July 3rd. will be the means of bringing about promotion throughout the force, for it will be necessary to appoint a sergeant in the place PS Whitbread, the total strength of sergeants being reduced by one in consequence in the creation of the inspector-ship, and another constable will therefore have to be appointed to take the place of the member the force upon whom the choice of the Watch Committee falls for promotion.

The system adopted by the Watch Committee in this case is one which is certainly worthy of commendation, for it offers great incentive to the members of the Force, each and all to their best to improve their knowledge availing themselves of the means at their disposal, and so fitting themselves for more responsible duties. To the man who will do this the highest position in the force will be accessible. Sincere congratulation will be extended to Sergeant Whitbread and Sergeant Phillips.

9 June 1999

General Order No. 23/99
A new Policy Document regarding Contract Vehicles Recovery Scheme has been supplied to each Division. The Policy Document can be accessed via the Ops Support Intranet page, and Officers would be advised to note changes to the procedures regarding:
Abandoned Vehicles
Suspect Stolen Vehicles
Crime Seizure
Industrial Plant
Divisional Training is being arranged, and a hand out for the public which explains procedures will be circulated.
Procedures should be followed to avoid costs and possible civil litigation against the Constabulary.
(Operational Support Department)


Staff may be aware of a number of initiatives nation-wide relating to the recruitment and retention of staff from a minority ethnic background. The National Black Police Association, which provides additional representation for police officers and police support staff in a number of forces across the county, has a National Co-ordinator who works from the Home Office.

Following a recent meeting of minority ethnic staff from Hertfordshire Constabulary, which was attended on my behalf by the Deputy Chief Constable, it was decided to establish a support group within Hertfordshire along similar lines of groups that exist in Bedfordshire Police and the Metropolitan Police

The group will be known as Hertfordshire Black Police Association. It will be an officially constituted group, which will exist within and be formally recognised by Hertfordshire Constabulary. The Association will work in partnership with the three staff associations and discussions have already begun to ensure close co-operation.
The establishment of the Hertfordshire Black Police Association, is a positive step in ensuring that Hertfordshire Constabulary recruits and retains the best people whatever their background. This will ensure the ability to deliver a service that reflects the diverse society we police.

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