The Local Government Act of 1888 left control of the borough
police in the hands of Watch Committees, which often met weekly.
They were responsible for their police forces, including in theory,
appointment of new Constables. There were examples of confrontation
between Watch Committees and Head (Chief) Constables. A classic
example in Birmingham occurred in 1880 when the Chief Constable
instructed his men to start arresting "quiet drunkards"
instead of letting them go on their way. There were other similar
confrontations in Birmingham, which ultimately led to a promise
that Major Bond (the then Chief Constable) would "toe the