West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police Museum

Police History Society

Staffordshire Police history

The story of policing
(aimed at schoolchildren)

History of police dogs

Police Federation

The Police and the Black Country

by Mick Pearson

Pay and Conditions

Policing has always been a tricky area to set a rate of pay. Too little pay may lead to the temptation of corruption, or reduce the standard of officers, and possibly a high turnover in staff. Policing was (and in many cases still is) a fairly hard physical job, not compared to mining or working in a foundry, but the dangers and risks were there. In 1890 the Police Act guaranteed a pension after 25 years service, or 15 years if retiring on ill-health grounds.

Police strikes were not unheard of, and in the late 1880s the question of a police union was high on the agenda. Rank and file officers seemed to be in favour of a union. A Federation was suggested, but dismissed by officers in 1913 when only 100 out of 21000 forms were returned, which invited officers to join a Federation. The situation was resolved in 1919 when the Police Federation was founded by the Police Act of that year. Every officer from Constable to Inspector was automatically a member.

Industrial action was prohibited, as was membership of a union or similar body outside the police force. Representation across the ranks was equal, to avoid one rank dominating





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