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Appointments under the New Police Regulation Act of 1862



A Supplement to the Government Gazette, issued on Saturday last, contains the following appointments in the police under the Police Regulation Act of 1862. The police districts are not yet, we believe, defined, but the superintendents will be stationed in the places mentioned, being the centres of their respective districts.


John McLerie, Esq.



Mr. Henry Zouch (Goulburn).

Mr. Laurence Hartshorne Scott (Armidale).

Mr. William Chatfield (Campbelltown).

Mr. John Aitcheson McLerie (Maitland).

Mr. George Markham (Cooma).

Mr. Thomas Broughton Carne (Deniliquin).

Mr. Edric Norfolk Vaux Morisset (Bathurst).

Mr. James Garland (Tamworth).



Sir Frederick Wm. Pottinger, Bart. (the Lachlan).

Mr. Critchett Walker (Braidwood).

Mr. Frederick Robertson Wilshire (Scone).

Mr. Edward Marlay (Albury).

Mr. Edward Montague Battye (Lambing Flat).



Mr. William Benson.

Mr. Francis Augustus Blake.

Mr. John Henry Hector Bruyeers.

Mr. Arthur Harlington Abbott.

Mr. Thomas Andrew Moore White.

Mr. John Garda Hussey.

Mr. John Devenish Meares.

Mr. James Singleton.

Mr. George Read.

Mr. James Augustus Black.

Mr. William O’Neill.

Mr. Thomas Hogg.



Mr. Charles Edward Harrison.


In preparation for the coming into operation of the Police Regulation Act of 1862, a Code of Rules has been drawn up and issued by the Government for the management of the newly organised force ; a copy of these is to be given to every officer and man on joining the force. It is generally known that the system now initiated is based partly on those in operation in Ireland and in Victoria ; and that certain portions of the system already existing in this colony are retained —the most important feature of the new organisation being, that the entire force is now placed under one central authority. In drawing up these rules, the regulations which were considered the most important and desirable in the systems referred to have been either adopted or modified, and the result is a comprehensive and compendious manual of the duties of officers and members of the police force, forming a neat octavo volume of nearly a hundred pages.   Interspersed with the directions how to act in specific cases, are some judicious and valuable counsels as to the spirit and bearing which the members of the force should display in the general discharge of their duties ; their adherence to these counsels will effectually   obviate the complaints which, whether justly or unjustly, have not unfrequently been preferred against the police. As a supplement to these Rules, the Parliamentary Draftsman is engaged in the preparation of a   digest of all the Acts or parts of Acts having reference to the duties of constables. We subjoin an abstract of the more important directions :—

The “Rules for the Police Force” are prefaced with a short introduction, which states that the rules have been established by the Government in order that the force “may be conducted upon one uniform system, and that its members may not be embarrassed in the execution of their several duties from the want of proper instructions,” the leading features embraced by the system of police being ” centralisation of authority and unity of action. ”

With reference generally to the manner in which the police will be required to perform their duties, it is stated to be “impossible to give precise directions for the execution of every duty which the police may be required to perform, or to anticipate every difficulty which the members of the force may have to encounter, as from the nature of the service its duties must vary, and consequently the mode of execution must vary with them. Every member of the force should, therefore, endeavour to become acquainted with the nature of the duty which he may be called on to execute, and, by individual zeal, energy, discretion, and   intelligence, endeavour to supply the unavoidable efficiency of general instructions.”

Officers of police who are in the commission of the Peace are not expected to take Bench duty ; but where a magistrate is absent, or where another magistrate is required, they may sit, provided their doing so would be advantageous to the interests of the public. They are not, however, to act judicially in cases in which any member of the police force is concerned.

The officers and men are to be held accountable not only for the execution of all orders given them, but also for their acts in cases which cannot be provided by the instructions ; and they are reminded that their exertions will be more advantageously directed to the prevention of crime than to its punishment.

A subsequent rule impresses on the force the necessity of discharging their duties with forbearance and civility, and advises them under no provocation to conduct themselves rudely or harshly, the efficiency of the force being greatly aided by their possessing the respect end confidence of the community.

Both officers and men are directed to observe neutrality in political matters, to cultivate a proper regard for the respectability and general character of the force ; and are informed that zeal and attention in the performance of duty will be rewarded, and that neglect or disobedience of orders will render the members liable to removal.

The members of the police force are divided into the following grades :-inspector-general, superintendents, inspectors, sub-inspectors, sergeants, constables, and aboriginal trackers ; the detective police consisting of a sub-inspector and constables.

The colony is, for the purpose of police supervision, to be divided into districts and sub-districts ; each district to be placed under the charge of a superintendent ; and all members of the force below the rank of a sub-inspector to be distinguished by a letter and number, indicating the district and the sergeant or constable wearing it.

The depot, or head-quarters of the whole force is to be in Sydney, under the immediate supervision of the Inspector-General, to whom all applications for enrolment are to be made.

The conditions of enrolment specify that the applicant is to be under thirty years of age ; of a strong constitution ; able to read and write well, and provided with satisfactory testimonials of character. He is to understand that he engages not only for police duties, but for any work he may be ordered to perform. Before enrolment, he is to be for three days on trial without pay.

The oath to be taken on entering the force is the same as that hitherto administered, excepting that the allusion to secret societies is omitted.

In order to afford newly-appointed constables the means of acquiring a knowledge of drill, a number of supernumeraries will be maintained at the depot, so as to supply vacancies in the various divisions, these   receiving while there three-fourths of the pay of an ordinary constable.

Constables are to be sworn in for one year, are to devote their whole time to the public service, and are forbidden to take gratuities without the express permission of the Inspector-General. They are to give three months’ notice before quitting the force, and are not to marry without the permission of their superintendent. The whole of the accruing pay of dismissed   constables is to be forfeited. Disobedience of the orders of a superior officer will be severely punished.

The members of the force are reminded that they are accountable for their conduct to the Government and the officers of their department ; and “it is therefore not only inexpedient and unnecessary, but directly opposed to orders, that individuals in the employment of the Government should have recourse to the public journals in order to defend themselves against any reflections cast upon them.”

The rules relating to discipline point out the necescity(sic) of establishing a gradation of responsibility, so that every individual may know his duty and position. Orders are to be given in the language of moderation, and to be received with deference and respect.

The force is divided into mounted, foot, water police, and detectives. The mounted and foot police will be distributed amongst the various districts, and the officer in charge of a district is empowered to receive and forward to the Inspector-General applications for additional police protection.

The rules relating to Sydney premise that the city is divided successively into divisions, sections, and beats; and proceed to state the hours of duty, the various services required of the officers and constables, who are expected (whether on duty or not), to turn out on all such emergencies as fire, accidents, or disturbances. There are to be no grades in the detective body, but there are first and second class detectives, the former receiving 3s. per day, and the latter 2s. per day in excess of the pay of an ordinary constable.

The rules next following describe the general duties of the different ranks.

The Inspector-General has the entire management and control of the whole force under the direction of the Colonial Secretary, and all communications between the officers and the Government are to be   forwarded through him.

The duties of the superintendent are those of constant and active supervision and inspection ; and he is responsible for the prevention of crime, the detection of criminals, and the general preservation of peace within his district. He is to attend every morning at his office at nine o’clock, to hear complaints made against any of the men of his district. The duties assigned to the superintendent are very numerous, and much stress is laid upon his displaying capacity, discretion, and good management.

The inspector is described as being in his division what the superintendent is in his district. He should be governed by the spirit and principle of the instructions to that officer ; and will be held equally responsible for the execution of his own duties as well as for the general conduct, discipline, and appearance of his men. He has to pay strict and prompt obedience to all the lawful orders and directions of the magistrates, and to report to them the results of all warrants and processes issued. Amongst the various duties of an inspector are the following : –To take opportunities of drilling the sergeants and men ; to establish a system of patrols ; to inspect minutely the men, horses, arms, and appointments ; to make himself and his men     acquainted with the persons and haunts of all   disreputable characters in his division ; to keep an order book and an occurrence book ; and to make up a weekly-duty and a monthly forage return.

The duties of a sub-inspector are similar, but subordinate to those of the inspector.

In each district, and in the city police, in each division one sergeant is selected to become responsible for the conduct and appearance of the constables, and for the state of the barracks and quarters, the arms, ammunition, and appointments at the principal station in the district ; and also to a great extent for the drill of the men of the district. He is to report any irregularity or neglect of duty on the part of constables to the inspector, and represent that officer in his absence.

The rules for the guidance of the constables enforce the necessity of perfect obedience to his superiors, and of being ever on the alert for the prevention of crime and the protection of person and property ; though frequently acting on specific orders applicable to the occasion, he is very generally, in the execution of his duty as a police officer, called upon to act on his own responsibility ; he therefore requires discretion, intelligence, decision, and perfect command of temper. “As it is of great importance that constables should be respected by all classes, and obtain their good opinion, they should be extremely cautious in their demeanour, and by sober, orderly, and regular habits, respectful attention to every gentleman, and ready zeal to execute the lawful orders and commands of the magistrates, endeavour to obtain their approbation.” The constable is expected to possess such a knowledge of the inhabitants of each house as to enable him to recognise their persons, and be enabled to render them assistance when called for ; and also to see every part of his beat in the time allotted. He is only to sound his whistle when he cannot in any other way obtain immediate assistance ; nor is he on any pretence to enter a public-house except in the immediate execution of his duty.

The rules relating to the officers’ uniform require all officers to be dressed alike, but to have a distinguishing mark of their rank ; they are to provide their own uniform. The men are supplied with a uniform on entering the force.

The prospect of promotion in the force is held out as an inducement for men of a good class to enter it, and to exert themselves while in it. Though seniority, length of service, and good conduct, will have their due weight as recommendations for promotion, efficiency and adaptation for the particular vacancy will be the principal considerations. The applications for promotion are to be made through the usual official channels, and no officer is to receive any gift, address, or other token of respect from the men who have served under him.

Special rewards are to be given out of the Police Reward Fund for bravery or other meritorious conduct ; and rewards are also offered by the Government and private individuals for various services. These are to be divided according to the value of the services rendered, but no officer is to receive any part of the reward unless under special authority.

Provision is made for the infliction of punishments upon the subordinates by the officers under certain restrictions. The Inspector-General is alone invested with the power of dismissing a man. Superintendents, and inspectors having charge of districts during the absence of superintendents, may inflict a fine not exceeding three pounds ; inspectors in charge of sub-districts may inflict a fine not exceeding forty shillings ; sub-inspectors in a like position may inflict a fine not exceeding twenty shillings ;—the punishments in these cases being subject to the approval of the superintendent and the confirmation of the Inspector General.

Rules are next given, providing for leave of absence, for complaints, and for the supply of arms, ammunition, and appointments.

It being necessary that the Police Force should be able to act in concert as an armed body, instructions in drill are to be given. For this purpose the constables will be instructed at the depot in marching and the platoon exercises ; and those selected for mounted duty will be taught riding and the sword exercise. They are, however, reminded that, “they belong not to a military, but to a civil force, and that unnecessary military parade and show is discountenanced,” and that their principal object in exercises in the use of arms should be to render the force effective.

The rules following convey directions with respect to barracks, stables, horses, forage, escorts, patrols, duties at the watchhouse, conveyance of letters and despatches, and instructions respecting correspondence, reports, &c.

The second part of the Manual consists of “General instructions for the guidance of the Police Force, issued by the Inspector-General.” By these constables are informed as to how they are to act upon information of the commission of felonies and misdemeanours, and in what cases they may arrest without a warrant. The instructions also relate to the serving of summonses, to the procedure of constables in cases of violent or sudden death, and to the circumstances in which they will be justified in the use of arms.

The volume concludes with rules for the distribution and appropriation of the superannuation and police reward funds, and regulations for police pensions.


They Sydney Morning Herald      Monday  3 March 1862     page 2 of 8


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