Australian Police

Australian Police

The Thin Blue Line – Australian Police

Chronology of Policing – NSW


Chronology Of Early Policing
In New South Wales
(1788 to 1862)

The First Fleet arrives on 26 January, and the Marine Guard is immediately responsible for protecting the Government Stores and patrolling the settlement at night.
Governor Phillip creates a Night Watch which commences duty on 8 August. Four three-man convict patrols guard Sydney Town. A Row Boat Guard is also quickly established on Sydney Harbour.
The Sydney Foot Police Force is established.
The Night Watch now patrols to the Hawkesbury and Parramatta, and patrol during daylight hours as well as by night.
For the purpose of policing, Captain John Hunter divides Sydney into portions, and appoints three Watchmen to control these areas. Residents within each division are required to elect annually three Constables. There are now Watch patrols at Toongabbie.
There are by now 36 Constables in the Sydney Foot Police.
The first death of an Australian Police Officer occurs when Constable Joseph Luker is murdered.
Governor Macquarie establishes a Police Fund and divides Sydney into 5 Police Districts, each with a watch-house.
Orders are issued to Police to regulate Sydney’s traffic.
There are now over 60 Constables in the Sydney Foot Police.
There are now 6 Police Watch-houses in Sydney Town.
The Governor’s Mounted Escort is established.
Two former London Policemen come to Australia as Assistant Superintendents following recommendations of the Bigge Report.
The Military Mounted Police Force is established, comprising 2 officers and 13 troopers. Captain Francis Rossi is appointed Police Superintendent. He reorganises the Sydney Police Force.
Captain Francis Rossi retires as Superintendent of Police, and he is replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Morisset.
The Sydney Police strength is 75 men – A Chief Constable, 5 Wardsmen, 11 Conductors, 56 Patrolmen/Constables and a Runner.
Captain Rossi is again appointed Superintendent of Police in Sydney. A Police Station is established at Wellington Valley.
Police Superintendents are now stationed at Penrith, Illawarra, Campbelltown, Maitland and Parramatta. There is now a Mounted Police contingent at Bathurst.
There are now 84 men in the Sydney Police Force. The Sydney Police Act 1833 is passed.
There are now 99 men in the Sydney Police Force.
Three N.S.W. Constables – Robert Day, Joseph Hoosen and James Dwyer – are sent to Port Phillip to establish a Police Force.
The Mounted Police now number over 160 officers and men in New South Wales.
The Border Police Unit is established. There are now 128 men in the Sydney Police Force. This number will be reduced to 80 Constables by the end of the year. Albury is established as a Police outpost.
The Water Police Act is passed, establishing a Water Police Force of 15 operational and 12 support personnel.
There are 110 men in the Sydney Police Force. William Augustus Miles becomes Commissioner of the Sydney Police.
Sydney is proclaimed a city. The Sydney Foot Police are reduced from 90 to 65 Constables.
There are now only 89 men in the Sydney Police Force. An Inquiry is held into the Sydney Water Police.
There are now 32 Mounted Police Stations in New South Wales. Sydney Police have their wages reduced. Constables now earn three shillings per day.
The New South Wales Border Police Unit is disbanded.
There are now 115 men in the Sydney Police Force. They comprise 6 Inspectors, 12 Sergeants, 1 District Constable and 96 other Constables.
A large riot takes place in Sydney. The St James Watch-house and Courthouse are attacked by a mob. The Mounted Aboriginal Police Unit is established.
The Military Mounted Police are disbanded and replaced by a civil Mounted Police Unit. The New South Wales Police Regulation Act now places all Police in the state under the control of an Inspector General.
The Police Gold Escort is formed. William Spain is appointed Inspector General of Police. The Mounted Road Patrol is established.
The Police Regulation Act 1850 is rejected by the British Parliament and the Inspector General’s power is reduced to the County of Cumberland and the Mounted Police to the country areas. Captain William Mayne becomes Inspector General of Police. The Sydney Water Police now number about 28 men, including 2 Detectives.
The Police Recruiting Act 1853 is passed. As a result, Police are now recruited from England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Free passage to Australia was exchanged for a minimum of 3 years Police service.
The first recruits of the Police Recruiting Act arrive in Australia.
Captain John McLerie replaces William Mayne as Inspector General of Police.
Gold Escort Police are placed under the control of Road Superintendents. The Mounted Aboriginal Police Unit is disbanded.
The population of Sydney is now 85,790 people, and the city is linked by telegraph to Brisbane. Serious riots occur at Lambing Flat goldfields, and the Police and military are sent to contain the situation. As a result, the previous ad hoc, fragmentary system of policing in New South Wales will be replaced the following year with a single, centrally administered organisation.

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