xenith: (Hobart)
The Nanonovel just completed is a murder mystery set in Hobart in 1827, and the main character is a police constable, and pickpocket on the side. Which is all well and good, but now I need to know something about policing in Hobart in 1827. That's all.

In the 1820s, things were rather different to what we're used to. Rather than a centralised, professional police force, the job often fell to unpaid/poor paid locals, with no uniforms and not a lot of authority. In NSW & VDL, at least, the job was about maintaining order (and retrieving absconders) rather than investigating crimes.

It was also a time of change, and that meant change in what police meant. The London Metropolitan Police were established in 1829. Even in Hobart Town, there was a major restructuring in 1827 (one reason for my date).

It is also a time people don't feel a need to write about, for anywhere. The little I've found in secondary sources (books & online) has been about the organisation. And by "little" I mean I have about enough notes to fill about 1.5 word processor pages, from all the resources I've been able to find. Primary sources might be useful, if I can discover what they are and then get access to them :)

I did get lucky last week. I found Police Superintendent Humphrey's evidence to the Bigge Commission in Series 3, Volume 3 of the Historical Records of Australia (a rather dry looking series of volumes that cover three shelves in the library) and the very useful "Standing Instructions for the Constabulary of Van Diemen's Land in appendix 17 of the second volume of the three volume "Report from the Select Committee on Transportation". They being from 1820 & 1836 respectively, although the latter was issued under the same lt governor who did the restructure so it's particularly useful. (Those two reports are also full of other useful and/or interesting stuff, I should consult them more often.)

Still that's a good start, and I feel more confident about writing it now. There are big holes still. (Like where does the MC sleep at night? I'm fairly sure he's not in the prisoner barracks but the police barracks don't seem to have been built yet (I wish I hadn't come across that bit of information or I could have happily been sending him there each night.)) There's also more to be pulled from the newspapers on Trove, but that is time consuming and not frustrating because of things that are implied or hinted at but never explained. It's like doing a jigsaw with no picture and all the pieces have been mixed up with the pieces in other boxes.
xenith: (Fairy Tree)
Not a very good photo, but it's an exhibit from the Victoria Police Museum

From the panel below:

When Alma Aldersea joined the Police Force in March 1945 women were issued special 'PW' badge numbers rather than the unique individual numbers given to male officers. These numbers could be re-issued to other females when the original owner left the Force as was routinely expected. Alma's badge, PW9, can be seen on this cap. After Alma married and resigned her badge was issued to three more policewomen - the last in 1975.

Instructions to Police Reservists and Police Auxiliary Force Official Pocket Book
Victoria Police Women's Auxiliary members were issued with these documents during World War II. During World War II, due to the shortage of men who were away on war duties, women were enrolled in the Victoria Police Woman's Auxiliary and carried out supporting administrative duties. They were not full members of the Police Force and most left at the end of the war.

I can't read all of the caption, but Madge O'Conner was one of Victoria's first police woman, appointed as a 'police agent' in 1917.

Some quick links:

The Journal for Women and Policing (PDF) Issue 11 has a section "Australian and New Zealand History of Women in Policing", a state by state account.

South Australia Police Historical Society: Women Police and Women Police in South Australia Celebrating 90 years
xenith: (Default)
I cut this bit off from the rest so they didn't get too long. Well, that was the intention. Just imagine how long they could have been!

Day 2, Midday


When we left the Aquarium it wasn't raining any more. There was a tram at the stop immediately opposite where we came out. I didn't think we had a chance of getting across the road but it waited for us.

Although we only took it one block up the road, for a quick detour on the way to the train.

More )


I'll put the zoo animals in their own post, but as a starter, what are these?
xenith: (Default)
Postscript from the previous story. This was printed in the Cornwall Chronicle following Reardon's confession.

As a proof, (if proofs are wanting) o- the admirable security we enjoy from - felon police, and the trust that can be reposed in the members of it, we mention the circumstance of two prisoners, w- were convicted at the late Sessions held in this Town, having escaped from the Colony, together with the constables who had them in charge, on their way over to Hobart Town. It is, we believe, pretty generrlly ascertained, that the whole party crossed the country, and were taken off the Island in the vicinity of Ringaroma Bay or Cape Portland, in a small cutter belonging to a relative of one of the prisoners. We do not wonder at, nor blame the escape of any prisoners--a good thing for the Colony if all the troublesome of them found their way out of it--but the circumstance we mention certainly affords another proof of the inefficiency of Colonel Arthur's prison discipline system--and the necessity for destroying it.

A few months later, Reardon is again in the news. From the Cornwall Chroncile, 30 April 1836,

Cut for length )
xenith: (Brisbane Hotel)
A couple of photos from inside the police station.

Interview room, with one-way mirror, that is also used as a line-up room. Here we find out lots of interesting things like, if an interviewee has a solicitor in, that solicitor cannot represent them in court, because they are involved in the case. And if there are translators involved, they instead use the (forgotten the name) charge room, which has audio & visual recording, and a speaker phone.

The shiny new fingerprinting scanning machine, which sends scans of prints straight to Canberra. It replaces the old prints on paper system, says our guide waving an example of such, that had to be sent down to Hobart and then scanned in. I seem to recall they only had access to a statewide database of prints too, but I was told that a while ago so I could easily be confusing it with something else.
xenith: (Railway)
Last day, and plane leaves at 12.25 pm. Plan to get there half an hour beforehand. Allow half an hour for the Sky Bus. So I have to leave the city somewhere between 11 and 11.30.

That leaves time for one last quick visit.

Before I left, I made a point of checking online for any little museums and things in Melbourne. That is how I found the Chinese one. There were a couple of places I either didn't feel inclined to visit or they were too far out of the city centre. This is one that didn't come up though.


The Lots of Glass and Reflections Museum The Victoria Police Museum. I came across a mention of it in one of my brochures. That was all. It did appear on the map I pulled out of the Melbourne in Winter booklet on Saturday and lost on Sunday, as being in the World Trade Centre. I did a Google search during one of those internet cafes visit and found out it was open Monday - Friday, at 10 am. Hmm. It is just around the corner from Spencer St Southern Cross station, where the bus to airport leaves from.

Oh, why not. )


xenith: (Default)

Most Popular Tags


RSS Atom

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags