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FROM the VAULT – The 1889 Sick Leave Audit

A handwritten copy of a wire sent to all Inspectors by Police Commissioner William Parry-Okeden on 21 January 1889 requested to “Say whether you strictly adhere to clause 37, page 203 of [Queensland Police] Manual or whether you give full pay in all cases of sickness”.

The early Manual of Police Instructions and Duties, the copy referred published in 1876 by James C. Beal, Government Printer, William Street, Brisbane, was a series of regulations to guide Queensland’s constabulary.

Clause 37 reads ‘In ordinary cases of sickness, a constable will be considered as on leave of absence, and paid in accordance with clause 4 of “Leave of Absence” ’.  Clause 4 stipulated that “All men incapacitated for duty by accident or illness are to be under the care of the police surgeon, and must be seen by him and reported as being really so incapacitated, within twenty-four hours of their declaring themselves sick.  Without this report no man’s name is to be entered on the sick list”.

In accordance with the wired request, stations commenced submitting their reports.  Several are recorded below:

            From Inspector 2/c Alexander D. Douglas, Normanton, all cases of sickness this district have come under clause 10, page 200. There has been no case under clause 37.  Men suffering from fever constantly perform duty during intervals.

             From Inspector 1/c Frederick J. Murray, Cooktown, re your wire today no pay has ever been deducted from sick constables beyond hospital charges when long enough sick to go there.

             From Inspector 2/c John Stuart, Port Douglas, your telegraph today I do adhere strictly to clause 37, except when sickness is the result of misconduct, the rule in this district appears to be to five [days] full pay in all cases of sickness.

            From Sub-Inspector 1/c Ernest Carr, Winton, re your wire twenty first instant one constable received full pay while suffering from effects of accident to his kneecap received in scuffle with prisoner on New Year’s Day 1887.  All other cases regulations strictly adhered to.


            From Inspector 2/c William Britton, Blackall, re your wire today, Senior Constable Livingstone got three months sick leave without pay and this is the only case of sickness since I took charge.

             From Inspector 1/c Aulaire L. Morisset, Rockhampton, your telegram today I cannot say I have always strictly enforced provision clause 37, page 203.  I frequently experience difficulty in obtaining necessary repots etc. but make it a rule as far as practicable to report all cases coming under this clause to Commissioner.

Inspector 1/c Aulaire L. Morisset.  Image PM1825 part of the Queensland Police Museum collection.

            From Inspector 1/c Samuel J.C. Lloyd, Maryborough, re telegram of yesterday have given full pay in all cases of sick leave.

            From Senior Sergeant John Kincaide, Charleville, re your wire today not aware of men being sick for a long period since Inspector Ahern came to this District only Senior Sergeant Kincaide who was suffering from diarrhoea and inflammation of the lungs.

            From Inspector 1/c William Harris, Toowoomba, re your wire today don’t remember any man sick over fourteen days except one at Goondiwindi from fever contracted through sleeping in prison cell, there being no other quarters and he was allowed full pay. Men meeting with accidents in the discharge of duty are said to be sick whilst absent from duty and would I think be entitled to full pay accident not being the ordinary cases of sickness contemplated by regulations.         

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This information has been supplied by the Queensland Police Museum from the best resources available at the time of writing.  The Police Museum is open 9am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and 10am to 3pm on the last Sunday of the month (Feb-Nov) and is located on the Ground Floor of Police Headquarters at 200 Roma Street, Brisbane. Contact: E: [email protected]

“FROM the VAULT- The 1889 Sick Leave Audit” by the Queensland Police Service is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (BY) 2.5 Australia Licence. Permissions may be available beyond the scope of this licence. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au/legalcode

SUNDAY LECTURE SERIES: The Petrov Affair – a Queensland link


The Petrov Affair – a Queensland link

 25 June 2017
11:00am – 12:30pm

 Police Headquarters
200 Roma Street
Brisbane  QLD  4000

FREE ENTRY

The Petrov Affair was a Cold War spy incident in Australia in April 1954, concerning Vladimir Petrov, Third Secretary of the Soviet embassy in Canberra and his wife Evdokia. It would be the one of the most important defections in the west during the Cold War.

Greg Cope, Assistant Director of the Queensland Office of National Archives of Australia is the guest speaker for the Police Museum Sunday Lecture on June 25.

Greg will outline the Petrov Affair from the beginning of their arrival in Australia in February 1951 to what happened to them after the defection.  Now, after all this time the whole story can be revealed with the release of documents in Australia, United Kingdom and the United States.

The Petrov affair is entangled in politics, elections, referendums and a Royal Commission.  The photographs of the Russian body guards dragging Evdokia onto a plane at Mascot airport would become the most famous media images in Australia in the 20th Century.

During his presentation, Greg will outline what the Petrovs did in Queensland which would almost reveal their identity and location to the KGB.  They were wanted by the KGB for over 20 years.  It would be the Queensland Police who would identify Vladimir and would have to manage the situation. Greg will also discuss their life in Australia after defection, up to the time of their deaths.

The one-and-a-half hour presentation will begin at 11am on Sunday, June 25 and will provide educational and up-to-date content suitable for all audiences.

The Museum opens its doors to the public on the last Sunday of each month from 10am to 3pm from February to November in addition to the standard Monday to Thursday 9am to 4pm opening hours. Monthly Sunday openings feature guest speakers from across the historical and crime-solving spectrums.

PLEASE NOTE: The Police Museum will open on Sunday June 25
from 10am to 3pm, and is located on the ground floor of
Police Headquarters, 200 Roma Street, Brisbane.

FROM the VAULT – Alderley Garage Turns 30!

On 24 June 1987 the Queensland Police Department moved their vehicle depot from the heritage listed Petrie Terrace Police Barracks to an existing building in Pickering Street, Alderley.  The low rise concrete and glass complex was purchased from Gordon and Gotch for $5.83 million, with the intention of housing the Transport Section, Allied Trades, Uniform Store, Radio and Electronics and eventually P.S.R.T. (Public Safety Response Team).  Alterations were necessary and completed at a cost of $2 million.  This included new office furniture and garage equipment to future proof the already modern building, sprawled over nearly 6 acres.

A Mechanic working on a police car at the Alderley Police Depot, c1988.
Image No. PM2850 courtesy of the Queensland Police Museum.

In its first year of operation Transport Section mechanics serviced 673 vehicles.  Training was given to Departmental tradies to keep them updated with vehicle technology, and training was also given to apprentice mechanics.  A squad including four qualified motor mechanics, created specifically to investigate traffic accidents, was moved to the new Alderley garage and utilised a Ford Transit van fully fitted out for crash scene investigation.

Traffic Accident Investigation Squad van parked at Alderley Police Depot, c1989.
Image No. PM3297 courtesy of the Queensland Police Museum.

For a short time the Brisbane Dog Squad called the Alderley premises their headquarters.  A portable building on the site was surrounded by tall chain wire fencing to keep the furry squad safe from the busy Transport Section between 1992 and 1999.  But the location was never suited to the needs of the Dog Squad, and they moved to their present home at the Oxley Police Academy in May 1999.

Store room at the Alderley Police Depot, c1988.
Image No. PM2851a courtesy of the Queensland Police Museum.

In 2001 the Police Bulletin (Issue No. 222, 1 Nov 2001, p. 12) looked back at the transition of the Transport Section when housed at Police Terrace, and their move to the Alderley location; ‘By 1987 the garages at the Petrie Terrace Depot had become too small and cramped to efficiently conduct mechanical and service work as the Queensland Police Department had acquired more vehicles and equipment.  However, staff made do with the accommodation available.  In February 1982, it was reported ‘staff at Transport Section are currently saving the Department thousands of dollars’ and noted that in addition to regular vehicle maintenance, staff were building horse floats and constructing light bars and security screens.  Inspector-in-Charge Jack Kane outlined plans for the future: “We would like to set up our own panel beating and paint shop at the Depot…however we do not have sufficient space”.’  There is certainly more space at Alderley and we wish the Garage a happy 30th birthday for June 24, 2017!

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This article was written by Museum Assistant Georgia Grier from the best resources available within the Queensland Police Museum.  The Police Museum is open 9am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and 10am to 3pm on the last Sunday of the month (Feb-Nov) and is located on the Ground Floor of Police Headquarters at 200 Roma Street, Brisbane. Contact: E: [email protected]

“FROM the VAULT – Alderley Garage Turns 30!” by the Queensland Police Service is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (BY) 2.5 Australia Licence. Permissions may be available beyond the scope of this licence. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au/legalcode

  

FROM the VAULT – CoP James Patrick O’Sullivan

Prior to the retirement of Police Commissioner James Patrick O’Sullivan, Jenny Fleming from the Queensland Police Union Journal spoke with Mr O’Sullivan about his 41 year policing career, including 8 as Commissioner.  The following is a condensed version of that interview;

Jenny: In 1993 you had been Commissioner for a year. At that time you said to me: “My whole trust and philosophy revolves around our primary objective of preservation of life and property.  It underpins the whole strategy.  If we fail there we fail everywhere”.  How do you think the Service has aspired to this strategy?

Commissioner: The Service has come a long way on many fronts.  Particularly in terms of preservation of life and property.  The recent statistical review and report that came out of the Federal Bureau of Statistics, in eight of the thirteen categories of crime, Queensland was the lowest in the nation.  While property crime is still at an unacceptable level, we are on the right track.  Our strategies are working but there’s a lot more work to be done and while you have a drug problem you are going to have a lot of property crime.  If you could solve the drug problem you could reduce the property crime overnight, probably by 60, 70 percent.

Commissioner James P. O’Sullivan.
Image No. PM1486 courtesy of the Queensland Police Museum.

Jenny: What have been the highlights of your term as Commissioner?

Commissioner: There have been a lot of highlights really.  I think one of the main highlights is that we have come from a fairly ordinary sort of situation where respect for the Service was at an all-time low [during the Fitzgerald Inquiry] to a highly professional police service.  We have been able to regain the confidence of the community.  We are recognised now as the leader in areas of law enforcement in Australasia.  We are sending people overseas to lecture other law enforcement agencies on some of our computerised equipment.  We have seen the whole of the Service computerised, particularly in respect to crime, how it is reported, how intelligence is gathered.  We have reformed the Bureau of Criminal Intelligence totally.  We have overturned and reconstructed the educational training system in the human resources area and we are now recruiting top quality people who have work experience and life experiences.  We are targeting them at age 25, 26 and the majority have first degrees, some have second and third degrees.  We are getting the people who have all the skills and are highly motivated and top quality people.  So in terms of highlights, we have done a lot, and accountability… we have certainly made the Service open and accountable.

Jenny: What about the lows?

Commissioner: The only lows that I see are when we lose our people to tragedies, good decent people are killed in the line of duty.  That has been with us more than ever.  Quite recently too.       

Jenny: Do you think the North Queensland [Police] Academy has eased things a bit?

Commissioner: It has been very successful, quite frankly.  There was quite a lot of negativity coming from areas of the department and indeed government about that, but it is performing very well indeed.  So much so that we are in the middle of endeavouring to obtain funding to enlarge it and rebuild the campus.  It is a success story because most of the people graduating from the Townsville Academy stay in the north of the state.  For years we had a problem of finding people to go into those outlying areas.  Nowadays, I would say 95 percent of the graduates stay up there or go further west so that’s good.  We are recruiting people mainly from the north who don’t see Brisbane as their ultimate destination place.  As well we no longer have the difficult transfer issues we used to have.

Jenny: You come from an operations background.  What do you see as the major operational changes in the last 41 years?

Commissioner: When I was a young detective, we didn’t have typists.  Most of us couldn’t type, only with two fingers.  You had to type all your own briefs, all your own statements, prepare your own case, buy your own typewriter, and there you were.  There weren’t that many police around in those days.  We were very busy.  Now the technological age is with us and we have work stations and computers, and any amount of administrative assistants available as well as the computerisation of the Service.  In my day, when I was a young detective you might wait a fortnight to obtain a criminal history unless it was urgent, and you sent someone to the Sydney Central Fingerprint Bureau.  Now they have got instant access to intelligence and criminal history across the board.

Commissioner Jim O’Sullivan commissions the aircraft “Captain Stan Pullen” in 1996, named after the Police Airwing pilot, and was purchased by the Queensland Police Service for just over $3 million dollars.
Image No. PM2769 courtesy of the Queensland Police Museum.

Jenny: Have you enjoyed your career?

Commissioner: Oh, I have.  It’s been a wonderful career for me.  The Service has progressed very well.  I have been the leader but I say continually it is great people who are around me and throughout the department that have done a lot more than I have. They don’t get the recognition half the time.

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The interview with James ‘Jim’ O’Sullivan was conducted by Jenny Fleming, and published on pages 14 – 17 of the Queensland Police Union Journal in September 2000.  The interview in its entirety is available from the Queensland Police Museum.  We are open from 9am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and 10am to 3pm on the last Sunday of the month (Feb-Nov) and located on the Ground Floor of Police Headquarters at 200 Roma Street, Brisbane. Contact: E: [email protected]

“FROM the VAULT- CoP James Patrick O’Sullivan” by the Queensland Police Service is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (BY) 2.5 Australia Licence. Permissions may be available beyond the scope of this licence. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au/legalcode

FROM the VAULT – Refrain, reuse, recycle

Thrifty fore folk left fascinating evidence of overseas trading preferences, restricted finances and careful reuse in hundreds of memorandums retained by the Queensland Police Museum.  In October 1929 Commissioner William Harold Ryan signed Circular Memorandum with the following direction;

Officers–in-charge of Districts are advised that intimation has been received from the Chief Secretary’s Office, to the effect that it has now been decided that the Queensland Government, in placing orders for material and in accepting tenders, will give;

           1) 5 per cent preference to goods of Queensland manufacture over goods manufactured in other Australian States,

             2) 5 per cent preference to goods manufactures in the other Australian States over British goods,

             3) 5 per cent preference to British goods over foreign goods including goods manufactured in the United States of America.

Constable Robert G. Pacholke on horseback near the Fossilbrook Police Station agistment yard, c1928.
Image No. PM1110 courtesy of the Queensland Police Museum.

Due to good growing conditions the purchase of forage for horses was expected to reduce, with agistment obtained instead, but this was not the only cost mentioned when scrutinising expenditure in September 1930;

Transfers in future cannot be taken into consideration except in cases of absolute hardship or necessity, and then it must be stated as already instructed, whether the applicant is able and willing to pay the expenses of transfer.

Railway Fares, Freights and Conveyance – the interest of the Department and the present economic stress must ever be borne in mind when services have to be performed under this heading.  The horses provided by the State must be used in all practicable instances, and the tendency to use private cars or motor cycles at the cost of the State must be discontinued.  Claims for mileage will, in future, be closely watched and will not be passed unless the circumstances indicate special urgency and the need to avoid dangerous delay. 

Until further ordered Police Reports may be written on both sides of the paper, the margin on the reverse side being retained on the right hand edge of the paper.  Moreover when applications for leave etc. are submitted, there is not real need to attach a separate report, and any relevant information that cannot be shown on the race of the application can be set out in a report or memorandum on the back thereof.

Control of Fibres and Jute Goods Order from the Prime Minister, Canberra, 1943.

In March 1943 the Department of Supply and Shipping reported an acute shortage of fibre supplies, so much so that an order from the Prime Minster was forwarded to all government departments requesting the conservation of such products, which was in turn provided in a Commissioner’s Memorandum;

“Control of Fibres and Jute Goods Order – Conservation of Rope, Cordage, Twine and String”
Old rope, binder twine and similar types of cordage should be saved for teasing and manufacture again into other commodities.  Details of the arrangements that have been made for the purchase and processing of this material are set out in circular letter
[dated] 22nd March 1943 from the Controller of Fibres.  Commonwealth Departments are being advised that specifications should be revised with the object of saving as much fibre as possible, and that everybody must be prepared to accept and use the type, size and quality of rope, cordage or twine that will do the particular job in hand, regardless of colour, appearance and special preferences.

DISCLAIMER – No animals were harmed whilst writing this article, and all horses were appropriately fed and watered.

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This information has been supplied by the Queensland Police Museum from the best resources available at the time of writing.  The Police Museum is open 9am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and 10am to 3pm on the last Sunday of the month (Feb-Nov) and is located on the Ground Floor of Police Headquarters at 200 Roma Street, Brisbane. Contact: E: [email protected]

“FROM the VAULT- Refrain, reuse, recycle” by the Queensland Police Service is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (BY) 2.5 Australia Licence. Permissions may be available beyond the scope of this licence. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au/legalcode

SUNDAY LECTURE SERIES: The Fingerprint Expert

The Fingerprint Expert

28 May 2017
11am – 12.30pm

 Police Headquarters
200 Roma Street
Brisbane  QLD  4000

FREE ENTRY

Matching fingerprints from a crime scene to an offender or using fingerprints to identify disaster victims is a small part of Sergeant Tony Martinez’s role at the Queensland Fingerprint Bureau. Sergeant Martinez is stationed at the Queensland Police Service Fingerprint Bureau and is the guest speaker for the Police Museum Sunday Lecture on May 28.

Sergeant Martinez has attended serious crime scenes, conducted countless laboratory examinations for fingerprint evidence, and has been actively involved in identifying offenders by analysing and identifying collected fingerprint evidence. Sergeant Tony Martinez is a qualified Fingerprint Expert, a qualification that is awarded by the Australian Forensic Field Sciences Accreditation Board and is recognised worldwide.

During his presentation, Sergeant Martinez will outline that fingerprint identification has been around for more than 100 years and is a cornerstone to the forensic discipline. The use of fingerprint identification helps identify offenders and place them at crime scenes, identifies disaster victims, and is a valuable biometric tool in busy airports all over the World.

Sergeant Martinez will also discuss the recent advances in fingerprint identification technology and image transmission, which provides Queensland police officers with valuable information to help solve crimes.  These advances, along with comparisons to past techniques will be discussed and examples will be given.

The one-and-a-half hour presentation will begin at 11am on Sunday, May 28 and will provide educational and up-to-date content suitable for all audiences.

The Museum opens its doors to the public on the last Sunday of each month from 10am to 3pm from February to November in addition to the standard Monday to Thursday 9am to 4pm opening hours. Monthly Sunday openings feature guest speakers from across the historical and crime-solving spectrums.

PLEASE NOTE: The Police Museum will open Sunday May 28 from 10am to 3pm, and is located on the ground floor of Police Headquarters, 200 Roma Street, Brisbane.

FROM the VAULT – CoP Noel Newnham

Noel Ronald Newnham came to Queensland from the Victorian Police Service and took the Oath to become our 16th Police Commissioner at a ceremony on November 1, 1989.  He was ‘selected from dozens of Australian and overseas applicants, [and] will oversee massive reforms of the Queensland Police Force in the wake of the Fitzgerald Report’ (Vedette, October 1989, cover).  Contracted for three years to implement recommendations made by Mr Tony Fitzgerald, QC, Mr Newnham proved to be a no-nonsense choice for the role.  At the commencement of his tenure Commissioner Newnham said, ‘It’s the most rewarding and challenging job that could possibly be imagined by anyone.  It is a time to look forward with enthusiasm and optimism, to a revitalised Police Service’.

Commissioner Noel Newnham was appointed as Queensland’s Police Commissioner for a 3 year term between 1989 and 1992.
Image No. PM1179 courtesy of the Queensland Police Museum.

Commissioner Newnham set about improving morale within the Service.  Several initiatives encouraged community policing, including Crime Stoppers and Neighbourhood Watch.  The employment of Regional Commanders, decentralised administration and shifting duties to civilian employees when police powers were not required all helped to redirect policing skills where they were needed most.  Merit based selection was refined, and new performance assessment procedures trialled.

A year on, November 26, 1990, a time capsule was placed inside the newly built Police Headquarters building which included a letter written by Commissioner Newnham addressed to his successor.  He wrote of the symbolism of new beginnings in a new building, and partisan efforts to recover public confidence in the Queensland Police Service; ‘We are striving to bring about change, modernisation, rejuvenation and a full commitment to the ideals of integrity, dedication and service’.

Plaque placed by Commissioner Newnham to denote the location of the time capsule within Queensland Police Headquarters. Only 73 more years to wait before it’s opened!
Image No. PM2784 courtesy of the Queensland Police Museum.

One anecdote from a previous member of the Queensland Police Pipes and Drums describes the enthusiasm for, and leadership style of Mr Newnham towards his staff: Pipe bands from around the country had attended the biannual Australian Pipe Band Championships, held in Brisbane in 1990.  They were competing for several titles; Grades 1 to 4, Champion Drum Major, and best Juvenile Band.  Commissioner Newnham attended the finals to witness the success by the Victoria Police Band who came 1st in Grade 1 division, and his new band, the Queensland Police Pipes and Drums who came 1st in Grade 3 division.  The event was held in October’s warm spring temperatures, and preparations to celebrate their win included arranging a large esky packed with ice and beverages, to be stored under a marquee for Victorian and Queensland police band members to share after the competition.

With all bag pipping and drumming events completed at the end of two exhausting days, the esky was calling, however Mr Newnham conveniently used it as a seat.  Thirsty band members waited patiently and made polite conversation with the Commissioner as afternoon temperatures soared.  Finally, Mr Newnham said his goodbyes and departed, allowing the musicians access to their esky and stock of well-earned cold beers.

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This article was written by Museum Assistant Georgia Grier from the best resources available within the Queensland Police Museum.  The Police Museum is open 9am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and 10am to 3pm on the last Sunday of the month (Feb-Nov) and is located on the Ground Floor of Police Headquarters at 200 Roma Street, Brisbane. Contact: E: [email protected]

“FROM the VAULT- CoP Noel Newnham” by the Queensland Police Service is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (BY) 2.5 Australia Licence. Permissions may be available beyond the scope of this licence. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au/legalcode

FROM the VAULT – Policing Brisbane before Queensland

It is tempting to picture early colonial Brisbane as a lawless place inhabited by convicts and ticket-of-leavers, convicts on parole, and the military. In the first five years, Brisbane population increased by more than twenty-fold, from approximately 50 in 1824, the year of settlement, to 1108 in 1829, including 18 female convicts the very first women to arrive into the settlement. (4) The latter flamed much local enthusiasm. The building then known as ‘the gaol’ was erected for their accommodation. ‘The “female factory” proved a grand source of intrigue and vice, and some queer tales [were] handed down to us – the gay Lotharios of which were not by any means the lowest people in the settlement.’ (5, p. 65) Although a wall was constructed around the building, which was quickly found to be positively necessary, did ‘not seem to have been proof against the agility and nimbleness of the midnight rovers who had first all secured the blindness of the warders by a liberal use of bucksheesh.’ (Ibid) Regardless of the counter measures soon intrigue and licentiousness were rife.

Female Convict Factory, c1850.  John Oxley Library image number 153725.

For the next decade, until 1839, Moreton Bay saw a steady stream of convicts. In 1839, the last draft of convicts landed on the banks of the Brisbane River, both male and female. The earliest attempts to codify and regulate public order in Brisbane town date to 1838. The Police Act of 1838 (2 Vic., No. 2) provided for appointment of police magistrates and justices to suppress riots, tumults, and affrays in towns. Reminiscent of the Statute of Winchester or the Fairs and Markets in Churchyards Act, 1285, the first formal attempts to keep criminal element in check in England, Brisbane policemen were entrusted with an array of duties and responsibilities. Any constable was granted powers to arrest any person ‘found drunk in any street or public place, and also all loose, idle, drunken, or disorderly persons who [a constable] shall find between sunset and 8 am lying or loitering in any street, highway, yard, or other place, not giving a satisfactory account of themselves, and convey to lockup.’ (1) Per the Statute of 1285, the men who patrolled the streets after nightfall (commonly known as the night watchmen) were vested with power to arrest any stranger until morning.

Police Act 1838. See the link below for a downloadable PDF file.

Police Guide – Police Act of 1838

Following the nineteenth century reforms in the police forces of England, Ireland and Scotland, the Brisbane force was also responsible for monitoring and curtailing certain behaviours as well as crime. (2) These included enforcing trading hours, the penalty for operating outside of these hours was £3, such as on Sundays after 10 am; keeping billiard or other places of amusement open was liable to a higher fine of £5. The majority of daily activities of the town life were soon regulated. These ranged from damaging a public building to extinguishing a street lamp, and from bathing near or within a view of a public wharf to installation of awnings on shops and houses. Penalties ranged from 1 to 20 pounds. Interestingly enough, the Act did not provide for imprisonment as a form of alternative punishment. This is mainly due to absence of judicial and custodial provisions in place at the time. In 1840, the police force of Brisbane Town consisted of one Chief Constable William Whyte; Bush Constable George Brown (free); four convicts employed as assistant Constables: Francis Black (arrived on Hadlow), Robert Giles (Exmouth), and W H Sketland ‘or Thompson’ (Sophia), and John Egan. (3)

Plan of Brisbane Town Moreton Bay 1839, J G Steele, Brisbane Town in Convict Days, 1824-1842, UQP, 1975, p. 124.

The convict police was relatively short-lived, as now a free settlement of Moreton Bay saw further reforms, legal, governmental, social and policing between the 1840s and 1850s. Captain John Clemens Wickham was appointed a Police Magistrate,  Court of Petty Sessions opened in 1846, a new Police Force was organised in 1850, this was followed by a new Police Act, passed in 1855, and construction of the new jail two years later. Having said that, as the population expanded and policing became more sophisticated, the foundational principles outlined in the 1838 Act remained largely the same demonstrating that though novel female presence in town in 1829 did cause much excitement penal Brisbane was no more lawless than ‘free’ Brisbane.

If you would like to know more about policing colonial Brisbane, please join us in a seminar.  Follow this link to register: http://www.ticketebo.com.au/brisbane-history-group/policing-colonial-brisbane.html

Further reading:

(1) Bain, Donald. Queensland Police Guide; Containing an Epitome of 184 Acts of Parliament to 1891, and a Supplement of 815 Offences, Alphabetically Arranged with Penalties and Punishments. Brisbane: Watson, Ferguson & Co, 1892.

(2) Dukova, Anastasia. A History of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and Its Colonial Legacy. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2016.

(3) Letters Relating to Moreton Bay and Queensland Received 1822-1869, SLQ, Reel A2 Series.

(4) Population by capital city and rest of state, Queensland, 1823 to 2007. Queensland Government Statisticians Office, http://www.qgso.qld.gov.au/products/tables/historical-tables-demography/index.php

(5) Pugh’s Moreton Bay Almanac, 1859 (first year of publication), Brisbane: Theophilus P Pugh.

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This information has been provided by the Queensland Police Museum from the best resources available.  The article was written by Museum Volunteer and Crime and Policing Historian Dr Anastasia Dukova.

The Police Museum is open 9am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and 10am to 3pm on the last Sunday of the month (Feb-Nov) and is located on the Ground Floor of Police Headquarters at 200 Roma Street, Brisbane. Contact: E: [email protected]

“FROM the VAULT – Policing Brisbane before Queensland” by the Queensland Police Service is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (BY) 2.5 Australia Licence. Permissions may be available beyond the scope of this licence.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au/legalcode

Back in the future

Acting Senior Constable Beau McNamara and I recently visited a movie set on the Gold Coast and met up with some characters on set.

The movie being made is called “In Like Flynn” and is about famous Hollywood actor Errol Flynn who was born in Tasmania.

Actors portraying police officers of that era contrasted against police officers of the current day and definitely more pockets and accoutrements were noticeable.

It was also noted that there were less places for accoutrements, front pockets for perhaps a notebook, side pant pockets for handcuffs and a baton pocket in the rear right side of the trousers.

Thanks to the Queensland Police Museum that helped with the dress of those days.

FROM the VAULT – All part of the Police Service in 1910

The notice read; ‘SNAKE BITES. The Police generally are directed to report all instances of snake-bite coming within their knowledge, together with the treatment adopted and the result thereof.  The principal reason assigned for obtaining this information is to arrive at right conclusions as to the efficacy of the use of strychnine by hypodermic injection in cases of snake-bite, which, it is asserted authoritatively, has been to the present almost unfailing in apparently desperate cases, and it is considered that a full record of all instances of bites by snakes will be of great public utility. W.E. PARRY-OKEDEN, Acting Commissioner of Police, Police Department, Commissioner’s Office, Brisbane, 5th February 1892.’

Report of snake bite by Constable 1/c Miller, to Chief Inspector Urquhart, 16 November 1910.
Scanned document courtesy of the Queensland Police Museum.

 

Constable 1/c John Emeric Vidal Miller didn’t forget the directive, for in 1910, whilst stationed at Seymour River, he encountered a 13 year old black snake bite victim and provided the following report to his superior in Townsville:

            Sir, I beg to report that about 11:30am on the 10th November my attention was called by hearing the sound of crying towards the scrub, about the Seymour River Police Station.  I went in the direction and discovered a young lad named James Jackson, who stated he had been bitten by a black snake whilst trying to catch a horse in the scrub.  I at once tied my handkerchief round his leg, above the bite.  I afterwards mixed three drops of liquid Ammonia, in a teacupful of water, and dosed the boy with it, a teaspoonful at a time about every minute and in the meantime, a buggy was procured and I conveyed the boy to Ingham Hospital, nine miles from here to the nearest Doctor.  I continued the Ammonia treatment all the way and the boy did not become sleepy till treated at the Hospital, from whence he was discharged cured on the 12th November.

Chief Inspector Urquhart (later, Police Commissioner) from Townsville forwarded the correspondence onto the Police Commissioner, suggesting “the treatment adopted in this case might be of interest to the Health Department.”

Boating on the Seymour River, near Ingham, c1890-1900. Believed to be friends and family of Harriett and Donald Brims, enjoying a steam boat ride on the ‘Emilie’.
Image Number 132613 courtesy of the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

The one man Seymour River Police Station opened on 14 May 1905, in the “E” District, Townsville Sub-district.  Constables Michael Guckian (1/c), Sidney Luck, John French, John Miller (1/c) and William Cook each spent approximately 2 years policing the station before its closure on 17 December 1914.

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This article was compiled by Museum Assistant Georgia Grier from the best resources available within the Queensland Police Museum.  The Police Museum is open 9am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and 10am to 3pm on the last Sunday of the month (Feb-Nov) and is located on the Ground Floor of Police Headquarters at 200 Roma Street, Brisbane. Contact: E: [email protected]

“FROM the VAULT – All part of the Police Service in 1910” by the Queensland Police Service is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (BY) 2.5 Australia Licence. Permissions may be available beyond the scope of this licence. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au/legalcode

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