Margate Crime and Margate Punishment

Anthony Lee

Appendix I. Local Board of Health Bye Laws

Local Board of Health Bye Laws: Rules, Instructions, & Orders for the Regulation, Management and Guidance of the Police Constables. 1852
[Margate Library]

AT A MEETING of the Local Board of Health for the district of Margate, it was (by virtue of the Acts of Parliament in that behalf enabling,)

Resolved Unanimously,

That the following Rules, Instructions, and Orders, for the Regulation, Management, and Guidance of the Police Constables, shall commence and take effect on the 1st day of January, 1852, that is to say.—


The following General Instructions for the Police are not to be understood as containing Rules of Conduct applicable to every variety of circumstances that may occur in the performance of their duty; something must necessarily be left to the intelligence and discretion of individuals.

It should be understood at the outset that the prin­cipal object to be obtained is, THE PREVENTION OF CRIME.

The Police Constables are under the command of the Inspector.

The conditions upon which each man is to be admitted into the Police Forceare are stated here, that no complaint may be made hereafter upon their being enforced. The Local Board of Health for the District of Margate, desire it to be understood at the same time, that they reserve to themselves the power to alter and annul any of these conditions, and also to make such new Rules as may be found expedient.

I.— Each man shall devote his whole time to the Police Service; he is not to carry on any trade or calling, nor can his wife be allowed to keep a shop.

II— He shall promptly obey all lawful orders which he may receive from the persons placed in authority over him.

III.— He shall conform himself to all the Regulations which may from time to time be made.

IV.— He shall not upon any occasion, or under any pretence whatsoever, take any money or any gratuity from any person without immediately reporting the same to the Local Board of Health; all gratuities so received shall be immediately handed over to the Inspector. And all  the monies to which the Police Constables may be entitled under, or by virtue of the provisions of any Act of Parliament, or which may be allowed to, or earned by any such Constable for the service of any notice or summons, or for the execution of any warrant, or for laying any information, or attending as a witness at the sessions or on any jury, or for the conveying of prisoners to gaol, or otherwise howsoever, and received by any such Constable, shall be immediately deposited by him with the Inspector, who shall hand the same to the Chairman of the Police Committee, for the purpose of its being reported to the Board of Health and paid to the Treasurer, to be placed to the credit of the General District Fund Account; and all such monies so allowed and received as aforesaid, shall be applied and disposed of in such manner as to the said Board may seem fit. Any Police Constable neglecting or refusing faithfully to report the amount of any money received by him, and to hand the same to the Inspector as aforesaid, will subject himself to be forthwith dismissed the force.

V.— He shall at all times when on duty appear in his complete Police dress, except when specially ordered otherwise.

VI.—He shall receive his pay weekly, on such day as shall be appointed.

VII.—His pay is twenty shillings a week; and in addition, the following articles of clothing will be sup­plied to him, viz.—

            Great Coat every other year.

            Two pair of Boots every year.

            Hat and Cover every year.

            Coat and two pair of Trowsers every year.

            Cape every third year.

VIII.—He shall not resign or withdraw from the Police Force without giving a month's previous notice to the Local Board of Health, or to the Police Committee at some one of their meetings; if he resigns or withdraws himself without such notice, or before the expiration of such notice, all pay then due shall be forfeited, and a penalty of £5 incurred.

If he be dismissed the Police Force, the whole of his pay then due or unpaid is forfeited.

IX.—Every man discharged from the Police Force, or who shall resign his situation, shall, before he quits the service, deliver up every article of dress and ap­pointment which has been supplied to him; if any of such articles have been, in the opinion of the said Board or of the Police Committee, improperly used or damaged, a deduction from any pay due to the party shall be made, sufficient to make good the damage or supply a new article. In the first place, a stoppage of twopence per week shall be made till the sum stopped amounts to one month's pay, which shall be a reserve to cover any negligent or wilful damage to the clothes or accoutrements, and shall be returnable on discharge by an order of the Police Committee.

X.—Each Police Constable is liable to immediate dismissal for unfitness, negligence, or misconduct, independently of any other punishment to which he may by law be subject.   The Local Board of Health may also, if thought fit, dismiss him without assigning any reason. He shall also be liable to summary sus­pension by the Police Committee, without any reason being assigned, until the next meeting of the Local Board.

XI.—He shall not use, nor allow to be used, the button marked " Police Force," except whilst he be­longs to the service.

N.B.—The Inspector has an additional Twenty Shillings a week pay, with Clothing of superior materials.

Outline of General Duty, Orders, and Regulations.

I.—The duty will commence at such hours as the Inspector shall appoint, but subject to any special orders of the Magistrates. The Inspector will instruct the Police Constables in their general duties.

II.—Each Police Constable will, before going on duty, be informed by the Inspector of the beat ap­propriated to him.

III.—The men who are off duty, are to consider themselves liable to be called on at all times, and will always prepare themselves when required at the short­est notice.

IV.—The men of the relief for duty will individually assemble at the station before, or precisely at the hour fixed for that purpose in the orders. Their names will be called, and an inspection made by the Inspector to ascertain that they are perfectly sober and correctly dressed and appointed.

V.—At the hour for relieving, the men are to report themselves at the station, where they will be inspected by the Inspector in the same manner as when going on duty, that it may be ascertained whether they are sober and correctly dressed as when he posted them. The Inspector will then dismiss the party, and proceed to make his final report, according to the prescribed forms detailing all occurrences; he will also take all persons given in charge or apprehended in the night to the station.

VI.—Police Constables may rest assured, that no man will be suffered to remain a day in the Police who shall be in the slightest degree intoxicated on duty. They are forbidden to carry sticks or umbrellas in their hands when on duty.

VII.—In all cases when the charge has been received and entered on the charge sheet, the parties charged are to be detained in custody at the station until they can be taken before a Magistrate for examination, or if the offence charged shall not amount to felony, or be punishable by summary conviction, then, until satis­factory recognizances have been taken by the Inspector.

VIII.—Whenever a person is apprehended and searched, whatever property may be found is to be taken by the Inspector, and no part thereof is to be returned to the prisoner until the decision of the Magistrates on the case is known; this is not however to prevent any small sum to procure necessary refresh­ment during confinement being given to the party, where the charge against him does not relate to the money.

IX.—When it is necessary for the prisoners in confinement to have refreshments at their own ex­pense, or at the expense of the liberty rate, no spiritu­ous liquors or wine are to be admitted, but only beer, tea, or coffee, with such eatables as are usually given in those cases.

X.—In all cases of violent or sudden death or casualities, where a coroner's inquest should be held upon the body, the Police, whenever the case comes under their cognizance, will, if necessary, give inform­ation to the Magistrates, and also in all such cases give information to the High Constable, and report upon the occurence sheet that they have done so at the time the occurrence is reported.

XI.—In every case where property is taken from a prisoner, and which is ordered by the Magistrate to be returned to him, the Inspector will have a receipt in readiness specifying the articles of property taken and which appears in a column of the charge sheet and will obtain the signature of the person charged that the whole has been delivered to him; these receipts will be filed at the station, to serve as refer­ence hereafter if necessary.


THE INSPECTOR it is expected will be present at the station at the relief of duty, to see that the men going on duty are perfectly clean and sober, and properly dressed in the police uniform, as also that those coming off duty are sober and correctly dressed as when posted.

He is to receive his orders from, and make his report to the Magistrates daily, and to the Police Committee (unless otherwise directed by a Magistrate) weekly, or oftener, if required. If upon complaint made against a man, the Inspector shall think his conduct blameable or deserving of punishment, he will as soon as possible communicate the whole matter to the Police Committee for their decision, in the mean time suspending him, from duty if the case requires it.

It is expected that he will instruct the Police Con­stables as to their general duty.

He will take care that the standing orders and regula­tions, and all directions of the Magistrates, are promptly and strictly obeyed by himself and those under him.

Upon any alarm of fire within the town, it becomes the duty of the Inspector to repair to the spot and take the entire control of the Police that may be assembled, sending for those who are off duty. The Inspector will render such assistance as may be in his power, and every assistance possible must be given to the removal of property, conformably with the wishes and suggestions of the proprietors; but no money or allowance will be permitted to be received for such assistance without the consent of the said Board.

He will enter all charges brought to the station in a book, with the names and residences of all parties concerned, for the inspection of the Magistrates and Police Committee, unless any such entries shall be directed by a Magistrate not to be laid before the Police Committee.

In taking recognizances for offences not amounting to felony, and of which the party in custody is liable to be summarily convicted, he must fully satisfy him­self of the sufficiency of the party or parties entering into the same.

If any property be brought to him, either taken from persons apprehended or otherwise, he will immediately make an entry of the same in the property book; the several articles of property should be marked at the time they are received, so that they can be afterwards known to be the same; they should be taken by the Inspector himself from the party bringing them, and not allowed to be out of his sight until marked in the manner directed; they should then be locked up by the Inspector in a place kept for that purpose, and of which he has alone the key.

He will take care that all persons brought under charges are securely confined.

The Inspector shall not take into custody any person brought in by a Police Constable on the vague charge of " obstructing the constable in the execution of his duty;" if such charge is to be made, it must be accompanied by a specification of particulars.

He will visit the Police Constables on duty; also the public houses and beer shops, and report in writing  all such as keep improper hours and disorderly com­pany in their houses, especially on Sundays.

While he is exact in performance of his duty, he will at the same time be civil and attentive to every person, and render every information and assist­ance in his power when required.

In case the Inspector be absent from illness or any other cause, his place is to be supplied by one of the men who may be appointed by the Police Committee.


Police Constable.

Every Police Constable must make it his study to recommend himself to notice by a diligent discharge of his duties, and strict obedience to the commands of his superiors.

He will devote the whole of his time and abilities to the service.

He is at all times to appear neat in his person and correctly dressed in the established uniform; his de­meanour must always be respectful.

He must readily and punctually obey the orders and instructions of the Inspector; if they appear to him improper, he may complain to the Police Committee, who will pay due attention to him, but any refusal to perform the commands of his superiors, or negligence in doing so, will not be suffered.

When he has to go on duty, he will take care to be at the appointed place, if not before, precisely at the prescribed hour, and after inspection and receiving any orders that may be necessary, he is to proceed to his beat.

It is indispensably necessary that he should make himself perfectly acquainted with all parts of the town, with the streets, thoroughfares, courts, and houses.

He will be expected to possess such a knowledge of the inhabitants of each house as will enable him to recognize their persons; he will thus prevent mistakes, and enable himself to render assistance to the in­habitants when called for.

When he takes any one into custody, he must either hand over the party to the Inspector or accompany him or her to the station, and when he takes property from any one, he should not suffer it to be out of his sight until he delivers it to the Inspector at the station, and receive from him a proper receipt for the same: he will then return again to his duty as soon as possible.

In watching the conduct of loose and disorderly persons, and of all persons whose behaviour is such as to excite just suspicion, he will keep in mind that the prevention of crime—the great object of all exertions of the Police—will generally be best attained by making it evident to the parties that they are known and strictly watched, and that certain detection will follow any attempt to commit a crime.

He is not to quit his beat during his tour of duty, unless under the circumstances already mentioned, or others which may make it necessary; he shall not enter any house except in the execution of his duty.

On no pretence shall he enter a public house or beer shop, except in the immediate execution of his duty, and no liquor or refreshment of any sort shall be taken from a publican without paying for it at the time; such a breach of positive orders will not be excused.

If during the tour of his duty he observes in the streets anything likely to produce danger or public inconvenience, or anything which seems to him irregular and offensive, he must report it to the Inspector, unless the urgency of the case shall justify his immediate interference.

He will be civil and attentive to all persons of every rank and class; insolence or incivility will not be passed over.

He is to notice the state of the gas lamps, whether any are dirty or extinguished, also the time at which they are commenced being extinguished every morning, and to report the same to the Inspector.

While on duty he must not enter into conversation with any one, except on matters relating to his duty; he must be particularly cautious not to interfere idly or unnecessarily; when required to act he will do so with decision and boldness: on all occasions he may expect to receive the fullest support in the proper exercise of his authority.

He must remember that there is no qualification more indispensable to a Police Officer, than a perfect command of temper, never suffering himself to be moved in the slightest degree by any language or threats that may be used; if he do his duty in a quiet and determined manner, such conduct will probably induce well-disposed bystanders to assist him should he require it.

In case of a fire taking place, the Police Constable at the spot will give immediate alarm by springing his rattle; he should as soon as possible send information to the station, and until the arrival of the Inspector, from whom he will receive further orders, he will exert himself in any way likely to be most useful, as in keep­ing the space near the spot clear, assisting in removing property, &c, &c.

The Police Constables are not to go into public houses at night to order the landlord to close his house, or to interfere in any other manner with the management or regulation of the house.

The Police Constables are upon all occasions re­quired to execute their duty with good temper and discretion; any instance of unnecessary violence by them will not be overlooked. A Police Constable must not use his staff except in necessary self-defence. The Police Constables are not to use language towards parties in their custody calculated to provoke or offend them, such conduct often creates resistance in the party, and a hostile feeling amongst the persons present towards the constable. The Police Constables are always to bear in mind, that in taking any one into custody, they are not justified in doing more than is absolutely necessary for the safe custody of the parties while being conveyed to the station.

A Police Constable is not authorized to arrest or assist in arresting, or to take into custody, a person charged with a common assault when the assault was not committed in the presence or within view of the Police Constable, but if a person has been cut or wounded, and gives into custody the party charged with having cut or wounded him, the Police Constable is authorized to take the party into custody, and keep him in safe custody until he can be brought before a Magistrate.

The Police Constable on duty at the station shall not allow any person to remain therein except on business, or in the case of sudden illness, or extreme destitution during inclement weather.

Further instructions will be given to every Police Constable by the Inspector as to his general duties and power.

The Police Committee meet every Monday at Eleven o'Clock at the Town Hall.


Given under our hands and Seal of Office at the Town Hall, Margate, in the Parish of Saint John the Baptist, in the County of Kent, this 2lst day of October, 1851.
JOHN BOYS, Chairman.

Jas. Edwd. Wright
Clerk of the Local Board of Health