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Time Line 1930 - 1949

1930 Large number of men posted to Motor Patrol work: 4 subdivisional Inspectors, 31 Sergeants, and 324 Constables.    

1931 Commissioner Byng retires. Lord Trenchard appointed.    

1932 Lord Trenchard abolishes the timed Beat System and sets out his thoughts about the Metropolitan Police Personnel recruitment and promotion system.    

1933 Trenchard begins his programme for the improvement of Section Houses.    

1934 The Metropolitan Police College opens at Hendon.

Metropolitan Police withdraw from Devonport Dockyard, bringing to a close its presence in HM Dockyards.

Opening of the Hendon College with the Prince of Wales meeting officers

1935 Metropolitan Police Forensic Laboratory opened.

Lord Trenchard retires as Commissioner, and Sir Philip Game is appointed in his place.


1936 The Battle of Cable Street involves the Metropolitan Police in street battles with opposing political factions.

Battle of Cable Street

1937 The 999 system is introduced.    

1938 Civil Defence starts with the formation of two Reserves in the event of war. The first are retired officers, the second Special Constables.    

1939 I.R.A. activity results in 59 explosions in the Metropolitan Police District. 55 people are convicted for these offences.    

1940 98 Metropolitan Police officers killed during air raids.   Click here to read about the MPS officer murdered in Hyde Park during the war

1941 Air raid bombings continue, and Holloway police station is destroyed. Somers Town, Sydenham and Brixton stations are too badly damaged to be used.    

1942 Police officers allowed to volunteer for the Armed Forces.    

1943 In an attempt to curb housebreaking, the Commissioner Sir Philip Game asks people not to keep furs, saying "they are no doubt warmer, and look nicer than a tweed coat, but a live dog is better than a dead lion."

Sir Philip Game

1944 Looting reaches an all time record.    

1945 Sir Philip Game retires and is replaced as Commissioner by Harold Scott.

Sir Harold Scott

1946 The Metropolitan and City Police Company Fraud Department is formed.    

1947 Metropolitan Police face a deficiency of 4,730 men as a result of the war.    

1948 Indictable crime rate falls to 126,000 crimes, but this is still 40% higher than before the war.    

1949 Lord Oakseys committee reports on police pay, recommending small increases and London weighting.