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Time Line 1890 - 1909


1890 Opening of the new headquarters at the Norman Shaw Building on the Embankment known as New Scotland Yard.

Police strike at Bow Street Police Station.

Sir Edward Bradford is appointed Commissioner after the resignation of James Monro.

Sir Edward Bradford


1891 The Public Carriage and Lost Property Offices move from Great Scotland Yard to the new offices at New Scotland Yard on the 21 March.

A member of staff at the new Lost Property Office


1892 Dismissals and rank and pay reductions were common at this point, and the case of Pc379A Best whose resignation on 21 July illustrates how the Metropolitan Police attempted to keep its men in order. He was "in possession of a tea-can, the property of another constable, obliterating the owners number, substituting his own name and number, telling a deliberate falsehood in connection therewith; and considered unfit for the police force."    

1893 PC George Cooke, a serving officer, is convicted for murder and hanged.    

1894 The Alphonse Bertillon system of identification comes into operation.

Anthropometric measuring devices used in the System


1895 To join the Metropolitan Police the following qualifications were necessary:

  • to be over 21 and under 27 years of age
  • to stand clear 5ft 9ins without shoes or stockings
  • to be able to read well, write legibly and have a fair knowledge of spelling
  • to be generally intelligent
  • to be free from any bodily complaint

The bodily complaints for which candidates were rejected included; flat foot, stiffness of joints, narrow chest and deformities of the face.

   

1896 Public Carriage Office and Lost Property Offices amalgamate under the designation 'Public Carriage Branch'.    

1897 Metropolitan Police Officers granted a boot allowance instead of being supplied with boots. Police boots at this time were loathed, only Sir Edward Bradford, the Commissioner, believing them suitable.    

1898 After a series of assaults and the murder of PC Baldwin in the vicinity of the Kingsland Road, there are calls for the Metropolitan Police to be armed with revolvers.    

1899

High rate of suicides amongst officers. This is blamed by certain commentators on harsh discipline and insensitive handling of the men.

As the century draws to a close it is worth noting that the Metropolitan Police on formation in 1829 had a force of about 3,000 men, and by 1899 16,000. The population of London had grown from 1,500,000 to 7 million.

   

1900 Construction of a new floating police station at Waterloo Pier.

Lord Belper Committee inquire into the best system of identification of possible criminals.

   

1901 The Fingerprint Bureau commences operation after the findings of the Belper Report. Anthropometric measurements under the Bertillon system are still used, but begin to decline in importance.    

1902 The coronation of King Edward VII makes major demands on the police, resulting in 512 police pensioners being recalled for duty. Extra pay, leave and a medal were granted to all serving officers.    

1903 Sir Edward Bradford retires as Commissioner to be replaced by Edward Henry.

Sir Edward Henry


1904 6 new stations buildt at East Ham, Hackney, John Street, Muswell Hill, North Woolwich and Tower Bridge. 1 is near completion and 2 other started. Major works take place on 23 other stations.    

1905 An article in Police Review mentions that Pc William Hallett of Y Division, who had retired after 26 years as a mounted officer, had ridden 144,000 miles or more than 5 times around the world in the course of his duty.    

1906 The Metropolitan Police at this stage in their history are on duty for 13 days a fortnight and have an additional leave of 10 days.    

1907 Clash between the Metropolitan Police and 800 Suffragettes outside the House of Commons on 13 February. Mounted and Foot officers are used to disperse them, and allegations of brutality are made.    

1908 Police Review reports "the authorities at Scotland Yard have been seriously discussing the use of dogs as the constable companion and help, and Sir Edward Henry (Commissioner), who regards the innovation sympathetically, considers the only crucial objection to be the sentimental prejudices of the public."    

1909 The Tottenham Outrage occurs, in the course of which PC William Tyler and a 10 year old boy are shot dead by anarchists.

Memorial to PC William Tyler