THE FIRST 100 YEARS

1808
Gorbals Police established due to criminals moving across the River Clyde to the Barony of Gorbals, to avoid the Glasgow Police.

1811
Robbery of Paisley Union Bank, Ingram Street, Glasgow, 45,000 in gold, silver and notes was stolen.

1818
Alexander Anderson, Dougal McColl and Peter McKinlay appointed as Lieutenants of Police.

1819
Lieutenant Peter McKinlay appointed as Criminal Officer, Glasgow's first Detective.
Calton Burgh Police formed on the east side of the City.

1824
Anderston Burgh Police formed on the west side of the City.

1825
New Central Police Office in South Albion Street opened.

1837
Miners and cotton spinners riot in Glasgow. One worker shot by Army.
Police lead by Superintendent Miller raid the 'Black Boy' Tavern, Gallowgate, and 16 conspiritors arrested.

1846
Municipal and Extension Act merges Glasgow Police with:
Gorbals Burgh Police (48 officers)
Calton Burgh Police (21 officers)
Anderston Burgh Police (28 officers)
Glasgow Police now numbers 360 police officers.
As a result of this, Glasgow Police divided into four Divisions:
'A' or Central;
'B' or Western;
'C' or Eastern
'D' or Southern

1849
New uniforms issued to the Glasgow Police which consisted of a better quality top hat, three-quarter length dress coats with standing collar and nine buttons. The photograph on the left was taken of Sergeant Oliver, Glasgow Police, in 1854, and shows the uniform to good effect. Click to view Glasgow Police Uniforms

1856
Maryhill Burgh Police formed to the north-west of the City.

1858
First Government inspection of Glasgow Police gives strength of the force as 684. Uniform Branch 615 and Detective Department 21.
The Burgh of Partick, to the west of the City, forms the Partick Burgh Police.
The Clyde Port Authority establish 'The Clyde Police' to police the growing dock areas of the River Clyde.

1861
Electric telegraph adopted for communication between offices and other police forces.

1862
Photography introduced as an aid to crime detection, just in time to be of assistance in the Sandyford Murder of Jessie McPherson. This was the first murder investigated exclusively by Detectives of Glasgow Police. Before this date, all murders were investigated personally by the Procurator Fiscal.
By this time, the 'E' or Northern and 'F' or St. Rollox Divisions were part of the growing Glasgow Police (strength 749).

1864
The Burgh of Govan, to the south-west of the City, establishes the Govan Burgh Police.

1865
Dr. Pritchard murders his wife and mother-in-law at 131 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. He was later found guilty and hanged on 28 July 1865. Glasgow's last public execution.

1866
Superintendent McCall investigates the Greatrex Forgery Case and travels to New York to arrest him.

Click to view "Superintendent McCall and the Greatrex Case"

The Clyde Police (formed in 1858) is absorbed into Glasgow Police as The Marine Division. They wear a small anchor on their collar and the cost of the division is borne by the Clyde Navigation Trust.

1878
Horse drawn van (photo right) introduced for conveying prisoners.

1880
Police Committee abolish rattles as a means of Police communication and also introduce a telephone line between the Central Police Office and the Western Division.

1881
Glasgow's first river patrol (rowing) boat purchased for 16.

1883
The Ribbon Society (an Irish Republican Brotherhood) blow up gas storeage tanks at Tradeson Gas Works and attempt to bomb Buchanan Street Railway Station and the Forth & Clyde Canal at Possil Aquaduct. Six conspirators arrested.

1886
All Police Offices and Fire Stations connected by telephone.
Glasgow Police now numbers 964 officers and men

1891
Due to the City of Glasgow Act, 1891, the City boundaries were extended to the south, north and west sides of the City.
Possilpark and Springburn were incorporated into the existing Northern and St. Rollox Divisions.
The new Division of 'G' or Queens Park was formed by annexing Pollokshields, Crosshill and Govanhill.
Maryhill Burgh Police (20 officers) was merged with the areas of Hillhead and Kelvinside to form 'H' or Maryhill Division.


Due to the extension of the force boundaries, a system of 14 new cast iron Police Signal boxes was installed in the outlying areas. The box, designed by Fire Engineer Eggar of Glasgow Fire Brigade, was exceptional for it's time. When the telephone rang, the gas lamp was lit and a red filter covered the light to show distant beat policemen that the telephone was ringing.

1892
The small Renfrewshire burgh of Kinning Park, adjacent to the south-western boundary of the City, became a Lanarkshire Burgh and immediately formed the Kinning Park Burgh Police. This was part of an effort to resist future boundary extensions of Glasgow and thereby remain a separate force.

1899
The Detective Department adopt the Bertillon system of criminal identification, based on measurements, as well as the fingerprint system.

1900
The Centenary of the City of Glasgow Police which, at the turn of the century numbered 1355 officers and men.


'D' or Southern Division 1900

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