Wakefield Express reports from the Court
The Wakefield Borough Police came into being in September 1848 after the Borough Council were tasked with forming a 'constabulary force' for the newly formed borough. The first police station was located in King Street and still stands today - the building immediately to the south was a Fire Engine House - the building originally being the 'Police and Vagrant Office' in 1829. The building consisted of two cells and a short time afterwards, a female detention was built on the first floor. In 1876 the police station moved to half of a renovated building known as the 'Tammy Hall', which had been constructed in 1778 and when the southern half had been demolished to make way for the Town Hall, the northernmost part of the building was refurbished to form a new police and fire station. New buildings were added to the refurbished Tammy Hall, to the north (Chief Constable's Office and Charge Office); the west on King Street (Chief Constable's house) and the south (Fire Station). The ground floor housed 20 cells with an underground passage linking the cells in the police station to the cells below the Court Room in the Town Hall. This building is now the Wakefield and Pontefract Magistrates' Court.
In 1888, the City of Wakefield was formed after letters patent were issued and on 25 June the police was officially known as the Wakefield City Police and would keep this name until the force was disbanded in 1968.
The city boundaries increased in size and with this, Wakefield City Police absorbed 279 acres from the West Riding Constabulary when the Wakefield City Extension Act came into force - this included the area of Thornes; the site of where Pinderfields Hospital now stands and parts of Lupset and Flanshaw. The parish of Alverthorpe was added in 1900 and in 1909 the parish of Sandal was included in the jurisdiction of Wakefield City Police - with officers stationed at Belle Vue, Sandal Common (now known as Agbrigg), Haddingley Hill, Sandal Magna, Milnthorpe and Newmillerdam. Two new houses on Agbrigg Road were occupied by police officers from Wakefield City, these houses being near Sandal Fire Station (no longer standing) in May 1910. The largest and latest addition to the force area came in April 1951 when the parish of Crigglestone and what would become the Kettlethorpe estate was added to the Milnthorpe beat.
With the introduction of the police boxes, the City was divided into eight 'Day Beats', operated between 0600hrs and 1800hrs - three foot-based city centre beats known as 'Office', 'Westgate' and 'Kirgate; and five 'outer' beats were patrolled on bicycle. Each 'Day Beat' was further divided into two 'Night Beats', worked between 1800hrs and 0600hrs, with one officer on foot, the other on bicycle (one 'Day Beat' was divided into three 'Night Beats'). The beat system was updated with the 'Unit Beat System' which came into operation on 20 May 1968 - with the City divided into five units, in turn made up of ten beats - with three city centre beats being patrolled on foot as had been under the old 'beat system'. With the introduction of the unit beat system, officers would patrol in vehicles (known as 'panda' cars) who would assist with calls when the resident beat officer was off duty.
The Police Telephone Box system, which had been championed by the Newcastle City and Edinburgh City forces was introduced in 1929 and Wakefield City installed 19 boxes with an extra being installed at Sandal Police Station, Agbrigg Road. This system allowed for constables on the beat to attend at a police box and communicate with headquarters and the boxes were also for the use of the public to summon assistance. All calls from the police boxes were routed to the Charge Office at headquarters. A further 5 boxes were added in 1935 and this method of operation was maintained up to the 1960s. Below is a list of the locations of the police boxes in the 1950s:
|Leeds Road / Andrew Street|
|Police Station (Cliff Parade)|
|Westmorland Street / Springs|
|Stanley Road / Greenwood Road|
|Westgate / Ings Road|
|Batley Road / Flanshaw|
|Horbury Road / Lupset Bar|
|Caldervale Road / Kirkgate|
|10||Kirkgate / Volunteer Yard|
|11||Denby Dale Road / Thornes Park|
|12||Doncaster Road / Elm Tree Street|
|13||Barnsley Road / Busy Corner|
|14||Barnsley Road / Woodthorpe Lane|
|15||Barnsley Road / Slack Lane|
|16||Barnsley Road / St. Helen's Church|
|17||Agbrigg Road / Newlands Street|
|18||Horbury Road / Cross Lane|
|19||George-a-Green Road / Dewsbury Road|
|20||Eastmoor Road / Pinderfields Road|
|21||Baln Lane / Silcoates Street|
|22||Portobello Road / Pugneys Road|
|23||Townley Road / Robin Hood Crescent|
|24||Broadway / Waterton Road|
|25||Queen Elizabeth Road / Windhill Road|
|26||Park Lodge Lane / Park Hill Lane|