TitleSheffield Police Force
AdminHistoryThe history of the Sheffield police force can be said to date from 1818 when, after considerable debate, an Improvement Act was passed which transferred the lighting, watching and cleansing of Sheffield from the Town Trustees to a body of Commissioners. Colonel Fenton was appointed as first superintendent of the police and on his death in 1835 he was succeeded by Thomas Raynor. In 1836 the first day policemen were appointed.

On 4 April 1844 responsibility for the police force was transferred from the Improvement Commissioners to Sheffield Town Council, under the supervision of the Watch Committee, and in June that year the area covered was extended outwards from the centre of the town. At first the force was housed in the Town Hall and it was not until 1864-1865 that a police station was built in Castle Green. The force grew steadily. By 1900 there were eight police stations in addition to the central station and by 1921 this number had risen to thirteen.

In 1967 Sheffield and Rotherham Joint Force was formed.

In 1974 (under the Local Government Act of 1972) the Sheffield and Rotherham Joint Force was merged with part of the West Yorkshire Constabulary to form South Yorkshire Police (the borough forces of Doncaster and Barnsley had previously merged with the West Yorkshire Constabulary in 1968).
DescriptionGeneral Administration and Organisation, 1857 - 1969 (SY295/1)
General Order Books, 1859 - 1967 (SY295/1/1)
General papers, 1859 - 1967 (SY295/1/2)

Financial records, 1839 - 1967 (SY295/2)

Personnel records, 1831 - 1970 (SY295/3)
Conduct and Commendation Books, 1831 - 1913 (SY295/3/1)
Probationers' books, 1867 - 1901 (SY295/3/2)
Declarations and descriptions of constables, 1891 - 1921 (SY295/3/3)
Police Pension Book, 1890 - 1915 (SY295/3/4)
Police Sick Book, 1890 - 1927 (SY295/3/5)
Constables Log Books, 1912 - 1923 (SY295/3/6)
Disciplinary report book, 1924 - 1936 (SY295/3/7)
Record of complaints against members of the force, 1935 - 1964 (SY295/3/8)
Correspondence, 1920 - 1957 (SY295/3/9)
Personnel record cards, c. 1930 - 1970 (SY295/3/10)

Training records, 1902 - [1970s] (SYY295/4)

Premises, 1884 - 1975 (SY295/5)

Miscellaneous, 1844-[c. 1970] (SY295/6)

Records relating to Crime, 1836 - 1971 (SY295/7)
Charge Books, 1836 - 1865 (SY295/7/1)
Prison List, 1845 - 1846 (SY295/7/2)
Register of ticket-of-leave men, 1864 - 1874 (SY295/7/3)
Police Station Occurrence Books, 1850 - 1856 (SY295/7/4)
Refused charge book, 1899 - 1938 (SY295/7/5)
Official record cards, [19th - 20th cent] (SY295/7/6)
Papers re Charles Peace, [1870s] (SY295/7/7)
Papers relating to crime statistics, 1927 - 1971 (SY295/7/8)
The Success or Failure of the Borstal System, 1925 (SY295/7/9)

Licensing records, 1928 - 1965 (SY295/8)
Register of Pawnbrokers' Licences, 1928 - 1962 (SY295/8/1)
Register of plans submitted for building or altering premises of licensed victuallers, 1939 - 1946 (SY295/8/2)
Records of offences by licensed victuallers, 1951 - 1970 (SY295/8/3)

Ancillary Organisations:
Old Comrades, 1928 - 1949 (SY295/9)
Police Benevolent Fund, 1943 - 1960 (SY295/10)
Auxiliary Fire Service, 1938 - 1941 (SY295/11)
Date1831 - 1977
Extent117 items
AccessConditionsRequests to access information contained in some of these records must be made in writing to:

Information Compliance Unit, South Yorkshire Police (email:

You will need to quote the reference and description of each item you wish to view.
RelatedMaterialRelated items at Sheffield Archives:

For records of the Town Trustees (who were responsible for 'watching' Sheffield prior to 1818) see TT. Note: the minutes of the Town Trustees have been published - see J. D. Leader, "Extracts from the Earliest Book of Accounts belonging to the Town Trustees of Sheffield,... 1566 to 1707", (1879) and J. D. Leader "The Records of the Burgery of Sheffield", (1897) [1566-1848].

For minutes of Sheffield City Council and its Watch Committee see CA.

For records of South Yorkshire Police from 1974 see SYP.

Related material at Sheffield Local Studies Library:

For a list of gentlemen constables for Sheffield appointed on the 1st April 1812 see "The Iris" or "The Sheffield Advertiser", 21 Apr 1812

Chief Constables since 1844 (MP 3770 M)

Annual reports of the City of Sheffield Police and Auxiliary Services, 1936 - 1940 (352.2s)

Reports of the Chief Constable of Sheffield, 1946 - 1973 (352.2s)

Rules, Orders and Regulations of the Watch Committee for the Guidance of Officers and Constables, 1844 (Local Pamphlets, Vol. 63 No. 16 042s)

Criminal statistical returns of the Sheffield Police with statistical returns of inquests for the borough of Sheffield, 1845-1862 (352.2 S)

Copy Sheffield Council minutes (which include copy minutes of the Watch Committee), 1863 onwards (352.02 s)
CustodialHistoryOn the abolition of South Yorkshire County Council on 31 March 1986, the records passed from South Yorkshire County Record Office, by agreement of the four South Yorkshire District Councils, to the custody of Sheffield Archives as lead authority.
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