Policing the Port of London
|Dock company police and the PLA|
More police forces
The West India Dock Company employed an armed force of 100 men equipped with muskets, pistols and swords to protect its docks.
Taking their lead from the West India merchants, each of the dock companies that came after also employed their own special police force. Their job was not only to prevent criminals from getting in, but also to make sure that goods were not smuggled out of the docks.
Catching the pilferers
George Sims described a typical incident at London Docks in 1900:
The PLA takes over
The advent of the PLA in 1909 meant the amalgamation of police forces of the three remaining dock companies:
The PLA Police Force was organized on lines similar to the Metropolitan Police. Within their own jurisdiction they had the same powers - there were both uniformed and plain-clothed branches and the uniform was the same, differentiated only by their badge.
|Back to Deptford Creek|