ο»Ώ CARDIFF WATCH COMMITTEE.|1880-06-26|The Cardiff Times - Welsh Newspapers Online
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CARDIFF WATCH COMMITTEE. THE REORGANISATION OF THE POLICE FORCE. A special meeting of the Cardiff Watch Com- mittee was held on Monday. The Mayor (Mr J. McOonnoohie) presided, and there were present— Aldermen Elliott, Bowen, Lewis, Jones, Win- stone, Taylor, and Evans; Councillors Bird, Tre- seder, R. Davies, T. Rees, Proger, Newbery, J, Evans, Trounce, Lougher, Rees Enoch, David Jones, Shackell, Bet van, Stone, Vachell, A. Thomas, Rowlands, Cory, Rees Jones. Jacobs, D. Duncan, T. Evans, Sloper, W. Sanders, Arm- strong, D. E. Jones, and W. E. Vaughan. The meeting, an adjourned one, was for the consider- tiou of the report of the Chief-Constable as to the distribution of the police force. The Chief-Con- stable, it may be remembered, asked for 12 men in addition to the police force. In answer to several questions, the Chief-Con- stable stated that the effectiveness of the police force during Whit-week was not interfered with, for night constables did the special duty at places of amusement. One inspector and three constables from the town division were required for the pur- pose of serving summonses, executing warrants, and attending to prisoners one constable was required for the relief of vagrants, and one for the foreign cattle lair. The three men first n med were required at the police-court on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, until three or four o'clock. An inspector and one constable had to take the prisoners from the police-court to the gaol, and they had to be in attendance at the court every da", except Thursdays. It was im- possible to do without a certain number of police at the police-court. As for the relief of vagrants, that work occupied a constable five hours each day, including Sundays, and the constable at the foreign cattle lair was required by Order in Coun- cil—the cattle were not required to be slaughtered for 14 days after landing. The rate of wages paid was 22s, 24s, 26s, and 2t$s per week, for const i- bles for sergeants,30s and 34s; and inspectors,35s. Mr R. DAVIEB said it would be more satisfactory were the services of a policeman in attendiug to the chief constable's horse done away with. Alderman WINSTONE said that in Carlisle the population was 34,000, whilst there were 32 police- men. The number of summary convictions was 1,132, which gave 33 convictions for each police- man. In Cardiff there were 80,000 people, and there were 90 policemen. The convictions num- bered 2,207, giving something like 24 to each policeman. If there was less crime in Cardiff than in Carlisle, then we did not want more policemen. Here already we paid very heavily for police work —more heavily than any town of the same size of hich he was aware—somewhere, namely, about £7,900, and of which we received £3,100 Govern- ment grant. In Carlisle there were no detectives, and they had one inspector and four sergeants. t In Cardiff we had three detectives, four inspectors, and 11 sergeants. But it seemed to him if the same description of management were"o be carried out here, we should want considerably less policemen than at present. The Chief Constable pointed out that in Carlisle there was quite a different class of people to deal with, for in Carlisle one constable would be quite sufficient for the whole length of Bute-street, from the Hayes Bridge, while in Cardiff it was neces- sary to have six or eight of a Saturday night. There was a detective at Carlisle. We had here only two detectives, and one was the chief in- spector, whose time was occupied to a great extent at the police-court. If Mr Alderman Winstone had taken Birkenhead for an example it would have been a much more suitable comparison than Carlisle, which was an inland townof an altogether different character to Cardiff. As regarded the number of convictions, the Chief Constable in- formed the committee that in Carlisle every person seen under the influence of drink was ap- prehended, whereas here a drunken person was not locked up unless it was found absolutely necessary. That made at the end of the year a great difference in the statistics. Alderman 1 BOWEN agreed that the present arrangements in respect to the duties of the police were unsatisfactory. While he was not in favour of increasing the force by 12 men, he thought a smaller increase mighf be made, and that then the committee should go into the whole question of the police arrangements. In a private specula- tion like the Alexandra Park, the persons entering into it should employ their ownmen. Mr Heming- way had said the extra" duties did not interfere with the efficiency of the police as a force, as the men were taken from the night st iff but after being at the Alexandra Park or elsewhere for five or six hours, he (Mr Bowen) did not think a con-, stable could efficiently perform his duties at night. Mr BEES ENOCH said Whitinore-lane and Char- lotte-street had been done away, but the bad characters who used to reside there had now taken up their quarters iu Roath. Roach required more protection. Mr BEAVAN also maintained that'more constables were required at Roath. The parish of Roath contained a population of, say 22,000 persons, which was half the population of the town division, but the number of constables was for Roath only 14 fcr Canton, 13 whereas there were 42 for the town division. There was a greal deal in what Mr Rees Enoch had said. Through the pulling down of Whitmore-lane and Charlotte- street, and the dens of infamy hich used to exist there, a vast number of bad characters had mi- grated out to the back end of Roath, making the place very unruly and disoiderly indeed and in addition there had been a migration going on from the docks of the same sort of characters for the last year or two—Roatli-wards. He had been out to see for himself at one, two, and three o'clock in the morning, and his nocturnal visits had proved to him that at Roath they wanted half a dozen more policemen in order that life and pro- perty might be properly guarded, for at present the beats were too long, and the policemen were themselves exposed to great danger. Mr T. REES said that Cardiff, like every ship- ping port, required a larger number of policemen to the population than an inland town, and until the school boards had done their work they must keep up an efficient and a large staff of policemen, but. afterwards tley would be able to reduce that staff in numbers.ESHe moved that four additional policemen should be appointed, and that in future all policemen should be employed for strictly police purposes. Alderman EVANS suggested fthat six 'new con- stables should be added to the force, and reminded the meeting that wherever people gathered together in large numbers the police must be. If we had not an efficient force the Government grant would be taken away. Alderman ELLIOTT supported an increase in the police force. The Alexandra Park was, he pointed out, a permanent place of enjoyment, and a line must be drawn between that land flower or agri- cultural shows or fetes. He considered that the Alexandra Park, as a permanent place of public amusement, should be protected by men under the control of the proprietors. Take such fetes as the Hibernians, or the Oddfellows, or the Fores- ters the proceeds of these did not go to the bene- fit of private [individuals, but for the benefit of widows and orphans, and the event only came once a year. To these he didjnot object to police men being sent, but he did object to policemen being sent to private speculations such as the Alexandra Park. Mr.R. DAVIES seconded Mr Rees's proposition. He maintained that if private individuals re- quired the services of the police they should be charged noles than 5s per day. In Swansea, where thereas quite as large a population, they could do with 72 policemen, and here we should surely be satisfied with 94. Alderimn WIKSTONE said there were only 64 policemen at Swansea. Mr R, DAVIES remarked that the morality of Wales stocd high. and he should be sorry to see Cardiff break through the rule of one policeman to every 1,000 of the population. In answer to Mr David Jone?, the Chief Con- stable stated that at the Hibernian Fete, on Whit-Monday, tnSre ï\âš a large number of people drunk—more than 20. He cautioned the pro- prietors of the refreshment tents, But on Whit- Tuesday there was a much more respectable class of people in the Bicycle Grounds, and he did not see more than three drunken persons there the whole of the day. Mr ARMSTRONG suggested the appointment of a small committee to thoroughly investigate the whole matter. His own opinion was that if they took away the constables from these places of pri- vate speculation no increase in the force would be required. He had been greatly surprised at the statements made by Mr Beavan as regarded the immorality of Roath. He did not live very far from it, and he certainly could not endorse the statements made by that gentleman. He did not wander about at two or three o'clock in the morn- ing, but he did not think so much protection was required in the outlying districts as in the centre of the'.town. Re-arrangement was certainly re- quired, for at present Roath had only 14 con- stable?, while Canton, with half the population, had 14. At, Mr TROUNCE said it was very necessary to have an increased police force at Roath, for Roath-road was getting almost as bad as Bute-street between 11 and 12 o'clock, and there was not a single con- stable on the East Moors. Mr TBESEIIJR supported Alderman Evans's amendment for six extra men. But he contended that it was not right for policemen to be told off for duty at places of private speculation such as the Alexandra Park, where blacklegs and betting men assembled. Flower shows and agricultural shows educated the eye and the mind, aud were indeed on an altogether different footing. Mr STONE thought more policemen were re- quired in Cardiff, nd would begin by increasing the staff by four. He disapproved of the practice of sending men for duly at places of Drivale specu- lation. objected to going to the expense which would be entailed by the appppintment of 12 new constables, and said he thought ne sons who had places of amusement should protect the If a redistiibution of the men were resorted to no increase would be necessary. Mr D. DONCAK said that neither the mover of the one resolution nor the mover of the other had given, to his mind, sufficient reason for the increase of the police force, He did not aay that an increase might not be desirable, but he thought the best course to adopt now would be to adopt Mr) Armstrong's proposi- distribution of the police force was at to ha.ve the e t OI1 I I WOU d into. To have such a number of 'd to "Tin dance each day at the police-court seem to be a waste of force in mere ofticial Par*d • the case of Inspector Price. If his^ servict of any value to the town two-thirds ot his time should not be taken up in the police-court, ne presumed that it was part of the duty of the Superintendent to attend there, and surely it was not necessary for his lieutenant to be present at the same time as himself. In the B division there were two inspectors and five ser- geants to look after 42 men, and if that was sufficient, surely we did not want one inspector and two sergeants in Canton division, where there were only 13 constables,and tl e same remark applied in a much stronger sense to the Roath division. Mr Beavan's arguments were fallacious, for the mere extent of the population could never be a basis for the distribution of the police force. Had he contrasted Canton and Roath he would have had a stronger argument. « Alderman JONES sympathilied,with Mr Beavan, bat thouahjt HwJte war badly lot 1WA$e mn so many bad characters there. There were. he policemen to gatbenngsd,wff IC t thing to sending year or so was a very I eren andtf we had not one policeman to every thou- sand of the population we should lose the Govern- Twelve extra men would cost £ 600 a yea"! He'agreed with Mr Rees that four men Jhould be added, but he did not approve of tying the hands of the Mayor for the time bemg In the dlMrWM S AIROKRSF reminded the committee that in addition to the 80 or 90 town constables we had ( here about 25 men belonging to the Dock police, and there was a considerable force about the Rhymney and Taff Vale. In fact he did not know a town in England where there was such a police force But in its organisation it might be changed, and he felt sure that Mr Superintendent Heming- way was the man to do it. If the matter wera taken up by Mr Hemingway and a committee,and thoroughly inquired into, and if they ceased to employ their men at private enterprises, it would be fouud that we might do with a less force than the present one. Mr SHACKELL thought the employment of the police ought to be left entirely to the discretion of the Mayor and superintendent of police. Alderman LEWIS said that the presence of the police was required at every large gathering of people of a legitimate character, and illegal gatherings ought to be stopped by the police. Alderman Evans's amendment was that six additional policemen should be appointed, and that the question of telling off policemen for places of entertainment and processions should be left to the discretion of the Mayor and Head- constable. Mr TROUNCE seconded this. Upon a show of hands, 20 voted for the amend- m nt and 11 against. On the motion of Mr ARMSTRONG, seconded by Mr DUNCAN, it was then resolved Ti;at a sub- committee consisting of the following persons be appointed to investigate the question of the reorganisation of the police force,and to report as to, whether there was^any necessity^for the increase or not, and its general condition and efficiency. The committee is comprised as follows:—The Mayor, Aldermen Lewis, Elliott, Winstone, Bowen, Jones; Councillor Sanders, T. Rpes. Duncan, kee Jones, Bird, Stone, Trounce, and Armstrong. The Head-Constable, in answer to Mr Beavan, said his remarks about the bad characters at Roath were perfectly correct. There was no other business of public interest.




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