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September ^ERGAVENNY.









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------------CARDIFF WATCH…


CARDIFF WATCH COMMITTEE. A special meeting of the Watch Committee was held on Wednesday last, for the purpose of taking into con- sideration the report of Captain Willis, the Government Inspector of Police. The members present were:—S. D. Jenkins, Esq., Mayor; Aldermen C. C. Williams and T. Morgan; Councillors C. David, R. W. Williams, L. Reece, J. Elliott, W. Alexander, D. Jotham, E. Thomas, and C. E. Bernard. The following report was read:- Junior United Service Club, London, "25th Sept., 1857. Sir -Since I made my visit of inspection I have care- fully examined the returns which have been furnished to me, and am of opinion, considering the extent and popula- tion of the Borough of Cardiff, and the nature of the duties of the police, in which I understand the constables are frequently exposed to very rough treatment, that an addition to the police force is much required. "The force at present consists of 1 superintendent, 4 Bergeants, and 29 constables or for police duty purposes (as one sergeant is employed in effecting sanitary improve- ments) of 1 superintendent, 3 sergeants, and 29 constables. Of this number 1 sergeant and 10 constables are appointed for day duty, and 2 sergeants and 19 constables for night duty but as the number for day duty is insuffi- sient for the requirements of the borough, fonr of the night duty constables are in their turn also obliged to perform a portion of day duty. The night beats are also reduced to seventeen as two of the constables are neces- cessarily employed in charge of the stations. I find that six of the night beats are upwards of one iiour in extent, and that the average time of working the jther beats extends from one half to three quarters of an tiour and that portions of the borough are still left un- protected. If I may state that it has been my endeavour not to press police authorities to increase the poiice establishments finder their control, beyond the minimum number that appears to be requisite for the due performance of the liities, and for the proper protection of property and, therefore, in the number which I am about to suggest for the consideration of the Watch Committee and Town Council of Cardiff, and which I submit below in the form mining, an n,oht reliefs, I have confined myself to the n?r Jwhich il appears to me is absolutely tequued for the protection of the Borough. Wi°r,T /A recommended for the consideration and doptlOn of the Corporation of Cardiff, viz. n oupt. Insptr. Sergt. Constbls. Ueneral duty and supervi- sipn 1 0 0 0 bamtary duty 0 0 1 0 Fixed defined day duty. 0 1 1 14 Fixed defined night duty. 0 0 3 25 Total force 1 1 5 39 h Proposed increase. 0 1 1 10 My reason for proposing that one officer should hold the rank of inspector is, in order that a substitute might be provided for the Superintendent in case of absence or sickness. With respect to the Lock up accommodation, it be- comes my duty to state that it is extremely defective. To place prisoners for different offences in association is always objectionable but to have men and women in rooms adjoining each other, in which the communication is only cut off by a thin wooden door, which very lit'le force would break open, and through which the prisoners can see and converse with each other through holes which have been cut in the wood, is injurious to morality and proper decency. I strongly recommend the Town Council immediately to do away with the present cells, and to build a properly-constructed set of lock-ups and I will if desired, obtain for the Corporation the plans which have been published by the Government for the use of the con- stabulary forces of counties. I remain, Sir, your obedient servant, "EDWARD WILLIS GoV°'"Ter^ InsPecf°r of Costabulary. To the Worshipful the Mayor of Cardiff." In reply to questions, S'upt. Stockdale stated that he had been to London and had seen Captain Willis who made several -enquiries as to the average number of seamen and floating population, and then proposed that there should be an addition of 20 men but after hearing the details of the Superintendent's plan with regard to the arrangement of the duties of day and ni»ht he said that 10 men would do. He said that it was not the object of the Government to enable the Corporation to save money, but to add a certain number of constables in order to render the force more efficient; they wished to add one-fourth, and were willing to pay for it- they had no idea of giving money to relieve the Corporations. In reply to a question from Alderman Williams, the Superintendent stated that Capt. Willis most distinctly said that if the increase he recommended was made, he would sign the certificate to enable them to receive the fourth. That would be a fraction in their favour, if 12 additional men were appointed. In reply to a remark from Mr. David, it was stated by Mr. Alexander that the iacreased cost would be £ 700 I per annum. Mr. Alderman Williams said that there was no one a stronger advocate than himself for keeping up an effi- cient police force, but he could not help recollecting that from the only official data, namely, the census of 1851, the population of Cardiff A-ai only 18,000; that of New- port 20,000 and Swanses 23,000, and each of these places had, besides, a large floating population. When they made inquiries some time since, they found that, while Swansea had 22 policemen, and Newport 30, we had 34 constables. The question was altogether of such importance that they should not hastily come to a conclusion. Mr. Lewis Reece said thit if they argued upon those premises they would arrive at false conclusions, as there had been a change of population. Mr. Alderman Williams said that each of those places had increased in the same time. He only asked for an adjournment in order to ascertain what "force Captain Willis had recommended for other towns. Mr. Lewis ieece said that if they were satisfied that they could obtain an increase of ten men without any addition to their expenses and if they were satisfied that the addition was required, it was immaterial what other towns would do. In reply to a question from Mr. Alexander, it was stated that the Government would have no control over the police. The Mayor said that the floating population was not so considerable in Newport. n hP" ^'?iXfKder reriUil"ked that it was much more scattered all the way down the river. Supt. Stockdale remarked that the Dock Company, at Newport, provided their own police Mr. David inquired whether, in the event of their not adopting the report, they would receive any Govern- ment allowance? ^'le Major said that Captain Willis had positively refused to sign the certificate if the force remained a3 at present. Mr. Elliott complained that while, for the sake of one argument, Mr. Williams reckoned the population at 18,000, for another argument he calculated it at 3.),000; he had often proposed an increase of the police, for those only who lived at the lower end of the town could feel the necessity. It was only the previous night that he bad been insulted and assaulted in his own house they had men of all nations mixed up in their streets, and turned out of public houses drunk at night. At Liver- pool, which was the only port similarly situated, there was one policeman to 700 inhabitants; they had in Cardiff one constate to 1,060 persons. Mr. Alexander believed that Canton and Roath were included in the estimate of 35,000 inhabitants. He did not think it right to determine a matter of such impor- tance when 10 members only were present. Mr. Lewis Reece said, that all the other members had received notice, and might have attended if they thought proper. Mr. Alexander remarked that some of them might be from home, as Mr. Lewis Reece had been for a long time. Mr. L. Reece replied that he was perfectly satisfied with the business transacted in his absence, After some conversation as to the desirability of obtaining some guarantee that government would defray the increased expense if the report were adopted, Mr. Alderman Williams proposed a resolution to the effect, that application should be made to Captain Willis to know whether he would in such case sign the certificate for the payment of one-fourth. Mr. Alexander objected to any resolution being adopted until they were made acquainted with the fact, and it was ultimately agreed that the town clerk should write to Captain Willis to enquire. In reply to remaiks, it was stated by Alderman Williams that the lease of the old cottages at Waterloo buildings, near Hayes bridge, would fall in about twelve months, and all agreed that would afiord a very central situation. Mr. Elliott said that the present lessees would give up possession on bsing paid the year's rent, as they were apprehensive of the cost of drainage, to which they would otherwise be liable. The Mayor said there were complaints against some )f the police officers, which he had referred to the Watch Committee. George Harrison was charged with being drunk and incapable while on duty in Crockherbtown he had been found at half-past two o'clock on Sunday morning, on his hands and knees in Park-lane. He said that he had met a gentleman after twelve o'clock in Crockherbtown, who gave him a bottle con- taining a small quantity of porter, which he said he did not like to throw away. In half an hour after drinkinw it he became insensible, and was so ill next day that he was obliged to send for Mr. Fable's assistant who gave him medicine, P.O, Griffiths said that Harrison "as quite sober at half-past 11 o'clock. Several members said that this showed the danger of drinking anything while on duty, for a policeman might be hocussed by thieves. After some discussion, Hanison was fined in the amount of a. week's pay, in addition to his previous suspension. John Phillips, a recruit, reported for sleeping whll. on his beat at the Docks, was cautioned as to his future conduct. A charge of sleeping in the Station-house, preferred against P.C. Pepper, was declared not proved, Eli Tanner reported for not remaining in the Station- jaid with Charles Roberts, committed for highway rob- be-y, and who made his escape on Monday last, was acquitted, as it appeared thathe was attending to other duties at the time, and that there was nothing to prevent a prisoner getting over the wall at the Station. The Committee then separated,




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