As SCOTLAND prepares to move to a single police force, a new exhibition at the University of Dundee tells the story of the boys in blue who have sought to keep the nation’s streets safe for more than 200 years.
‘Policing the Nation: An Exhibition about the History of Policing in Scotland’ opens at the Lamb Gallery, Tower Building, on Monday and will run until May 31. It is free, and is open from 9.30am to 8.30pm on weekdays and 9.30am to 4.30pm on Saturdays.
It features photographs, film, documents and artefacts from collections across the country.
Subjects include: uniforms and accessories; communications equipment; transport; women in policing; training and professionalism; detectives and criminal investigation; enforcement techniques; and Police and popular culture.
Modern policing in Scotland dates from 1800, when a police force was established in Glasgow by Royal Assent, long before the famous London Metropolitan Police Act of 1829. Other parts of the country soon followed Glasgow’s lead and established their own forces, including Dundee in 1824.
The Police Act (Scotland) of 1857 required all burghs to have their own force, and the whole of Scotland soon came to be served by local constabularies during the latter decades of the nineteenth century.
At one stage, there were over 100 separate police forces in Scotland, but the number declined during the twentieth century as a result of amalgamations into larger forces. In 1975 eight regional forces were created, and these will be replaced by one single national authority, known as Police Scotland, from April 2013.