Skip links and keyboard navigation

Emergency Phone Numbers

Crime Stoppers:

1800 333 000

Policelink:

131 444

Brief History 1864 - 1945

1864 - Birth of the Qld Police
  On the January 1, 1864 the Queensland Force, comprising of approximately 143 employees, first began operating under its own legislation. The Force itself was divided into Metropolitan Police, Rural Police, Water Police and Native Police. Conditions were arduous and police often worked a seven day week, although they were entitled to every second Sunday free, they rarely benefited from this arrangement. A police officer worked a minimum nine hour day and often more when the situation warranted it. Leave was infrequent. The first Commissioner of Police was D.T. Seymour who commanded the Service for 30 years.
1895 -Technology
  The Victorian era saw the beginning of the technological revolution. The Department took advantage of the new developments in communications such as the electric telegraph and the telephone. Bicycles were introduced in 1895. One significant introduction was the camera and the first photographic supplement in the Queensland Police Gazette was published on 11 September 1897. In the same year the "Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act" came into force and a major share of the administration of the Act was delegated to the Police Department.
1900 - Police Strength
  At the turn of the century the Queensland Police Department had a strength of 845 men and 135 native trackers at 256 stations.
1904 - Fingerprint System
  This valuable addition to crime-fighting technology was introduced and developed during the first decade of the new century.
1931 - Women Inducted
  Women were first inducted in the Force and stationed at Roma Street Police Station, where their duties were mainly to assist in inquiries involving female suspects and prisoners.
1934 - Motor Vehicle Garage
  A new era began with the mechanisation of the Force and a motor garage was erected to provide for the maintenance of the Department's motor vehicles, motor cycles and bicycles. To facilitate this, the buildings which had housed the horses and their equipment were taken over and the mounted Police transferred to Oxley.
1937 - Expansion of Scientifics
  During the 1937-38 period the Firearms Section of the Criminal Investigation Branch was enlarged to include the scientific investigation of firearms, forensic ballistics, preliminary forensic chemistry, and scientific photography. This was soon followed by the establishment of a Scientific Section which by 1941 could boast examination of documents and handwriting by means of ultra violet rays and microscopy.
The War Years
  The Second World War greatly increased demands on police. In order to preserve the security of the State, Air Raid Precaution Organisations were brought into existence and the task of organising and training Air Raid Wardens was given to police. As the threat from Japan increased, the Police Force was virtually responsible for the control of about 32,000 Air Raid Wardens.
1941 - Police Strength
  The Service was staffed by 1,610 sworn police and 34 trackers at a total of 341 stations.
1945 - Introduction of Technology
  The war years also witnessed the establishment of traffic police, the "Single Fingerprint System", and the "Modus Operandi Recording System". The end of WWII brought about a technological revolution and the increased use of radio resulted in a decision to erect a Police Wireless Station in the grounds of the Police Depot, Petrie Terrace, Brisbane. This building was equipped with the most modern equipment available to ensure efficient transmission not only to patrol cars and launches but to Police Departments in other States.

 

Last updated 14/03/2012