Some notable dates in our history.
15 May 1855
The Great Gold Robbery. Gold
bullion locked in safe in a guard's compartment of a train is
stolen whilst en-route between London and Paris. The thieves
replace the gold with lead shot and re-seal the boxes so the crime
is not discovered until Paris. It is an 'inside job' and three men
are convicted and transported to Australia for life. One of the
bullion boxes is on display at the National Railway Museum at
10 January 1863
The world's first underground
railway opens between Farringdon Street and Paddington.
The Great Western Railway forms the first 'Detective
John Reid and some friends
comment on the smoky atmosphere at Gower Street Underground station
(now Euston Square) by "coughing outrageously". When a porter,
Henry Maunders asks them to be quiet, Reid pulls his beard and is
later fined £3 for assault. This may be the first record of a crime
on the Underground.
The Great Western Railway Act is passed which gives its police
officers jurisdiction on and within half a mile of the railway. It
also requires them to produce their warrant card on demand with a
penalty of 40 shillings for failure.
13 September 1880
A bundle of explosives is
placed on the track between Bushey and Watford with the purpose of
blowing up a train carrying Grand Duke Constantine of Russia. Chief
Superintendent Copping of the MR Police assists the Metropolitan
Police with the investigation. This is the first record of
terrorism on the railway in mainland Britain.
The Regulation of Railways Act created offences of travel fraud
which are still in use today.
London Underground electrifies its railway.
Superintendent Dobie and three other NER Police Officers from Hull
Docks visit Ghent in Belgium to study the police dogs in use there.
The following year police dogs are used at Hull, the first occasion
they are used in the UK.
20 December 1917
The first policewomen are sworn in on the North Eastern Railway.
Women police officers were previously employed on the Great Eastern
Railway and Great Western Railway.
The Railways Act amalgamates more than a
hundred separate railway systems (most with their own police
forces) into four groups: the Great Western Railway, the London and
North Eastern Railway, the London Midland and Scottish Railway and
the Southern Railway. Each of these has a police force headed by a
chief of police.
The first edition of the staff magazine The Railway Police Journal,
later the British Transport Police Journal, is published.
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