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Police Department

The records of the Police Department contain much information of interest to the researcher. A complete listing of records can be found in AN 5, the Series Registration System or The Catalogue under Western Australia Police Department (see Agency 61 for listing of series) or under the names of individual Police Stations. The series of correspondence files 1878-1881 and subject files 1885 onwards can be located at ACC 430 (AN5/1-5, 20, 25).

These files contain information on many subjects such as: Aboriginal people, aliens, Asians, criminal activities (murders, cattle killing, robberies, rape, arson etc), settlers visited by police in the course of their duties, missing persons, police administrative business (such as transfers, applications for employment, promotions etc), tenders, natural disasters, inquests, wrecks, suicides, deaths, accidents, fires, gold discoveries, deaths in mining accidents, deceased estates, prostitution, deserters from ships, wife deserters, deaths through disease, strikes and riots, plane crashes, drownings and Police and Royal Humane Society awards. The journals of individual policemen detailing their activities are also held in this accession.

  • CONS 129: Police Department
    Series of documents arranged in chronological order and covering the period 1858-1885 dealing with general police business, floods, shipwrecks or any occurrence of special interest in country districts eg convict escapes, murders, exploring expeditions, escape of the Fenians etc. Some statistical and personal information is recorded such as district populations, settlers visited, stock and crop returns and the pearling industry at Shark Bay (see AN 5/6 for listing).

  • CONS 949/1-5: Police Department. Applications to join the Police Force 1866-1948
    These show name, age, height, where born, occupation, marital status and religion.

Several series of Police personal records are held: CONS 1065, CONS 1760, CONS 1862, CONS 2500, CONS 2509, CONS 2582, CONS 3461 (for all see Record Series 2015 for listing) and CONS 4172 (see Record Series 81 for listing). As with all personal records they are restricted and permission must be obtained from the Police Department in order to view them.

A large collection of station records is held (see AN 5/Stations, the Series Registration System or The Catalogue under the name of the individual Police Station). The most useful records in this series are the Occurrence Books which give a day to day account of happenings in the district or town in which the Police Station is located (eg murders, deaths, robberies, inquests, accidents etc), Charge Books and Police Court returns which give information relating to the arrest and trials of criminals in the district and the Police Journals.

Please also consult the State Records Office website guide – Police Records (some duplication may occur). The guide is meant to provide an indication of the scope of information held in the State Records Office, and is not exhaustive.