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Friday, 18 September 2009

Women's Patrols

The origins of female police officers comes from women's patrols in the First World War. It was decided to billet the soldiers in local towns and villages. Some people became concerned about the soldiers corrupting local girls. The Headmistresses' Association and the Federation of University Women suggested the formation of Woman's Patrols to stop local woman from becoming too friendly with the soldiers.

The War Office gave permission for these patrols to take place outside military camps. They were also very active in public parks and cinemas. After visiting 300 cinemas in three weeks, the Women's Patrol Committee recommended that lights were not dimmed between films.

Women's Patrols worked closely with the local police and the Women Police Volunteers. It is estimated that during the First World War over 2,000 patrols were established, including over 400 in London.

You can read some funny local newspaper reports on this here:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Wpatrols.htm

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