The borough of Reigate first got its own police force in 1864.

The first head constable was George Gifford but he lasted only nine days and was succeeded by George Rogers who held the post for many years.

Under him was a sergeant and eight constables.

The police station was at Redhill alongside the Market Hall, but as there were no lock-up facilities prisoners had to be catered for elsewhere until a house in West Street, Reigate, was rented and the cellar was converted to two cells.

Consideration was given to the siting of a central police station near Shaws Corner but the project never got under way and a new police station was built alongside the Market Hall in 1866 and became the headquarters for the two towns. Reigate’s station remained, although it was moved from West Street to premises between the Public Hall and the Congregational Church.

In these early years, hours and conditions were onerous, as were the rules: “No PC to leave the borough without permission, nor to be in the borough out of uniform whether on or off duty.” The behaviour of the locals left something to be desired, for in May of 1882 the watch committee resolved, “that the head constable take steps to render the High Street more orderly on a Saturday evening.” l Article and picture courtesy of Alan Moore, author of A History of Redhill volumes 1 and 2. For more information visit www.redhill-reigate-his