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From a Police Review of 1894.

Major T. J. Leadbetter, the Chief Constable of Denbighshire obtained his disciplinary training in the Army, having served in the King's Own Borderers in various parts of the world.

During the Fenian troubles he was stationed in Canada. Retiring from the army in 1874, he became interested in police work of which he obtained his first experience through the courtesy of the late Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir E. Henderson who placed him at Bow Street under Mr. Thomson, the then Superintendent of 'E' Division.

In 1878, he became Chief Constable of the Denbighshire Constabulary. The Denbighshire Constabulary came into existence in 1840 following the County Police Act of 1839 which enabled counties to create a paid Police Force.

Prior to this the duties of Constables were carried out by Parish Constables who were generally unpaid, and their authority was usually limited to the parishes in which they lived.

Previously the idea of having a paid rural Police Force had gained little support, but opposition weakened following the Reform Act of 1832, which brought public unrest and disquiet culminating in the Chartist Riots of the late 1830’s and early 1840’s.

The first Chief Constable was Mr John Denman a native of Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd and the fledgling Police Force was made up of:

Wrexham “A” Division headed by Supt. Thomas Mostyn, 8 Constables, and 1 horse.

Wrexham “B” Division Supt. R. K. Nicholls, 8 Constables, and 1 horse.

Llanrwst Division headed by Supt. Kyffin, 6 Constables and no horse.

Ruthin and Yale Division had 4 Constables no Superintendent and no horse.

The area that the fledgling Police Force covered, extended from the valleys of the Dee and Ceiriog in the east, across the Clwydian Range and the Hiraethog to the Vale of Conway and the seaboards.

The qualifications needed to join the new Police Force were:- To be under 40 years of age. To stand 5’7’’ without shoes. To be able to read and write and keep accounts, and to have a strong constitution and generally intelligent.

Sylwadau (1)

Darlun J B N Gammond
Major Leadbetter was based at the old Police Station (County Buildings) on Regent Street in Wrexham. You can get a feel for the character of the man from the police daily record books which are in the collection of Denbighshire Archives.

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