The establishment of a single, unitary police force for the county of Surrey has evolved over more than 150 years. Over that time the Force has coped with numerous amalgamations, secessions, reorganisations and boundary changes.

The Surrey Constabulary was established in 1851 with both Guildford and Godalming Boroughs having already run their own police forces for some years.

The Metropolitan Police, established in 1829 by Sir Robert Peel, initially operated within a seven-mile radius of Charing Cross, which included areas within the then Surrey county boundary and later became the model for other forces throughout the country. Over the next few years the area of policing was extended to take in additional parts of the county including Banstead, Warlingham, Coulsdon and Epsom.

It was the success of the Metropolitan force that led to the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835, which allowed cities and boroughs to form their own police forces. The following year a borough force was set up for Guildford with Godalming establishing its own force a few years later.

1836 Guildford Borough

The Guildford Watch Committee appointed nine constables for the borough in 1836. Richard Jarlett was superintendent constable on a salary of £15 a year but he was only part time, as he was also the High Street baker.

The constables were paid 18s a week in the summer and 21s in the winter. In the early days there were night constables and day policemen who worked from 6am–8pm. In May 1936 the Watch Committee decided that a newly appointed constable, in addition to his salary, "… be provided with clothes of the same description as the London police, provided the expense thereof does not exceed five guineas." The first police station was established in September that year, at 1 Tunsgate behind the Corn Market, but has long since been demolished.

The early years

The establishment of a single, unitary police force for the county of Surrey has evolved over more than 150 years. Over that time the Force has coped with numerous amalgamations, secessions, reorganisations and boundary changes.

The Surrey Constabulary was established in 1851 with both Guildford and Godalming Boroughs having already run their own police forces for some years.

The Metropolitan Police, established in 1829 by Sir Robert Peel, initially operated within a seven-mile radius of Charing Cross, which included areas within the then Surrey county boundary and later became the model for other forces throughout the country. Over the next few years the area of policing was extended to take in additional parts of the county including Banstead, Warlingham, Coulsdon and Epsom.

It was the success of the Metropolitan force that led to the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835, which allowed cities and boroughs to form their own police forces. The following year a borough force was set up for Guildford with Godalming establishing its own force a few years later.

1836 Guildford Borough

The Guildford Watch Committee appointed nine constables for the borough in 1836. Richard Jarlett was superintendent constable on a salary of £15 a year but he was only part time, as he was also the High Street baker.

The constables were paid 18s a week in the summer and 21s in the winter. In the early days there were night constables and day policemen who worked from 6am–8pm. In May 1936 the Watch Committee decided that a newly appointed constable, in addition to his salary, "… be provided with clothes of the same description as the London police, provided the expense thereof does not exceed five guineas." The first police station was established in September that year, at 1 Tunsgate behind the Corn Market, but has long since been demolished.

1841 Godalming Borough

Godalming also took advantage of the Municipal Corporation Act 1835 to establish a police force and in 1841 William Henry Biddlecombe was appointed superintendent of the Godalming Borough Force.

In 1841 a police station was built where the two regular policemen lived on the premises. The station house contained three cells capable of handling nine prisoners. The borough then petitioned to have its own court, which was granted in 1847. Records for the 12 months to the end of November 1848 showed that 63 cases had been dealt with involving 87 prisoners.

In 1851 Godalming merged with the Surrey Constabulary, but the merger was short lived and in 1858 the borough had once again established its own force. The final amalgamation with the county force once more was in 1889.

1851 - Start of the county force

In 1836 a Royal Commission was appointed to establish the best way to provide efficient constabularies in England and Wales and produced the County Police Act 1839. It was in 1850 that the Rural Police Committee met at Reigate and decided to review the formation of a police force in Surrey. On 1 January 1851, the Surrey Constabulary became operational with 70 police officers, including five superintendents. The first chief constable for Surrey, Captain Hastings, was 38 years old.

Captain Hastings had an extremely difficult job developing a police force from scratch. There were no policies or procedures and very few precedents. His first major consideration was recruiting men of the right calibre and he concentrated on:
- Victorian helmet plate
- Men who had already served in a county police force
- Men from His Majesty´s Forces
- Parish and borough constables

The chief constable demanded the men should be honest and sober. They had to be less than 30 years of age and at least 5´ 7" tall. There was no minimum age – one constable was appointed at the age of 14. Records indicate the first man recruited – number one in the appointment book was William Henry Biddlecombe.

1863 - Reigate Borough

1863 saw the formation of the Borough of Reigate by Royal Charter and a year later the council formed its own borough police force. The initial establishment was one superintendent, one sergeant and ten constables.

The first superintendent, George Gifford, was appointed in March 1864 but resigned after nine days. He was succeeded by George Rogers, whose tenure lasted a little longer, until 1888. In 1864 a house was used as a police station but there were no cells so prisoners were detained at Redhill Market Place. In 1866 the borough built a new police station in West Street, Reigate and in 1902 the force moved to headquarters in Reigate, with the final amalgamation to the county force taking place in 1947.

During its existence Reigate even had a Special Constabulary Air Unit, which operated up to 12 planes for available for large scale searches.

World War I

With the start of World War I, many police officers from the county and borough forces were called to ‘colours’. Their departure left the Force dealing with additional duties but without the training to prepare for such difficult times. To help secure the county, 4,000 special constables were recruited to keep order in towns and villages and help secure refugee routes.

During 1918, the force employed its first policewoman, a sergeant who dealt with prostitutes who had moved close to an army camp, and she left the force after the war.

On 11 November 1918, the final armistice was signed and the guns were at last silenced. Eighteen Surrey officers paid for peace with their lives.

World War II

A lot had been learned by the Surrey Constabulary and borough forces during World War I. As the possibility of another world war grew nearer, more effort was made to ensure the Surrey Constabulary would be ready. Every member of the Force and Special Constabulary underwent training in air-raid precautions. An auxiliary body known as the Police War Reserve increased the strength of the Force from 1938, comprising of retired policemen.

On 30 June 1940, the first enemy bomb fell in the Surrey Police area and the worst incident during the war happened near Weybridge where a factory was bombed, causing 83 deaths and more than 400 injuries.

Towards the end of 1942 a Special Defence Regulation was issued requiring borough forces to be temporarily amalgamated with county forces in the interest of national defence. In January 1943, notice was given by the Home Office to the chief constables of Surrey, Guildford and Reigate that a temporary amalgamation of the three forces was to be made permanent on 1 April 1947. The Force was renamed the Surrey Joint Police Force which changed back after the war.

Timeline

An overview of the history of Surrey Police in the form of a timeline, showing some of the significant or noteworthy events and cases which have taken place from 1829.


1829 The Metropolitan Police was established by Sir Robert Peel, initially operated within a seven mile radius of Charring Cross, which included areas within the then Surrey county boundary
1836 Formation of Guildford Borough Police Force
1841 Formation of Godalming Borough Police Force
1851 Formation of the Surrey Constabulary. The first chief constable Captain Hastings
1855 The murder of Police Inspector William Donaldson
1864 Formation of Reigate Borough Police Force
1865 The ‘Guy’ riots in Guildford
1899 Captain M L Sant appointed chief constable
1914 The start of World War I
1924 The Byfleet poisoner
1926 The search for Agatha Christie
1930 Major Geoffrey Nicholson appointed chief constable
1932 Formation of the Crime Bureau
1935 Special Constabulary Air Unit formed at Redhill aerodrome
1939 Start of World War II
1946 Sir Joseph Simpson appointed chief constable
1948 Mount Browne, Guildford purchased for development as headquarters for Surrey Constabulary
1948 Formation of the dog section
1949 Mount Browne, Surrey Constabulary new headquarters in Guildford formally opened by Home Secretary, The Right Hon. J Chuter Ede, MP
1951 Murder at Clay Corner
1955 A new uniformed Police Cadets formed
1956 Herman Rutherford appointed chief constable
1959 Turkish air crash, Gatwick
1961 Underwater section formed
1963 President Kennedy visited Surrey
1966 First female cadet recruited
1968 Sir Peter Matthews appointed chief constable
1968 Murder of Roy Tutill
1968 Major summer floods in Surrey
1968 The Crime Bureau established
1969 Afghan Airlines air crash on approach to Gatwick
1969 Case of rabies in Camberley
1971 HRH Princess Anne visited Guildford headquarters
1972 Staines air crash
1974 Murder of PC John Schofield
1974 Guildford pub bombings
1975 Dunsfold air crash
1982 Brian Hayes appointed chief constable
1984 Multiple vehicle accident on M25
1985 Silver force badge was changed to have the colours red and blue included
1987 First civilian Scenes of Crime Officers (SOCO) appointed
1988 First female officer motorcyclist WPC Miranda Avery
1989 First female officer in the dog section WPC Nicole Smith
1991 David Williams appointed chief constable
1993 Surrey Constabulary changed its name to Surrey Police
1994 Armed response vehicles introduced
1994 Police dog bravery award
1995 Murder of Catherine Maxine Boot
1995 Introduction of CS-based incapacitant spray
1996 New Force Information Centre opened
1998 Ian Blair appointed chief constable
1998 ‘With you, making Surrey safer’ strategy introduced
1998 Official opening of new Scientific Support Centre at Guildford headquarters
1998 Boundary changes
1998 Started the planning and preparations for the millennium
1998 Earl and Countess of Wessex visit the command centre at Guildford Headquarters
2000 Denis O’Connor appointed chief constable
2000 Autumn flooding in Surrey
2000 First time Surrey Police took the lead cover at the Epsom Derby
2001 Memorial at Guildford Cathedral, held to celebrate 150 years of policing in the county and to dedicate a memorial to the honour and memory of the police force in Surrey
2001 Surrey Police museum officially opened by actor Sir Michael Caine
2002 Murder of 13 year old school girl Milly Dowler
2002 Opening of the new Dog Training School by TV personality Bruce Forsyth
2003 Formal opening of the new Contact Centre at Guildford headquarters by sportsman Sir Geoff Hurst
2003 Murder of Michael Little
2004 Robert Quick appointed chief constable
2004 Antoni Imiela sentenced after being found guilty of 12 counts of rape, kidnap and indecent assault
2004 The Deepcut investigation
2005 Proposed merger with Sussex Police
2006 Thursley Common Fire
2006 Introduction of the ‘Taser’
2007 Outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease
2007 Mobile police office takes to the roads
2009 Mark Rowley appointed chief constable
2009 Significant snowfall across Surrey
2010 Co-locating the Safer Neighbourhood teams with local authority partners
2012 Lynne Owens appointed first female chief constable for Surrey Police
2012 London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
2013 Floods across Surrey
2014 Surrey and Sussex dog team crowned top dogs at the National Police Dog Trials
2015 June sees us support three huge events for the county: The 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta in Runnymede, Armed Forces Day celebrations at Stoke Park and the Epsom Derby.

Chief Constables

The Surrey Constabulary became operational in 1851 following the start of an amalgamation of operations formed in Guildford, Godalming and Reigate. Below are details of the Chief Constables who lead and shaped operations for Surrey Constabulary, which was renamed as Surrey Police in 1993.

2012 – 2015 Chief Constable Lynne Owens

Lynne Owens was appointed Surrey’s first female chief constable in February 2012. Owens began her police career in the Metropolitan Police Service, before serving as a senior investigating officer with Kent Police. She transferred to Surrey Police in 2002 where she served as a divisional commander and then temporary assistant chief constable. She transferred back to the Metropolitan Police in 2009 where she took up the post of assistant commissioner a year later.

During her time as Chief Constable, Owens had overall accountability for the Force's performance and was responsible for the Force's direction and leadership, stakeholder relations and political engagement. She was awarded the Queens Police Medal for distinguished service in the New Year Honours (2008) and in June 2015 was appointed CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for her services to policing.

2009 – 2011: Chief Constable Mark Rowley

In March 2009 Mark Rowley was appointed chief constable for Surrey, a position he had been temporarily serving since March 2008.
Rowley began his police career as a constable in the West Midlands in 1987. He moved to the National Criminal Intelligence Service as a detective superintendent, where he led the national development of covert techniques to combat organised crime and a key member of the team that compiled the National Intelligence Model.

On transferring to Surrey Police in 2000 as chief superintendent in the West Surrey division, he oversaw major crime reductions and led several countrywide initiatives. In November 2003 Rowley was appointed assistant chief constable for Surrey where his responsibilities included local policing, crime reduction and criminal justice.

2004 – 2008: Chief Constable Robert Quick, QPM MBA

In November 2004 Robert Quick former deputy chief constable for Surrey, became chief constable aged 45.
Quick began his police career in the Metropolitan Police in 1978 and rose through the ranks to commander ‘Crime’ for territorial policing in London. As an experienced detective officer in 2002 he led the metropolitan police ‘operation safer streets’ campaign against street robbery. He was appointed deputy chief constable of Surrey in January 2003.

Having only served in Surrey for two years he had already made an impact by finalising the investigations with Deepcut Barracks and by introducing and enhanced performance management process.

2000 - 2004: Chief Constable Denis O'Connor, CBE QPM

In April 2000 Denis O’Connor former assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, took up the post of chief constable aged 50.
During his tenure, Surrey Police pioneered many of the new aspects of Police Reform, and in particular was the lead force in developing the reassurance model of policing. He was responsible for the introduction of an innovative package of benefits to stem the number of officers leaving the Force due to the high cost of living in Surrey.

1998 - 2000: Chief Constable Ian Blair

In January 1998, Ian Blair aged 44, previously of Thames Valley Police, was appointed chief constable. Blair held the position of chief constable for the shortest period in Surrey’s history. He also introduced the strategy ‘With you, making Surrey safer’- A policing style of local officers working in partnership with local people, to solve local problems.
Blair was instrumental in the discussions and implementations of the boundary change in 2000 with Surrey policing to include the Boroughs of Epsom & Ewell, Spelthorne and remaining areas of Reigate & Banstead and Elmbridge.

1991 - 1998: Chief Constable David Williams, QPM LLB Barrister

In May 1991, David Williams aged 50, previously deputy chief constable of Surrey, became chief constable.
Williams was challenged with implementing the recommendations made by Sir Patrick Sheehy who reviewed the rank structure, remuneration and conditions of service for officers. It was in January 1993 the force ceased to be called the Surrey Constabulary and was renamed Surrey Police.

1982 - 1991: Chief Constable Brian Hayes, QPM BA

In December 1982, Brian Hayes aged 42 was appointed chief constable. Hayes had previously been deputy chief constable of Wiltshire Constabulary and assistant chief constable in Surrey.
Hayes introduced significant changes to the fields of management, operational deployment and technology. His concept of ‘total geography policing’ also meant officers had ownership of specific areas. He also reviewed certain roles within the force which subsequently opened up to civilians releasing police officers to other duties.

1968 - 1982: Chief Constable Sir Peter Matthews, CVO OBE QPM DL

In April 1968 Peter Matthews aged 51 and former chief constable of Suffolk Police, became chief constable.
During Matthew’s tenure he oversaw several major incidents including severe floods in 1968, air crashes in 1969, 1972 and 1975, bombings in Guildford in 1974 and in Caterham in 1975 as well as an outbreak of rabies in 1968. Matthews was a champion for raising the challenge of police recruitment and retention in the region.

1956 - 1968: Chief Constable Herman Rutherford, CBE

In May 1956 Herman Rutherford aged 48 and former head of Lincolnshire Constabulary, was appointed chief constable.
Rutherford managed the changes required following the introduction of the Police Act 1964, which reformed many older structures and practices. With the changes being implemented there was a requirement for greater emphasis on training. During Rutherford’s tenure the first female cadets were also recruited, positions which had previously been restricted to young men.

1946 - 1956: Chief Constable Sir Joseph Simpson, OBE

In December 1946, Joseph Simpson aged 37 was appointed chief constable. He had started his career with the Metropolitan Police and was previously the chief constable of Northumberland.
Simpson oversaw Guildford and Reigate finally merge into the Surrey Constabulary following the effect of the Police Act 1946 with some parishes reassigned to the Metropolitan Police. The formal merger took place 1 July 1947 and included providing identical uniforms throughout the Force.

1930 - 1946: Chief Constable Major Geoffrey Nicholson, CBE MC

In December 1930, Major Geoffrey Nicholson took up his appointment as chief constable. The former assistance chief constable of Hampshire, was 35 years old and had enjoyed a distinguished career in the army.
He brought with him fresh ideas and one of his mottos ‘try anything once’. He started by ordering that every complaint of an indictable crime was to be reported directly to him and he read every report without exception. He analysed reports and revealed connections of crimes resulting in investigation teams being set up, forming the start of Surreys CID.

1899 - 1930: Chief Constable Captain M L Sant

In September 1899, Captain Sant was appointed chief constable. He was 36 years old, had served in the Northumberland Fusiliers and been chief constable of Northumberland. The Force now consisted of 231 men.
During the first years of Sant's tenure he focused on two key areas relating to the continual pressure for improvements in pay and conditions of his men and the campaign to curb and manage the challenges faced by motorist and their impact on residents in Surrey.

1851 - 1899: Chief Constable Captain Hastings

On 1 January 1851, the Surrey Constabulary became operational with an establishment of 70 police officers. The first chief constable was 38 years old Captain Hastings. Hastings had to develop a police force from scratch. There were no policies or procedures and very few precedents. His first major consideration was recruiting men of the right calibre. There was no minimum age but they had to be less than 30 years of age and at least 5´ 7" tall.

Murders, investigations and events

An overview of some of the murders, incidents and events which have taken place in Surrey since 1865. This does not offer complete accounts, but provides a summary of the event and when it took place.

1855 - The murder of Inspector W Donaldson

On 29 July 1855, at ten past midnight, Inspector William Donaldson and Constable James Freestone were in the Market Place in Haslemere supervising the turning out of the public houses and enforcing the end of permitted hours. The local authorities had reported trouble with the 'Navvies'. Inspector Donaldson pushed his way into the crowd in the King's Arms to encourage them to leave; they would not, a scuffle started, which led to a riot. One of the men who led the initial attack was arrested and taken to the lock-up in the Market Place. A marauding crowd, armed with sticks and clubs, surrounded the lock-up demanding the release of the prisoner. Inspector Donaldson refused where upon he was struck a serious blow to the head with a heavy iron bar, leaving him on the ground bleeding profusely. Although fatally wounded he left the scene and was later found staggering about the street. He was helped back to his home where he died shortly before 3 am.

1859 - The murder of PC Allen Mason

During July 1859 Allen Mason was badly assaulted while arresting a deserter. Nothing is known of the arrest, the injuries Allen sustained, or what happened to the deserter. What is known is that Allen died later that year on 29 December 1859. The cause of death was a ruptured blood vessel in his lungs, a result of the violent assault. He was buried in Cobham churchyard in the New Year, on 7 January 1860, beside his daughter Alice.
Allen’s death was reported to the next Epiphany sitting of the Quarter Sessions. The Sessions were told that he had died of a ruptured blood vessel a few weeks before, and that his previous reduced state of health was attributed to a violent assault committed upon him by a deserter in July.

1865 - The Guy riots Guildford

Every 5 November, between 1820 and 1865, Guildford shopkeepers closed their businesses early and barricaded their shop fronts. Rioters, who called themselves the "Guys", gathered outside the town early in the morning, wearing outlandish costumes and masks. Carrying clubs studded with hobnails, lighted torches and bundles of wood, they then marched into Guildford like an invading army.
The Mayor promised to break the power of the ‘Guys’ and brought in more police to confront the rioters under instruction of Superintendent J H Law (left). This led to increased rioting, with the first fatality coming in 1864, when a police constable died of his wounds during Bonfire Night.
On Boxing Day 1865 the last and most serious of the ‘Guys’ riots took place. The police arrived with cutlasses, formed a line near what is now White Lion Walk and a fierce battle ensued, during which several officers were injured. One, PC Stent, was brutally attacked and it was only by the intervention of colleagues that he escaped with his life. As a result of police efforts three of the rioters were imprisoned.

1924 - The Byfleet Poisoner

Jean Pierre Vaquier

Alfred Jones ran the Blue Anchor Public House with his wife Mabel. Alfred had taken a glass of salts to settle his stomach, and suddenly became violently ill and died. The doctor attending examined the bottle of salts and concluded that the death was likely from poisoning and guessed that the likely poison was strychnine because of such a terrible reaction.
The chief suspect was Jean Pierre Vaquier, a French wireless operator staying at the Blue Anchor as a guest of the victim’s wife Mabel. They had met in France and it was rumoured that Vaquier was having an affair with Mabel.
Vaquier soon grew to enjoy the attention the press lavished on him and would regularly pose for photographs, his distinctive appearance adding to the interest of the story. But this was to be his undoing. A pharmacist recognised the Frenchman pictured in the newspaper as having purchased .12 gram of strychnine. As a result of the pharmacist’s evidence, a clear motive, and the testimony of those in the Blue Anchor at the time of the murder, Vaquier was found guilty and hanged on 12 August 1924

1926 -The search for Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

Crime writer Agatha Christie was famed for her novels, short stories and plays. In December 1926 the Force was alerted to the disappearance of Christie when her car was found abandoned near Newlands Corner, outside Guildford. Deputy Chief Constable Superintendent Kenward took charge and ordered the local area to be searched but without success. A large number of men were used in the search of the countryside and the Silent Pool was dragged.
Mrs Christie was later discovered alive and well in Harrogate. The case continues to generate much interest and many books have been written and documentaries filmed about the incident.

1951 - The murder at Clay Corner

Frederick Brown heard rumours that the owner of a store at Clay Corner kept five thousand pounds in his house. Frederick, his brother Joseph and Edward Smith planned a robbery which went as intended until Frederick was side tracked by a passer-by and then two girls entered the shop distracting the other two men. They re-grouped and decided to return that night, however Frederick refused. When they reached Clay Corner, Joseph and Edward woke the store owner, took his keys and trussed him up in his bedroom.

Opening the safe they only found £50 and left to find their car battery was flat, so had to leave by bus early in the morning. That day they expected to see news of the robbery in the papers. What they didn’t expect to see was news of a murder. The store owner had suffocated. When questioned by police, Frederick related details of the attempted robbery. Edward and Joseph were interviewed, but further evidence was required. Their car was impounded and hair and fibres collected from matting, matched the goat skin rugs found in the bedroom.

Finally, identity parades were conducted, in which Edward was positively picked out. Frederick, although instigator and accessory to the crime, was let off, having had no part in the killing, however Joseph and Edward were both hanged.

1959 - Turkish air crash

Plane crash scene

Turkish plane crash

On 17 February 1959, a report was received that the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Menderes, was flying to England to attend talks in London regarding Cyprus. His plane was due to land at Heathrow but due to fog was diverted to Gatwick. Four officers were deployed to Gatwick Airport, to ensure the Prime Minister was escorted to London.

The Turkish Airlines Vickers Viscount with 24 people on board crashed into trees approximately three miles short of the runway. Mr Menderes was one of only ten survivors. The accident was due to pilot error. The pilot had not altered the ground level indicator from Heathrow to Gatwick level, which meant he was too low on the approach to Gatwick.

1968 - Floods in Surrey

Flooded street

The summer of 1968 had been exceptionally wet and at Hambledon over 16 inches of rain was recorded, compared with just over six inches the previous year. On 14 September heavy rain fell across Surrey and continued the next day.

By 10am there had been 18 reports of roads and houses being flooded, followed by another 53 reports by noon, this time covering landslides, collapsed bridges and fallen trees and telephone lines. Officers throughout the county were involved in helping the public, diverting traffic and setting up evacuation centres. Military assistance was also sought.

By 18 September the situation began to improve in most areas but two people lost their lives and more than 1,800 people were evacuated.

1968 - The murder of Roy Tutill

Roy Tutill

In 1968, 14-year-old Roy Tutill disappeared on his way home from school, sparking off one of the longest-running murder investigations in the history of Surrey Police. A number of witnesses reported seeing a schoolboy talking to a man in a car and three days later, foresters found Roy’s body in the field. Many thousands of interviews and statements were taken, but no likely suspects were found.

The case was regularly re-opened, but no progress was made until 1995, almost 30 years later. Samples were taken from Roy’s clothing and a partial profile of the killer was established using the national DNA database. Towards the end of 1999, a newspaper article on the Tutill murder served to bring forward a number of people naming possible suspects, including reports from one person that they had been sexually assaulted many years before, by a Brian Lunn Field. Enquiries quickly revealed that Field was indeed a dangerous offender, who had already been convicted for an indecent assault in Scotland. Field had been stopped for a drink-driving offence and when he was arrested a mouth swab was taken, his DNA linked him to the murder of Roy Tutill and he was arrested in 2001 and finally confessed everything.

Field pleaded guilty in court in 2001 and was sentenced to life imprisonment. This was one of the oldest cases ever to have returned a guilty verdict.

1969 - Gatwick air crash

Air crash scene

Gatwick air crash

At 2.35am on Saturday, 5 January 1969, a Boeing 727 airliner owned by Ariana, Afghan Airlines, crashed at Fernhill, Horley, Surrey, on approach to Gatwick Airport. It completely demolished a house before catching fire. The aircraft crashed while attempting to land in low visibility conditions. The flaps were not extended far enough to maintain flight at final approach speed.

The plane was carrying 53 passengers and nine crew, of whom only 14 survived. The couple living in the house were both killed but their baby daughter was miraculously found alive in the wreckage by a police officer

Staines air crash

At 4.11pm on Sunday 18 June 1972 a British European Airways Trident passenger aircraft en route to Brussels crashed into a field shortly after take-off from Heathrow Airport. All those on board suffered fatal injuries. The flight comprised of three pilots, three flight attendants and 112 passengers.

The weather at Heathrow was cloudy and it was raining. The aircraft crashed in a field narrowly missing the busy main road the A30 Staines by-pass on the boundaries of three separate police areas: Surrey, Metropolitan and Thames Valley. The disaster was caused by the incorrect setting of the aircraft controls causing insufficient airspeed and call sign ‘Papa India’ entered into an uncontrollable stall.

1974 - The murder of PC John Schofield

PC John Schofield

On 6 July 1974 at about 3.50am, PC's John Schofield and Ray Fullalove were on routine patrol in Caterham with PS Harley Findlay when they became suspicious of a man on foot carrying a large holdall. They pulled alongside him in their patrol car and started to question him. As PC Fullalove started to get out of the car Egon Von Bulow produced a gun and shot him in the stomach.

The gunman then went to the driver's side and shot PC Schofield dead. PS Findlay was also shot but was saved by his breast pocket notebook, which deflected the bullet into his arm.

Von Bulow escaped but was later arrested on the day of PC Schofield's funeral, which took place six days later. In March 1975 Von Bulow was sentenced to life imprisonment. PS Findlay later received the Queen's commendation for brave conduct.

Guildford bombing

Guildford bombing scene

Scene of Guildford bombing

One of the bloodiest and most controversial incidents in the history of Surrey Police happened on 5 October 1974. Just before 9pm, a massive explosion caused by a terrorist bomb ripped apart the Horse and Groom Public House in North Street, Guildford. Just after 9.30pm a second bomb detonated, at the town’s Seven Stars pub. Both pubs were targeted by terrorists because they were popular with soldiers. Five people died and 65 injured. After lengthy enquiries, four people were arrested and later convicted of the bombings. In 1989 their convictions were overturned on appeal.

The bombing outrages of 1974 continued the following year and, on 27 August 1975, an explosive device was detonated in the dance area of the Caterham Arms, causing severe injuries and extensively damaging the pub

1984 - M25 multiple vehicle road traffic accident

Scene of M25 crash

Scene of M25 road traffic accident

On 11 December 1984 one of the worst multiple vehicle accidents the Traffic Department has ever had to deal with happened on the M25, near Tatsfield. 26 vehicles and 31 drivers and passengers were involved. The accident happened in dense fog, which seemed to have descended suddenly, and the scene in which nine people died was horrendous.

1994 - Police Dog Action of the Year

Officers attended an incident of reports that a man was threatening his wife with a Japanese Samurai sword. A hostage situation followed and dog officers were deployed around the premises but attempts to negotiate were unsuccessful.

The man subsequently came out of the house threateningly police officers and members of the public. PC John McCarthy released Rebel (top) and the man confronted the dog using the sword to inflict serious cuts to his nose and chest. Following further attempts by the man to inflict injury upon officers, PC Michael Bagley released Blitz (bottom), who made a determined and aggressive attack on the man.

Despite being cut by the sword, Blitz continued his attack and, with the assistance of other officers the man was successfully restrained and arrested

1995 - The murder of Catherine Maxine Boot

When Catherine Boot was reported missing, forensic examination of her house revealed bloodstains in the bedroom. After extensive searching, her body was found in Moggies Pond, on Bellfields Green. It had been cut in half and disposed of in plastic refuse sacks. The dustbin bags were marked with the number ‘28’ the number of a refuse collection route. Peter Baldwin, the victims neighbour, was a refuse collector, and his round number was 28.

He had recently been to court for using a meat hook to attack a man, at the abattoir where he was formerly employed. In questioning, Baldwin eventually admitted to the killing of Miss Boot, describing how he used his skills gained in the abattoir to cut up and dispose of the body.

In the trial Baldwin denied murder, but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of reduced responsibility. He showed no remorse for the brutal and motiveless murder, and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

2002 - The murder of Millie Dowler

This was the largest murder investigation carried out by Surrey Police. 13 year old school girl, Milly Dowler, went missing on her way home from school on 21 March 2002. Her body was discovered on 18 September 2002. In March 2011, following a lengthy investigation, Levi Bellfield was charged with the abduction and murder of Milly. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. Huge resources were put into the enquiry, with thousands of house-to-house enquiries carried out, more than 5,000 statements taken, over 350 sites searched and more than 250 people of potential interest identified and interviewed. Surrey Police received over 9,000 calls regarding the case.

2003 - The murder of Michael Little

Michael Little was driving his lorry on the M3 in Surrey, when a brick was thrown from a bridge, smashing through the windscreen of his cab. The brick struck Little in the chest but he managed pull the cab over to the hard shoulder, put on the hazard warning lights and turn off the ignition before he died.

A murder inquiry was launched with the killer likely to live locally, as the footbridge was a popular shortcut. DNA evidence recovered showed that whoever had thrown the brick had shortly before been involved in an unsuccessful attempt to steal a Renault Clio. The offenders had smashed a window in the car and tried to hotwire it before abandoning it but one of them had left blood in the vehicle, which matched the DNA profile found on the brick that killed Little.

A total of 351 males in the local areas were swabbed from which, the forensic service was able to identify a close relative of the offender. This information, along with other evidence, led to Craig Harman, aged 20. He was arrested and initially charged with murder, attempting to steal a car and stealing two house bricks. At the Old Bailey, Craig Harman admitted manslaughter and was sentenced to six years imprisonment.

2004 - Antoni Imiela sentenced

Described as the biggest linked police inquiry since the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper. It led to Antoni Imiela being sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2004 after being found guilty of 12 counts of rape, kidnap and indecent assault. In a 12 month period from November 2001 to November 2002, Imiela was responsible for assaulting nine women aged between ten years and 52 years of age. The location of the assaults within Surrey included Redhill, Horsell in Woking and Epsom. At the height of the inquiry around 350 police officers from six different forces were working on the case. Nearly 10,000 calls were received from members of the public in response to appeals for information before a crucial call to Crimestoppers which led to his arrest in December 2002. DNA was highly important to this operation - samples from more than 3,500 men were taken before a sample from Imiela proved positive and his arrest was made.

2012 - London Olympic and Paralympic Games

2012 saw the biggest peacetime security operation in the UK The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Surrey Police had a significant role in the 2012 events. From managing the huge crowds who lined the route for the Olympic flame through locations in Surrey, through to providing security support at some the athletes villages and the cycle road races and time trials with routes coming into Surrey.
Collaborations with the Metropolitan Police and London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) as well as providing and receiving mutual support with other venue forces.

2013 - Floods in Surrey

From December 2013 to February 2014, Surrey saw an unprecedented amount of rainfall. The relentless rain and storms ruined many family Christmases and things got no better in the New Year, as widespread flooding continued across Surrey, and other parts of the UK.

Thousands of people were left without power, evacuated from their homes, unable to travel and lost or suffered damage to property and personal affects.

Surrey Police took the lead during the flooding, working alongside dedicated teams from the Environment Agency, Surrey County Council, Surrey Fire and Rescue, Borough Councils, South East Coast Ambulance and the wider NHS, with support from the military. All agencies worked closely, day and night with an average 500-600 members of staff from all agencies on the ground, to keep people safe and protect properties and the local infrastructure against the impact of rising floodwater.

Surrey Floods in numbers:
3,000 Homes at risk
75% of our annual rainfall in 2 months
372mm December 2013 - January 2014
57 Road closures

2014 - Top dogs

PC Rob Male with PD Apollo

The Surrey and Sussex dog team were crowned top dogs at the National Police Dog Trials in May. Surrey’s PC Paul Barnham and Police Dog Ethel scooped first place. Surrey’s PC Rob Male with Apollo finished fifth and PC Paul House from Sussex with Jax came in sixth place.
As well as winning the overall title, Paul and Ethel also took the Joseph Simpson Trophy for attaining the highest marks in the tracking exercise and the William Palfrey Trophy for scoring the highest marks in the criminal work. They also attained the highest marks in the first third of the exercises.

2015 June Events

Image of Officers and the army at armed forces day, officers and performers at the Magna Carta event and Officers and police van at the Epsom derby

Montage: Armed Forces Day, 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta, Epsom Derby

June sees us support three huge events for the county: The 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta in Runnymede, Armed Forces Day celebrations at Stoke Park and the Epsom Derby.

Headquarters

The first headquarters was in the old Guildford Borough Police Station in Corn Market house but only until the new headquarters was completed in Woodbridge Road in 1854. In 1946 the county force was rapidly expanding and in the process of absorbing the previous Borough forces of Guildford and Reigate and a more suitable headquarters was required.

The Surrey Constabulary had been looking for new headquarters for some time and, finally, in 1948, Mount Browne in Sandy Lane, Guildford, was purchased at a cost of £17,500.

Many alterations had to be carried out from creating access roads through to arranging refuse collections. The then Home Secretary, The Right Hon. J Chuter Ede MP formally opened the new headquarters on 23 September 1949 in the presence of 78 guests and 120 police officers from across the county.

The History of Mount Browne

The 19th-century, red-bricked building at the heart of the headquarters complex was originally bought in 1891 by George John Browne, the Third Marquis of Sligo. The family crest is an eagle and has the motto “Suivez la raison” – let reason be your guide – an equally fitting motto for police officers.
Browne, of Irish descent and living in County Mayo, succeeded his father as Marquis in 1845, at the tender age of 26. He married Isabelle de Peyronnet of France, and moved to England, initially to Loseley Park near Guildford, with ambitions of witnessing ghost activities. He then moved to Oakdene and renamed it Mount Browne. He died in 1896, leaving his widow and twin daughters – Ladies Isabel and Mary – to the house. His widow died in 1927, but the house stayed within the family until the death of his daughter, Lady Isabel, in 1947. After that, Mount Browne was purchased by Surrey Constabulary.

The Dog School

World War I saw the first formal use of dogs by the Force, with bloodhounds used to track escaped prisoners. Although they proved successful, the end of the war also brought the end of the use of dogs.

It was not until 1948, that the Chief Constable with an interest of working dogs renewed trials. PC Harry Darbyshire transferred from the Metropolitan Police to Surrey with an Alsatian bitch, named Anna of Avondale (left), and her son Loki. Anna soon proved her worth when she tracked from the scene and located an offender of a burglar. It was from these two that the Surrey Police Dog Section was formed.

PC Darbyshire had trained and competed with Alsatians in working trials for years and brought with him much experience and expertise. Kennels were subsequently built at Mount Browne and several successful litters of Alsatian and Doberman Pinscher puppies were reared. In honour of the Force’s first dog, the Anna of Avondale dog trials are held every year. The Dog Section was later expanded to become a regional police dog training centre and has since trained dog handlers from around the world.

In 2002 the dog school underwent a full refurbishment. The old kennel block was replaced, the classroom facilities were improved and a separate facility for vets to treat the dogs was added. The new facility was officially opened by Bruce Forsyth OBE.

 

Development of Mount Browne

Year Event
1949 23 September – Formally opened by the Home Secretary, the Rt. Hon. J Chuter Ede MP.
1969 New four-storey extension, including study bedrooms, opened
1970 Work completed, within the mansion, on a Command Suite for Senior Officers
1975 Second extension completed, housing much of the crime department together with the operations room, where all 999 calls originating within the Force area are dealt with. In the same year, 13 more acres of land to the east of the estate purchased for dog training
1984 New training school completed on land adjoining the sports field, followed by the Firearms Range
1996 New Force Information Centre completed
1998 Scientific Support Centre opened
   2001      Creation of the Force Museum. The museum is currently closed to visitors until further notice.  
2002 The newly refurbished Regional Police Dog Training School is opened
2003 The old stable block is converted to the Call Handling Centre and Crime Reporting Bureau.

 

Honoured and remembered

In recognition and tribute to officers who have been honoured or died in the course of their duties.

2001 - Book of Remembrance

In January 2001, an ecumenical service was held at Guildford Cathedral to celebrate 150 years of policing in the county and to formally dedicate a memorial honouring the officers who died as a result of injuries received while performing their duties in the service of the people of Surrey. A Book of Remembrance was also opened at the service.

Below is a list of Surrey Police officers who lost their lives whilst on duty. We thank them for their service.

Inspector William Donaldson
Died in 1855 aged 44 having been bludgeoned by a mob in Haslemere
PC 65 Allen Mason                                   
Died in 1859 aged 30 from a ruptured blood vessel in the lung attributed to having been violently assaulted by a deserter earlier in the year
PC 86 Thomas Turner                              
Died in 1924 aged 42 having been knocked down and seriously injured by a car at Windlesham whilst on night duty. He died as a result of shock after surgery to amputate one or both of his legs
PC 248 William Herrett                            
Died in 1928 aged 33 having been run down when stopping a runaway horse and dust cart
PC 227 Albert Harrison                            
Died in 1932 aged 27 as a result of being run down by an omnibus whilst on his bicycle
PC 240 Herbert Smeed                              
Died in 1934 aged 21 as a result of injuries caused by being knocked down by a motorcycle
PC 3 Norman Croxton                               
Died in 1940 aged 25 as a result of injuries received in a road traffic accident on Leatherhead Road in Ashtead
PC 122 William Story                               
Died in 1941 aged 35 when he was run over by a taxi whilst riding his bicycle during a blackout
PC 41 William Richards                            
Died in 1942 aged 19 as a result of injuries received in a road traffic accident whilst on his bicycle on Boxgrove Road in Guildford
PC 257 Frederick Stevens                         
Died in 1960 aged 43 having been fatally injured in a police road traffic accident on Broadford Road in Shalford
PC 900 William Wood                              
Died in 1966 aged 27 as a result of a motorcycle accident
PC 776 Philip Morgan                                 
Died in 1969 aged 24 as a result of a motorcycle accident
PC 891 John Schofield                              
Died in 1974 aged 27 in Caterham when he was shot by Egon Von Bunlow whilst on a routine patrol
PC 16 Robert Cross                                      
Died in 1977 aged 33 as a result of being involved in a road traffic accident on the Churt to Hindhead Road
PC 1314 Daniel Glover                               
Died in 1984 aged 26 in a road traffic accident whilst traveling to attend a disturbance in Guildford
PC 542 Christopher Cooper                     
Died in 1992 aged 31 as a result of injuries received in a road traffic accident whilst travelling to an emergency
PC 674 Roger Franklin                               
Died in 1995 aged 36 when he was involved in a road traffic accident whilst on motorcycle duties
PC 2239 Richard Gunn                              
Died in 2004 aged 29 from injuries sustained in a road traffic accident in Lightwater. The police vehicle he was driving was involved in a collision with a van and caught fire whilst responding to an emergency call in Woking.
PC 836 Stanley Jones
Died in 2005 aged 39, from injuries sustained in 2004 as a result of a road traffic accident.

Honoured Officers

Below are the details of the officers of Surrey Police who have been honoured for their actions during the course of their duties.

PC60 Harold Weller 
Awarded the King’s Police Medal 1914 for conspicuous action, trying to stop a runaway horse.
PS224 Arthur George Gunner
Awarded the King’s Medal in August 1919 for arresting an armed solider.
Deputy Chief Constable William Kenward 
Awarded the King’s Police Medal in December 1921 for courageous conduct in the apprehension of an armed lunatic.
PC248 William Herrett 
Awarded the King’s Police Medal posthumously in October 1928 after losing his life trying to stop a runaway horse.
PS21 William Forehead 
Awarded the Medal of the Order of the British Empire in June 1935 after suffering severe injuries trying to arrest two housebreakers.
PC275 Robert McBrien 
Awarded the British Empire Medal in April 1941 for courage shown when rescuing a woman trapped under the debris of a house demolished by a bomb.
PC Alfred Everitt 
Awarded the King’s Police Medal in June 1941 for arresting an armed soldier who attempted to shot him.
PC171 Albert Entickap 
Awarded the King’s Police Medal in June 1945 for arresting an armed housebreaker.
Inspector William Locke 
Awarded the King’s Police Medal in May 1946, when a sergeant, for gallantry in arresting an armed prisoner who, during an attempted escape fired a pistol at point blank range. The bullet struck the bottom button of Locke’s jacket.
PS72 Reginald Callingham 
Awarded the British Meal for Gallantry for Brave Conduct in May 1961 when he was shot trying to make an arrest.
PS651 G Brekell, DC394 W Spencer and PC364 A Newman 
Awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct for their actions in October 1965 when they prevented a mentally deranged youth from throwing himself from the top of a 70 foot high cinema roof. During the rescue the officers fell through the roof sustaining minor injuries.
PC D Shepherd, DI L Phillips, DS G Smith, and PC G Queen Awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct in recognition of their courage in the arrest of armed man in September 1969.
DS W Tappern, PC K Simmons, PC P Buss, PC R Halland and PC T Anglim Awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct for service exceeding the bounds of duty at the scene of the Gatwick air disaster in January 1969.
WPC55 Jackie Parrish 
Awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct, when in January 1974, she disarmed a woman wielding a knife.
PS356 Harley Findlay 
Awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct, after being wounded by a gunman who had shot two other officers in July 1974, fatally wounding one. Although injured, he sought help and pursued the gunman.
PC383 David Stark 
Awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct for his actions in May 1975 when he arrested an armed intruder. The gun was later found out to be a replica.
PC1124 Paul Cady 
Awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct in October 1978 for trying to stop a lorry which was being driven dangerously and had already been involved in several accidents. He suffered severe injuries to his left leg.
WPS1242 Kareen Edminston 
Awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct when in July 1984 she disarmed a drunken man who was threatening to kill his wife and others with a firearm.
PV1415 Simon Lane 
Awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct for his actions in September 1984, when he tackled a gunman whilst off duty. Despite being sprayed with CS gas, PC Lane managed to hold on to the offender until assistance arrived.
DC John Brake 
Awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct for his actions in May 1987. During an attempt to arrest three offenders, a vehicle was driven directly at the officer. Although badly injured DC Brake still managed to arrest him.
PC1203 B Rajikumar and PS202 M Powell-Bistow 
Awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct after an incident on the roof of a large country house. Helped by ambulance man Mr Wood, they detained a drunk, violent man after jumping a seven foot gap to reach him.
PC783 Paul Mizzi 
Awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery for confronting an armed robber in June 1992.
A/ PS1117 Peter Moore 
Awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery for his actions in August 1992 when he was stabbed while trying to stop an armed robbery.

World War I and II

World War I and II OfficersWWI plaqueA bronze memorial tablet with the names of members of the Force who lost their lives in the 1914-19 war is proudly displayed at Mount Browne headquarters. The inscription reads:

The tablet was erected by their fellow comrades and reads Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patria Mori, which translates as It is sweet and fitting to die for ones country.

1914-1919 In memory of the members of the Surrey Constabulary who fell in the Great War.

  W Avenall "Queens” RWS Noakes Hampshire
  E Brattle                  East Kent (Buffs)      W Payne Grenadier Guards
  H Bullen                    Grenadier Guards      D Russell   Grenadier Guards
  C Childs               Berkshire N Smithers Grenadier Guards
  W Fortman            RGA E Warrell    Military Foot Police
  J Freemantle        Scots Guards          A Weller 2nd Life Guards
  T Freemantle Scots Guards           H Wise       Coldstream Guards
  F Joyce             Irish Guards          


In addition to the officers named, three members of the Guildford Borough Force were also killed: PC Deacon, PC Gascoyne and PC Macey.

World War II plaqueIn 1949 an additional tablet, designed by Mr George Friend and bearing the names of 22 members of the Force who lost their lives in the fighting services during the years 1939-45, was unveiled by Major Nicholson.

Designed to match the earlier memorial tablet in honour of those who died in the 1914-19 war, it was funded by voluntary subscriptions from the Force and inscribed:

In memory of the members of the Surrey Constabulary who fell in the World War 1939 - 1945.

J R Bathe    RAF C N Millward  RAF
R F Clutterbuck     RAFC A Maskell RAF
F C Collis RAF R Morrish RAF
G H Cone RAF J R Muncaster RAF
A S Deakin Gen.List.  W H J Pickard RAF
N H Edward RAC J Skingley RAF
G A Farquhar CMP H A Sparrow RAF
L J Gould  RTR C A Wakley RAF
A C Harris RAE    D M Walder RAF
A Heming            RNVR J F Ward RAF     
E A Hines RAF E N Woods RAF