Temporary Police in the First World War

As well as retaining time-expired policemen (who had served their full number of years to retire on a full pension, but were prevented by Act of Parliament from retiring until after the war), and encouraging businessmen to become Special Constables for part-time hours, many Police Forces recruited Temporary Policemen to take the places of those who had left to join the army or navy. Unlike the Special Constables, Temporary Policemen were sworn in, so could arrest suspects. But they were employed only for the period of the war, with the understanding that they would resign at the end of the war. In most forces they were welcomed, however in some they were fiercely criticised by their employers and the public, being accused of only joining the police to escape being called up to join the army.

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