Police entitlement to days off during the First World War

Despite the campaign by The Police Review (the organ of the British constabulary) leading up to the Police (Weekly Rest Day) Act of Parliament passed in 1910, by the start of the First World War in August 1914, some police authorities had not granted their policemen a day off each week or, in some cases, their leave entitlement of two weeks off. Before the war the reasons given were that the service could not afford the additional expense, for which they would have to gain permission of the ratepayers. During the war the reasons given were the emergency situation in the country. However, in 1917 the frustration of the police boiled over and once more The Police Review led the campaign for policemen's rights to time off or payment in lieu. The journal developed a Roll of Honour naming those Borough Councils which had given either full or partial pay for days off or compensation for leave. It did the same for the County Police authorities, naming and shaming those who they said had made no effort to meet their obligations or who had promised to do so but had dragged their feet in implementing a scheme.


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