Hastings Police Force came into being on May the 9th, 1836. Initially being staffed by an inspector, three superintendents (or sergeants) and nine constables. All members of the force had to be between the ages of 21 and 40, at least 5ft 7inches in height and able to read and write. The first inspector appointed was John Campbell who started on the 1st of June in the same year. In total, there were sixty applicants to join the force. Crispin Jessop, William Sinden and John Wellstead were appointed as sergeants. The force wore a uniform consisting of a blue coat with an embroidered collar and the letter 'H' and a number on it. A greatcoat, embroidered in the same way, with blue trousers, an oiled cape, two pairs of wellington boots and a glazed leather hat completed the uniform.
The town was divided into three divisions or areas;
- St Leonards to the Priory Bridge
- Castle parish
- All Saints & St. Clements parishes.
The main police station was located within the Old Town Hall in the High Street and the watch house, consisting of four lock-up rooms where an extra constable lived and slept adjoined the gaol. It then moved to the new town hall, occupying offices to the side of the building, then, finally around 1970 to its current location on Bohemia Road.
Police Cars arrive
In 1936, the first police cars arrived. These were photographed (image is below) showing them, with their drivers PC. E. Metcalf & PC. W. Erridge with Supt. William James Buddle standing in the doorway