The Isle of Man police have celebrated 150 years with a dinner at Mount Murray, a new commemorative charity beer, launched by Bushy’s, and an exhibition at Castle Rushen.
The dinner was held on Friday night, the exact day of the 150th anniversary.
Bushy’s brewery launched a new beer at the event, commemorating the police’s milestone. The ‘PC Brew’ is named after Thomas Brew, a permanent constable in the late 1800s.
Constable Brew was discharged from the force in October 1876 for being drunk on duty.
Bushy’s owner, Martin Brunnschweiler, said: ‘We decided to try a lowish alcohol ‘copper’ coloured beer, 3 per cent ABV, so the police and ourselves can’t be accused of encouraging over indulgence on a police anniversary!
‘The arrangement is that Bushy’s will donate 10p for every pint sold to ‘The Christmas Parcels Fund’ charity which gives presents to under privileged children,’ said Martin.
Police in one form or other have been established in the Isle of Man since the formation of four regional High Bailiffs’ Police Forces in 1777.
In September 1863 the Isle of Man police forces were amalgamated under the first Head Constable, George Patrick Goldie, MHK and Captain of the Parish of Marown.
He was appointed after the Head Constable elect, a Mr Thompson, drank heavily the night before his appointment and drove his pony and trap down Prospect Hill, Douglas, at a furious pace.
Mr Thompson was arrested for the equivalent to drink driving and his appointment was never ratified.
Women police were first used during the First World War and did not return to the force until 1967.
The first two women joined the force during the First World War, not because of a shortage of male officers, but because of a rise in female crime.
WPC Margaret E. Corkill, previously a civilian clerical officer at Ramsey police station, was the first to be recruited.
The island’s police force now numbers about 240 staff and the Chief Constable, since January this year, is Gary Roberts.
The Castle Rushen exhibition, run jointly with Manx National Heritage (MNH), ended on Friday and gave people the chance to learn about the history of the Manx police force.
MNH collaberated with members of the force who had been busy over recent months collecting memories, photographs and other items from retired officers.
A mixture of serving and retired police officers were on hand at the exhibition to share their memories.
Inspector Derek Flint said: ‘We’ve been delighted with how well the exhibition was received. Lots of officers and support staff have taken a stint as ‘curator’ and it was really enjoyable meeting the public.
‘We had a real cross-section of tourists and locals, including some who had relatives who had served, or indeed served themselves in the force.
‘The feedback we have had has been really positive, and it would be nice to find a permanent home for what is a great archive of part of the island’s history,’ he added.
Talking about how policing has changed, Inspector Flint said: ‘It’s a service which polices a community much more complex than it was 50 years ago.
‘Cyber crime, the requirements of the courts in progressing justice, protecting the vulnerable, forensic science and even meeting public expectation have all changed beyond recognition.’
The Post Office also marked the occasion by issuing a six stamp set commemorating the force’s history as well as an Isle of Man Constabulary First Day Cover edition of stamps in February this year.
For further information on the exhibits contact Matthew Richardson, MNH curator of social history, on 648053 or email@example.com
For more information about the commemorative stamps call 698430.