South Wales Police Museum

The Glamorganshire Constabulary Force Area

South Wales Police Museum
Modern Day South Wales Force Area: This divisional organisation has been in place since 1946
Modern Day South Wales Force Area: This divisional organisation has been in place since 1946

The force area was originally divided into 4 districts: Merthyr, Newbridge, Ogmore and Swansea. This arrangement was to continue until 1880 when the 4 districts were reorganised into 5 divisions.

The 1880s reorganisation affected the divisions as follows:

  • Merthyr District remained unchanged but was now designated the Merthyr Division.
  • The Newbridge District lost some of its attachments and became the Pontypridd Division.
  • The Ogmore District lost some detachments, acquired 4 detachments from the Swansea District and became the Bridgend Division.

Apart from losing some detachments to Bridgend, the Swansea District, whose Headquarters had long been situated at Neath, remained substantially unaltered but was known as Neath Division. A new Canton (later Barry Dock) Division was created out of those detachments removed from the former Newbridge and Ogmore Districts.

The creation of Merthyr Borough Police Force in 1908 necessitated some reorganisations of the county constabulary, and it was at this time that the Treharris Division was formed.

Major reorganisation and redistribution took place in 1911, and the resulting 8 divisions, plus Headquarters, provided the framework of police administration in the county until 1946.

The practice of assigning a "letter" to each division had been introduced in 1894 to replace the earlier system of numbering each district and this practice was maintained in 1911 and subsequent reorganisations.

The divisions resulting from the 1911 organisation were:

A - ABERDARE

B - PONTYPRIDD

C - BRIDGEND

D - NEATH

E - BARRY DOCK

F - TREHARRIS

G - TON PENTRE

H - GOWERTON

I - HQ (CANTON IN CARDIFF FROM 1871)

With the abolition of the Neath Borough Police Force in 1946, some reorganisation of the County Force was again necessary.

A new Port Talbot Division was created out of parts of the Neath and Bridgend Divisions, while Neath Borough was added to the new Neath Division. Since 1946 Divisional Organisation has been as follows:

A - ABERDARE

B - PONTYPRIDD

C - BRIDGEND

D - PORT TALBOT

E - BARRY DOCK

F - YSTRAD MYNACH (YSTRAD REPLACED TREHARRIS AS HQ OF "F" DIVISION IN 1927)

G - TON PENTRE

H - GOWERTON

N - NEATH

K - HQ (MOVED TO BRIDGEND FROM CANTON IN 1947)

In March 1969, the Borough Police Forces of Cardiff, Merthyr and Swansea amalgamated with the Glamorgan Police Force to form the new South Wales Constabulary. In 1995, the South Wales Constabulary became South Wales Police.

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