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Ford Anglia's Serving with the Lancashire Constabulary

Lancashire crest

Lancashire Constabulary

A Brief History of the Lancashire Constabulary

After many complaints over a number of years over the crime ridden state of Lancashire it was decided in 1839 that a combined county police force was required to police the county. During the 1860s, the force lost its first officer, PC Jump, who died after being shot by a group of men that he and a colleague were searching. By the end of the century the force had developed a detective department who were allowed to wear plain clothes.

The Radio Branch or Wireless Workshops pioneered many techniques in the use of radio by the police. In 1925 they had radio communications between Constabulary headquarters in Preston and six divisional headquarters. A year later a van was equipped with a transmitter. Tests were done with radio communication to cars in the 1930s. In 1939 four fixed stations provided coverage over much of the county. At the start of WWII divisional headquarters were equipped with transmitter-receivers as a back-up to the telephone system. This was used in 1941 when the telephone system in Liverpool was put out of action by bombing, Lancashire Constabulary's radio system was sole means of communications with the city for a time. After the war they were involved in the development and move to VHF FM by the UK police.

In 1948 the force's dog section was established with many differing breeds being used but by the 1950s it was established that the German Shepherd was the most suitable.

In 1961 a personal radio scheme was installed in Chorley with Motorola VHF personal radios imported from the USA after a demonstration in Stretford in 1959. In 1965, the force had an establishment of 3,784 officers and an actual strength of 3,454, making it the second largest police force (after the Metropolitan Police) and the largest county force in Great Britain.

The force then went through major changes in the 1970s when the force was reduced to cover the new re-bordered Lancashire with the other areas coming under the jurisdiction of Greater Manchester Police and Merseyside Police.

Ford Anglia Saloons as used by the Lancashire Constabulary

Lancashire Constabulary is generally credited with being the first police force to use panda cars in 1965. This photograph shows a delivery of Ford Anglias to the force's Hutton headquarters which were bound for Bolton in 1966. They were possibly the first Panda cars many Bolton people saw.

Anglia Police Cars
( Lancashire Constabulary)

Lancashire Constabulary was a big user of the Anglia. Once it had been decided to switch officers to mobile patrol, Lancashire Constabulary bought 175 Ford Anglia’s, made at Halewood on Merseyside, in one go. Then acting Chief Constable Bill Palfrey staged a media event at County Police headquarters at Hutton on May Day, 1967, by having them arranged in '999' formation.

Lots of Anglia's
( Lancashire Constabulary)

The police vehicles were the 'basic' Ford Anglia’s, lacking the full-width chrome-plated radiator grille of the deluxe model. The Ford Anglia’s were originally dubbed A-Cars, but became known as Pandas because of the white stripe on their bodywork which contrasted with their main lagoon blue colour.

Anglia Police Cars
( Lancashire Constabulary)

“Their introduction”, Palfrey said, “would save the force some 400 men”. At the time Lancashire Constabulary was some 500 officers under-strength anyway, and it was this strain on manpower that was a big influence in the departure from old-style policing.

In January 1970, at the opening of a new control centre at Hutton that was capable of supervising 1,000 mobile units at any one time, Palfrey said "People who argue for a return to foot patrols are living in the past, in a bygone age. A lot is talked about policemen riding around in cars. Should the criminal cease to use high-powered cars, then we could return to foot patrol."

Anglia Police Car

Anglia Police Car
( Lancashire Constabulary)

Anglia Police Car

List of Lancashire Constabulary's Ford Anglia Police Cars (so far!)
Registration Body Type Colour Accessories
UTC 833D Standard Saloon Blue and White Police Signs Front and Rear
UTC 847D Standard Saloon Blue and White Police Signs Front and Rear

One of Lancashire Constabulary's first Panda Cars UTC 847D, was immortalised as a 1:43rd scale model by Corgi, in their Vanguards range (model No VA00115c) in 1998.

A Lancashire Constabulary Police Car also appeared on a British Telecom Phone Card.

Anglia Police Car