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Police Communications


1. Shorthand Class

Manchester City Police officers learning shorthand at Newton Street Police Station in 1910. The building, which lies close to Piccadilly Gardens in the city's Northern Quarter, is now home to the Greater Manchester Police Museum and Archives.

Shorthand Class

Shorthand Class

2. Morse Inspector

Officers of Bolton Borough Police take a lesson in the use of Morse code in 1935. At this time effective communication was becoming increasingly important to police forces as criminals became more mobile and the structure of policing more complex.

Morse Inspector

Morse Inspector

3. Flying Squad

Police communications hasn’t always been about the latest encrypted digital radio systems. For many years pigeon played a part in getting important messages around the forces. This image from 1943 features The Ashton-Under Lyne Borough Police's pigeon loft with many of the feathered messengers waiting for their next vital mission.

Flying Squad

Flying Squad

4. Are You Receiving Me?

An officer of the Oldham Borough Police at work on the radio in the force's control room. We think this images dates from the late 1940s or early 1950s.

Are You Receiving Me?

Are You Receiving Me?

5. Are You There?

An image of a police radio operator at work, probably dating to the late 1950s.

Are You There?

Are You There?

6. In the Days Before Digital

A police call taker at work in the days before digital communications became all the rage.

In the Days Before Digital

In the Days Before Digital

7. Can You Hear Me?

An archetypal schoolboy, complete with shorts, cap and long socks, uses a police pillar to contact his local force. We think this image is taken in Manchester and probably dates from the 1950s. It may have been produced with the intention of using the image to educate children in how and when to contact the emergency services.

Can You Hear Me?

Can You Hear Me?

8. Communication 1950s Style

This image features an officer of Manchester City Police’s ‘B’ Division - PC B110 Ronnie Ashton - calling in from a road side police pillar. The police pillar – a freestanding post with a box that contained a telephone - was a regular site in the days before home telephone use was common.

Hello, Hello, Hello...Communication 1950s Style

Hello, Hello, Hello...Communication 1950s Style

9. Calling PC 59

A police offer use his state-of-the-art in car radio system in this image, which probably dates from the 1960s.

Calling PC 59

Calling PC 59

10. Calling All Cars...

On what looks to be a fairly relaxed shift, and long before the dawn of the digital age, a Lancashire Constabulary sergeant transmits to radio equipped patrols from the local control room based at Leigh Police Station.

Calling All Cars...

Calling All Cars...

11. The First Call

Manchester City Police’s PC Harry Knowles makes a call from the city’s first police box. The box, situated near the Ben Brierley public house on Moston Lane, was constructed in 1928.

The First Call

The First Call

12. In the Control Room...1950s Style

Two officers appear hard at work in a police control room. We think this image depicts officers of Bolton Borough Police and dates from the late 1950s. However, the scene would have been common across many forces of the time and would not have changed much since World War 2.

In the Control Room...1950s Style

In the Control Room...1950s Style

13. Calling All Units...

Two police radio operators at work in a control room. We think this image depicts officers of Bolton Borough Police and dates from the early 1960s. The 1960s saw the use of personal radios become increasingly commonplace in policing and the role of the radio operator come to the fore.

Calling All Units...

Calling All Units...

14. Training in 1975

New recruits are shown around the control of Bootle Street Police Station in 1975.

Training in 1975

Training in 1975

15. When John Paul Popped In

A behind the scenes glimpse at the Greater Manchester Police operation during the visits of Pope John Paul II to Manchester on 31 May 1982.

When John Paul Popped In

When John Paul Popped In

16. Keeping Bolton Connected

An officer at work in the control room of the Bolton Division of Greater Manchester Police. This image probably dates to the early 1980s.

Keeping Bolton Connected

Keeping Bolton Connected

17. Life On...a 1980s Beat

Greater Manchester Police officers show the face of Neighbourhood Policing...1980s style.

Life On...a 1980s Beat

Life On...a 1980s Beat

18. Rattle and Radio

A police rattle, one of the earliest forms of police officer communication sits alongside one of the latest Airwave radios in use by Greater Manchester Police.

Rattle and Radio

Rattle and Radio

19. Mobile Data Keeps Cops on the Move

Police officers are logging on to fight crime as the latest technology is proving to be a winner in keeping Greater Manchester safe. The roll out of smartphones, tablets and body worn video cameras to frontline officers is helping to keep officers out of police stations and in communities. The technology provides access to vital information at the touch of a button.

Mobile Data Keeps Cops on the Move

Mobile Data Keeps Cops on the Move

20. Officers Trial Live Chat

GMP has begun trialling a new system to allow people can report non-urgent crime to the police via live web chat in a bid to help keep Greater Manchester safe. The hope is to not only take pressure off the non-emergency 101 number but to also expand digital avenues for the public wanting to report non-urgent crime to Police

Live Chat

Live Chat

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© Greater Manchester Police 2017