Police pay and Conditions

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Side of Authority
This page contains content from police and those who supported authority.


A policeman just out of the depot got six and sixpence per day in the late 1870s. That was increased to 7/6 by 1881. After two years service the base pay is inreased by 1/- a day

The police out after the KellyGang got a travelling allowance of two shillings a day for being up there. While they were out on duty at night they recieved a five shillings a day increase. See also expenditure


police pay at KellyGang

When Captain Standish and Hare arrived at Benalla in December 1878, they found that none of the men had received any travelling allowance since they had commenced the pursuit. (RC1614).

Standish considered that in mid 1879 considerably more than half the expenditure was travelling allowances to members of the police force away from their district, and it must be borne in mind that many of them were married men separated from their wives and families. To reduce costs all the members of the police who had been sent to the hunt for the KellyGang were permanently transferred to the North Eastern district (RC57)

The police pay for a constable was 2 or 3 shillings a day and they drew an extra 5s. a day for travelling allowance. The officers got an extra 12 shillings a day. This continued right through for the officers but the allowance for the constables stopped in 1879. (RC2490)

The senior-constables are merely men who get sixpence a day more than the constables, and they get charge of the stations. (RC436)

An Inspector recieved a salary £300 per year plus £70 for quarters, and £10 for groom allowance. There may have been an additional allowance for married police. A number had £10, knocked off their salary for a guarantee. (RC17499)

Sergeants were paid £14.5 per month and sub-Inspectors £20 6s. 8d. (RC3312)

Constables were paid a bush allowed of 1s. 6d, was it enough (Argus5/11/78).

If an officer is required to retire early though ill-health they are entitled to a small lump sum gratuity, not a pension. (RC17506)

Some police were employed as inspectors of nuisances and took on other private work (RC3358)

agents and incidents When Aaron Sherritt came to see Hare in July 1879 Hare paid him £2 Promotions The police requalations, paragraph 263, said "When a vacancy occurs in the higher grades of the force, and the duties of the vacant office are of such a nature that the Governor in Council shall be of opinion that there is no person of lower grade in the department who is competent to discharge them, the Governor in Council may appoint such person as he may think fit, although not previously engaged in the police force, and with or without examination or probation."

This was the exception to the normal promotion by seniority (RC3346) (RC11056)

It had been always understood that since 1854 promotion was from service in the ranks. Insp Monfort thought that it would be very demoralizing if police were promoted from men outside the force.(RC3285) (RC3296)

At 40 Insp Montfort was the youngest Inspector. (RC3297)

It was stated by Sergeant Steele that it would require political influence for a man to raise himself in the force. Insp Montfort said, 'it has become very much so of late years'.(RC11070)

Accomodation The Government was not obliged to provide barracks, but if there are quarters available police are allowed to occupy them, provided they keep them in repair until they are required.

If a policeman was thought suitable he would be sent to a certain place. At some stations it would be necessary to station a married man. In some stations she cooks for the station. In some there were quarters only for married men. (RC3321) KellyGang