Welcome to the History of Railway, Dock and Canal Police Forces of South Wales

Bute Dock Police 1898

The main focus of the site is the dedicated police service provided to Cardiff Docks between 1839 and 1985 by the Bute Dock Police and their successors.

But there is also a considerable amount of information on many other forces that existed in the 19th and early 20th century. In Cardiff alone, from the 1860s onwards, there were five railway, dock and canal forces operating in addition to the Cardiff Borough Police and the Glamorgan Constabulary. There were many others across South Wales and throughout Britain.

All of these small forces were absorbed into the ‘Big Four’ railway companies during the 1922 amalgamations- the Great Western Railway, the London, Midland & Scottish Railway, the London & North Eastern Railway and the Southern Railway. In turn, these four railway companies where themselves amalgamated in 1948, to become British Railways and the British Transport Commission Police was formed on 1st January 1949.

Bute Docks 1894


      Maritime History also features on this site, giving information on some of the men and the ships with connections to Cardiff and other ports in South Wales.

The information contained in the site has been collected from many different sources but it is not a definitive record. There are always gaps to be filled. If you have any information to add or correct anything or want to know more I would be pleased to hear from you. Please use the Contact page (The Contact page is temporarily suspended).

Much more history on policing British railway, docks and canals has been recorded by the British Transport Police History Group, see- www.btphg.org.uk  Information on the modern British Transport Police can be found at www.btp.police.uk