Catalogue description Sussex Police Authority

This record is held by East Sussex Record Office

Details of SPA
Reference: SPA
Title: Sussex Police Authority

Records of Sussex Police Authority, including Headquarters and Constabulary records, personal papers, Divisional papers and Station records.

Date: 1862-1996

Division of records between East and West Sussex Record offices


The arrangement of the records of the Authority has been made difficult first by the fact that two county record offices serve its area and that the county boundary was altered in 1974, second by the number of reorganisations which have taken place, particularly at divisional level, throughout the history of policing in Sussex, and lastly by the Authority's wish to retain certain records at Malling House, its HQ. The decisions which have been taken are as follows:


ESRO is to hold the headquarters and divisional office records for East Sussex Constabulary and its Battle, East Grinstead, Hove and Lewes Divisions (according to their boundaries in 1967) and for the Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings Constabularies up to 1967. WSRO is to hold headquarters and divisional office records of West Sussex Constabulary to 1967.


Since 1968, when police authorities became independent of county council control, the two Sussex county councils have continued to provide administrative services to the Authority. East Sussex gives legal, secretarial and architectural services; West Sussex, financial services. Some records of the provision of such services are among the archives of East Sussex County Secretary's and County Architect's Department and these records relate to police establishments in both East and West Sussex.


Station Records


Since Station records, both before and after 1967, seem largely unaffected by reorganisations at higher levels and stations may be transferred from one division to another, it seemed simplest to treat these records separately from the divisional records. They have been divided between ESRO and WSRO according to the county boundary formed in April 1974. At ESRO they have been given a separate group reference (SPS) to make this distinction clearer.


Records of individual officers


Some records of individual officers have been presented by their descendants to the police authority as a result of historical enquiries or research initiatives. Because of their non-archival provenance and individual significance they have been grouped together and listed as SPA 10.


Appended to the lists of material in ESRO are (1) lists of records (mainly of officers' service) retained by the Authority at its headquarters at Malling House and (2) lists of records at WSRO.


Classification of the records at ESRO


The records listed below have been classified as follows:


SPA 1 Sussex Police Authority: headquarters records (from 1968 but includes wartime Sussex Police Authority records).


SPA 2 East Sussex Constabulary: headquarters records


SPA 3 Brighton Constabulary to 1967


SPA 4 Eastbourne


SPA 5 Hastings


SPA 6 East Sussex Constabulary Division A East Grinstead


SPA 7 East Sussex Constabulary Division B Lewes


SPA 8 East Sussex Constabulary Division C Bexhill


SPA 9 East Sussex Constabulary Division D Hove


SPA 10 Constables' personal papers (all forces)


SPA 11 Sussex Police Authority Central Division from 1968


SPA 12 Sussex Police Authority East Division from 1968

Held by: East Sussex Record Office, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Sussex Police Authority, Malling House, Lewes, East Sussex

East Sussex Constabulary

West Sussex Constabulary

Brighton County Borough Constabulary

Eastbourne County Borough Constabulary

Hastings County Borough Constabulary

Physical description: c. 2000 items
Immediate source of acquisition:

The records listed below were received from the Sussex Police Authority in February 1988 (ACC 4975), April 1989 (ACC 5245), September 1989 (ACC 5330), November 1989 (ACC 5371), July 1990 (ACC 5539), September 1990 (ACC 5574)

  • Lewes, East Sussex
  • Brighton, East Sussex
  • Eastbourne, East Sussex
  • Hastings, East Sussex
  • Bexhill, East Sussex
  • Hove, East Sussex
  • East Grinstead, West Sussex
  • Police
Administrative / biographical background:

The Sussex Police Authority came into being in January 1968 as a result of the Sussex Police (Amalgamation) Order 1967. It had jurisdiction over an area formerly covered by five independent forces: East Sussex Constabulary, West Sussex Constabulary, Brighton County Borough Constabulary, Eastbourne County Borough Constabulary and Hastings County Borough Constabulary. The larger of these forces operated through a series of divisional offices, which in turn were responsible for police stations in their areas.

Link to NRA Record:

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