Title and statement of responsibility area
Provincial Police correspondence and accounts
General material designation
- textual record
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Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the series.
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Edition statement of responsibility
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Statement of scale (cartographic)
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
1858-1868, 1898-[ca. 1933] (Creation)
- British Columbia. Provincial Police Force
Physical description area
3.21 m of textual records
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Archival description area
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The British Columbia Provincial Police Force was established in 1871 under its first name, the British Columbia Constabulary. Prior to that, policing in the Colony of British Columbia was the responsibility of the Chief Inspector of Police (1858-1863) or Superintendent of Police (1863-1871) and in the Colony of Vancouver Island by the Commissioner of Police (1858-1866). In 1871, when the Colony of British Columbia joined confederation as a province of the Dominion of Canada, the police came under the authority of the Attorney-General. The reporting structure required the Superintendent of Police to report to the Attorney-General. The constables were under the direction of the government agent of the district who reported to the Superintendent. The mandate of the British Columbia Constabulary was to maintain peace and order and to enforce the laws of the province under the authority of An Act respecting Police Constables (Statutes of British Columbia, 48 Vict., c. 22, revised 51 Vict., c. 96).
In 1895, under the new Provincial Police Act (SBC 1895, 58 Vict., c. 45) the name was changed to the British Columbia Provincial Police Force. The duties of the force included patrolling the land, waterways, and coastline, enforcing laws, maintaining peace, policing strikes, controlling smuggling, and generally enforcing provincial statutes. Special constables were also deployed as required.
The administration of policing was divided into a variety of police districts, which changed over the years. The 1923 Police and Prison Regulation Act (SBC 1923, c. 57) led to the reorganization of the 16 district headquarters into four main divisions. "A" Division was divided into Victoria and Vancouver subdivisions. "B" Division had its headquarters in Nelson and included the following districts: Boundary, Fernie, Northeast Kootenay, and West Kootenay. "C" Division had its headquarters in Kamloops and included the following districts: Kamloops, Lillooet, Vernon, and Yale. "D" Division had its headquarters in Prince Rupert and included the following districts: Fort George, Hazleton, Peace River District, and Prince Rupert. There was also a separate Liquor Branch. The provincial headquarters and Police Superintendent's office remained in Victoria (see the 1924 Superintendent of Police report in the BC sessional papers for further details).
In 1946, the force policed all rural areas and unincorporated settlements as well as forty municipalities throughout the province. The British Columbia Provincial Police Force ceased to exist in 1950, when provincial policing was taken over by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Scope and content
The series consists of records created by the British Columbia Provincial Police Force between 1858 and ca. 1933.
The records include correspondence and other material regarding financial matters such as budgets, estimates, vouchers issued, revenue returns, bills, statements and receipts. The records also include correspondence and lists regarding stores, uniforms, equipment and supplies; vehicle reports and some colonial era records relating to Victoria and Vancouver Island police, prison, fire department and prisons.
Immediate source of acquisition
Custodial history unknown. Accessioned in 1976.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
These records are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or other acts and access may be restricted. Please contact the BC Archives to determine the access status of these records.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Finding aid: volume list. http://search-bcarchives.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Document/Finding_Aids_Atom/GR-0001_TO_GR-0500/gr-0092.pdf
Accession number(s): 76-G-022