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Superintendent of Provincial Police correspondence inward
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- textual record
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3.84 m of textual records
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Prior to the establishment of the Province of British Columbia, 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. Supervision of Police Constables throughout the province was divided between the government agent of the district and the Superintendent located at the Police Headquarters in Victoria.
The legal authority of the Superintendent of Police was not formally enshrined until the 1888 Police and Prisons Regulation Act (c.53, s.1). The position may have also been referred to as the Commissioner of Provincial Police.
The Superintendent acted as the Provincial Game Warden from 1918 to 1929 and was also the Inspector of gaols.
The British Columbia Provincial Police Force ceased to exist in 1950, when provincial policing was taken over by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Custodial history unknown, records accessioned in 1975
Scope and content
The series consists of correspondence inward to the Superintendent of Police between 1912 and 1922. The records are numbered subject files which are arranged in numerical order. The series includes "aliens and enemies" files; "Form A" files in boxes 14 - 20 contain the names of enemy aliens who were required to register and report to the Provincial Police, but remained "on parole" within the community. They also include the names of enemy aliens who were already imprisoned in local jails. Other correspondence deals with issues such as bigamy, seduction, illegal sale of liquor, prostitution, burglary, sudden or mysterious deaths, gambling, arson, and escaped prisoners. During this period, the police also conducted searches for individuals reported missing by overseas family members. Such letters were usually written when an emigrant family member had fallen out of contact with his or her relatives in their home country, and are not indicative of foul play.
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These records are restricted. Please contact the BC Archives for information about access.
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A file list is available: http://search-bcarchives.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Document/Finding_Aids_Atom/GR-0001_TO_GR-0500/gr-0057.pdf
Superintendent of Provincial Police correspondence inward:
GR-0066 for years 1891-1910
GR-0055 for years 1891-1910
GR-0056 for years 1910-1912
GR-0057 for years 1912-1922
GR-0058 for years 1923-1929
GR-0063 for correspondence from the Attorney-General 1891-1910
Accession number(s): 75-G-068