Vancouver Island (Colony). Police and Prisons Dept.

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Vancouver Island (Colony). Police and Prisons Dept.

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  • Police and Prisons Department

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Dates of existence



The Police and Prisons Dept. of the Colony of Vancouver Island was established when a Commissioner of Police, Augustus F. Pemberton, was appointed in 1858. Prior to that, from 1849 to 1853, the affairs of the Colony of Vancouver Island were also the affairs of the Hudson’s Bay Company and were administered by the chief factor (James Douglas) and employees of the company. In 1853, James Douglas, Governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island, commissioned four citizens to serve as magistrates and justices of the peace for the three districts of the colony that comprised the area immediately west of Victoria. He then established a Supreme Court of Civil Justice for the colony. In 1858, due to the gold rush on the Fraser River, the population of the Colony of Vancouver Island rose from a few hundred to many thousand, almost overnight. The newly appointed Commissioner of Police, who was also the Police Magistrate, was the representative of law and order and his immediate job was to organize a police force for the colony. He was responsible for the police stations and jails in Victoria and neighbouring communities. Pemberton was Commissioner of Police until 1866 when the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia were united. At that time, Chartres Brew, who had been appointed Chief Inspector of Police for the Colony of British Columbia in 1858, became the Superintendent of Police for the united Colony of British Columbia.


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Michael Carter 2008-07-28
Revised: RMCRORY 2024-01-19




Central Name Authority File

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Created by: Michael Carter

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