Initially Policewomen were trained in marshall arts and were not issued with truncheons or handcuffs. Patrolling in pairs we could apprehend but not arrest criminals. All we had was a police whistle to alert nearby Policemen to make the arrest.
In 1925 Edith Smith was the first Policewoman to be given the power of arrest. She was also given a half-size truncheon to fit in her handbag and handcuffs. She was based in Grantham Police Station, Lincolnshire and with an Air Force base nearby, her main objective was to control and erase lewd behaviour, as the town attracted many young women seeking the company of men in uniform. She was so successful the women gave up and left town!
This was the main function of Policewomen apart from looking after female prisoners, moving on prostitutes, looking after lost children, lost dogs, traffic control and making tea!
You had to be a certain height (much taller than me), be alert and intelligent, pass the martial arts training, wear the uniform (long black skirt, military style long black jacket with belt, heavy black laces boots (not showing ankles), black stockings, white shirt, black tie, gloves and WPS hat.
We asked Pauline some questions about life as an early policewoman.