When did the police stop using wooden truncheons?
This is one of those questions that some people hadn’t noticed that they don’t anymore.
They also don’t wear the tall helmets anymore.
Until the mid-1990s, British police officers carried traditional wooden truncheons of a sort that had changed little from Victorian times.
Until the mid-1990s, most British police forces used wooden truncheons such as these.
On 20 June 1994, Home Secretary Michael Howard authorised the use of batons. Long, rigid American-style batons were then introduced, first by the Metropolitan Police and then by other forces, but in many places, these were short-lived, as they were unwieldy in most operational circumstances. The police mostly then began to use the metal telescopic expanding batons in popular use today.
Most people nowadays have little contact with the police so they haven’t noticed the demise of wooden truncheons and tall hats (or custodian helmets as they’re more properly called).
The ‘bobby on the beat’ as we used to know has been replaced by the Plastic Police (community support officers). Hounding people about facemasks (in Covid times) and other similarly essential stuff seems to be their job description.
The traffic cops seem to have mostly been replaced by the Traffic Wombles (as Jeremy Clarkson calls them). Of those that remain, many are engaged in revenue-raising stuff like this.
These little buggers have sprung up all over the place in recent years. They are growing like cellulite on a fat girl’s thighs.
I am reliably advised that most of our proper thin blue line, the proper coppers, spend much more time filling in forms about gender diversity and people’s ethnic origins than we would prefer.
They’re also very good at catching deceased disc jockeys and politicians who they think might have been up to no good in 1973. But other crimes? No. That doesn’t seem to interest them.
If you do happen to encounter a real police officer nowadays, they’re mostly dressed as Robocop carrying a body camera, taser and a whole belt full of tools.
The jolly old wooden truncheon is a thing of the past. Like Findus Crispy Pancakes, the Rubik’s cube, Zippy and Bungle, the Morris Marina and Betamax video recorders.
When did the police stop using wooden truncheons? Now you know it was in the mid-nineties. Doesn’t time fly? Seems like yesterday doesn’t it?
If you are nostalgic for the days of Jack Regan and Gene Hunt and fancy a truncheon for yourself, we sell an exact replica of a 1960s Leeds City Police one with a leather lanyard at a very reasonable price. Click the button below to find out more.