24th Jun, 2017

Can YOU help identify West Midlands Police's female recruits from 100 years ago?

WEST Midlands Police have launched an appeal unlike their usual appeals – to find the identity of three female officers who joined the force almost 100 years ago.

2017 marks the centenary since the first women signed up to become police officers in the West Midlands.

Rebecca Lipscombe, who was aged 60 at the time, and 54-year-old Evelyn Miles (originally lock-up matrons) were the WPC pioneers when they were appointed as officers in April 1917.

The number of women officers swelled to 11 by January 1919 − overseen by WPC Miles who was promoted to Sergeant − but no more were recruited to the uniformed Women Police Department until 1931.

An image unearthed from the West Midlands Police vaults − thought to have been taken in 1919 − is believed to be the first photograph team of the WPC unit.

Police historians have used archive files and officer records to identify most of the women in the picture − but the identity of three WPCs remains a mystery.

Corinne Brazier − who has compiled a book with Inspector Steve Rice to mark the centenary − said: “We’d really love to complete the picture and identify these three women. I’d love to hear from anyone who believes they may be descendants of our pioneering WPCs or anyone who has old photographs or information on our early police women.”

To contact Corinne email c.brazier@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk