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NCJ Number: 138703 Find in a Library
Title: Comparison of the History of the Entry of Women into Policing in France and England and Wales
Journal: Police Journal  Volume:65  Issue:3  Dated:(July-September 1992)  Pages:236- 242
Author(s): E Dene
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 7
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article traces the record of women's fight to enter the police forces of England and Wales and the nonmilitary police forces of France for the periods that encompass World War I, the interwar years, World War II, the postwar years, and the 1970's.
Abstract: Prior to the outbreak of World War I, the British Women Police Volunteers (later changed to the Voluntary Women's Patrol) was created to assist with the care of refugees and to protect girls from the attentions of the "brutal and licentious soldiery." At approximately the same time, French women were beginning to make some inroads into the nonmilitary police service of France. In 1914 the then Preget de Police for Paris first employed women, but they were no more than typists. In England and Wales the role of women in the police services was first officially considered in 1920 by the Baird Committee. It concluded that the Voluntary Women's Patrols had proved themselves during the war and recommended that women should be able to become sworn officers fully integrated into the service as a whole. These women were largely volunteers who were assigned to provide services to female and child victims. It was not until April 2, 1935, that two women were employed to assist the Paris juvenile bureau. The outbreak of World War II provided a second boost in the campaign for greater opportunities for women in the employment markets of all three countries. In England and Wales by 1945, the number of sworn female officers had risen to over 3,000, mostly in the Women's Auxiliary Police Corps. In the 30 years after the war, the numbers of women involved in policing gradually increased, and the degree of professionalism and training also rose. Although women broadened the scope of their role in policing, they rarely were assigned work other than that associated with investigations that involved women and children. The 1970's became an important landmark for policewomen in all three countries. In Britain, following the introduction of the Equal Pay Act of 1970 and the Sex Discrimination Act of 1975, the role of women in the police service was redefined. Similar moves were instituted in France. Women are now eligible for entry into all sections of the British police services. Although the status of policewomen in France has improved steadily, it still lags behind England and Wales. 18 references
Main Term(s): Police women
Index Term(s): England; France; Wales
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