Decorated Police Billy Clubs

Before British police officers wore uniforms, they carried staffs marked with government insignia as badges of their authority:

Staffs, or truncheons, were used by the police force for practical and ceremonial purposes. They were both a weapon and a badge of office. Constables did not begin wearing uniforms until 1829 or carrying warrant cards until the 1880s; before this time, the staff indicated the constable was acting under the authority of the crown by displaying the royal crown and cipher on the staff. The crown and cipher were standardised on constable staffs under William IV, but additional decoration could be added. Staffs might also have displayed the royal coat-of-arms, the coat-of-arms of the local town or village, and the owner’s initials. 

Link -via TYWKIWDBI | Photo: Horniman Museum and Gardens/Heini Schneebeli

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