International Women's Day: North Yorkshire Police shares history of police women in the force

North Yorkshire Police have shared the history of women in policing and in the force to mark International Women's Day.

Friday, 8th March 2019, 9:37 am
Updated Friday, 8th March 2019, 3:03 pm
North Yorkshire Police Officer Ruth Pearson.

The role of women in the police service in the country has evolved significantly in last 100 years, the force says.

The Women’s Police Service was founded in 1914 and a year later, the first female officer was given the power to arrest. By 1920, 43 police authorities in England and Wales were employing 238 women.

It was in 1946 that police women were first introduced to North Riding Constabulary, the forerunner to North Yorkshire Police. In September 1950 WPC 12 Joan Moore became the first police woman to be promoted to Sergeant where she was duly posted to Headquarters to supervise the 13 female officers in the force.

By the mid-1970s, female officers in North Yorkshire were given parity on pay and their range of duties was expanded. Around this time, the Women’s Police department was also disbanded resulting in all officers being integrated into a single force.

The appointment in 2002 of Della Cannings to Chief Constable marked a new chapter in the history of North Yorkshire Police as the first woman police officer to take over the helm of the force. In fact, she was only the fifth woman nationally to be selected for this high-level role.

The force now has 488 serving female police officers and 928 female staff, volunteers and Special Constables, supporting Chief Constable Lisa Winward, the second woman to hold that position for North Yorkshire Police.