Over the years police were not only responsible for regular law enforcement, but also acted as agent for various other government departments, especially in the country districts.
For example, in 1949 Mounted Constable Ward of Orroroo Police Station was also Clerk and Bailiff of the Local Court, Inspector and Registrar of Shops, Issuer of Gun Licences, Issuer of Bull Licences, Issuer of Dairy Licences, Issuer of Miners' Rights and Registrar of Pensions.
Other duties included Electoral Registrar, Issuer of Beehive Licences, Inspector under the Fruit, Vine and Vegetables Act, Representing Officer of the Children's Welfare and Public Relief Department, Assistant for the Harbors' Board, Registrar of Dogs (out of Hundreds areas), Rabbit Inspector and Inspector of Places of Public Entertainment. In the nineteenth century police constables often acted as Crown Lands Rangers.
We hold records of most police stations in South Australia.
We also hold:
- the major correspondence series of the Police Commissioner's Office (GRG5/2) which covers a range of petty and serious matters handled by police officers throughout the state
- a small set of miscellaneous papers of the Police Commissioner's Office (GRG5/4) which covers undocketed correspondence and telegrams
- records relating to the conduct of police officers
- the South Australian Police Gazettes, 1861-1973 (GRG5/50)
- Descriptions and photographs of convicted persons, 1919-1965 (GRG5/58 - indexed by GRG5/59)
For employment matters, you can find high level registers or employee sheet records on individuals.
Records of the SA Police Department are typically available for general public access after 50 or 60 years although some more sensitive records are available for general public access after 100 years.
Records containing personal, financial or disciplinary information of employees are typically available for general public access after 60 years.
Less detailed records about employees may be open sooner.
Miscellaneous papers - Police Commissioner's Office, c1840-1875 (GRG5/4)
Index to GRG 5/4 - Miscellaneous papers - Police Commissioner's Office, c. 1840 - 1875 - numerical
Correspondence files ('PCO' files) - Police Commissioner's Office, 1844-c1979 (GRG 5/2)
The following indexes are arranged by year and include:
- the date of the letter
- the author and
- a brief subject summary.
Defaulter and good conduct book - Mounted Police 1851-1858 (GRG5/16)
Index to GRG 5/16, Defaulter and good conduct book - Mounted Police - alphabetically by surname of officer
This series records members of the Mounted Police with offences or commendations recorded against them.
Defaulter and good conduct book - Foot Police 1851-1858 (GRG5/17)
Index to GRG 5/17 Defaulter and good conduct book - Foot Police - alphabetically by surname of officer
This series records members of the Foot Police with offences or commendations recorded against them.
Digital copies of many of the regional police station inquest registers are available via our Inquests page.