During the 175 years of policing, a wide variety of people served in the Glasgow Police. Some have become famous, some infamous, some are remembered, some are forgotten, but the vast majority were honest, conscientious, brave and innovative men and women who devoted their working lives to the service of their fellow citizens.
It is interesting to see that in the dictionary the word "Constable" is flanked on either side by "Conspire (to plot)" and "Constant (to be steadfast)". So it was with Glasgow Police, as with any large organisation, it also had some 'Black Sheep'. They too are part of the history and from time to time we will tell their stories, but in the meantime, here are some interesting stories from the files of Glasgow Police.......


William McIntosh (right) was born at Belturbet, Ireland, in 1836 and joined Glasgow Police as a Clerk on 17 March 1858. His intelligence was soon recognised by Chief Constable James Smart and he was quickly promoted to Inspector in charge of the Chief Constable's Office. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1864 and

Superintendent in 1889, still retaining his post which had grown proportionately in workload and responsibility.
He was never in the public eye or actually performed police duties as we know them, instead he ensured the smooth running of the administration and organisation of the force for more than forty years.
William McIntosh is best remembered for his interest in Police Sports. He was an accomlished rifle marksman and won many trophies as one of the first members of the 19th. Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers. He was also a founder of the Glasgow Police Athletic and Rowing Club in 1882 and was their Honorary Treasurer and Captain of the Tug-of-War Team. He lead the team in competitions at the International Exhibition in Glasgow in 1888 and in Paris in 1889 when the competitions were held in Buffalo Bill's Showground on the outskirts of the French Capital.
He was married and had three daughters and two sons. His youngest son Charles Rennie McIntosh (left) was an architect and designer and is admired as the greatest Scottish designer of the 20th.Century. He designed furniture, buildings and jewellery and his work is appreciated by admirers from all over the World.
William McIntosh retired from Glasgow Police on 1 October 1899 after forty-one years' Service and died on 10 February 1908 at the age of 71.


In October 1866, bank officials of the Union Bank of Scotland, Glasgow, noticed that a large number of forgeries of their notes were in circulation and reported the matter to the Glasgow Police. Superintendent McCall took charge of the investigation. Discovering that the forged notes had not only

been circulated in Glasgow but also in Greenock and Stirling, he and his fellow detectives realised the extent of the crime. Printing experts were consulted and it was discovered that the photographic process of lithography had been used to produce the notes.

Information reached McCall that some printing equipment had been recently sold by a photographer, John Henry Greatrex, of Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. The items were examined by the police and experts in lithography, and it was found that the equipment had, in fact, been used to produce the forged notes. The chase was on......

Two accomplices of Greatrex were arrested, but Greatrex and one of his lady assistants, Jenny Weir, had left Glasgow and were distributing large quantities of the forged notes northwards to Aberdeen. Hearing that his two accomplices had been arrested he headed for London, then to Southampton where Greatrex and Jenny Weir boarded separate ships bound for America.

As soon this information was passed to Superintendent McCall, he immediately set off in pursuit, taking with him a civilian witness who knew Greatrex well as the police did not have a photograph of Greatrex from which he could be identified. On their arrival in New York, McCall put an advertisement in some newspapers for a female photographic assistant ending with the words "a Scotch girl preferred". Among the many replies was one from Jenny Weir, giving an address in the 'Hells Kitchen' area of the City. Along with a New York detective, McCall and his witness went to the address and kept it under observation. After while, a man emerged from the house and the witness positively identified him as Greatrex. He was quickly arrested and extradited to Glasgow. Jenny Weir was not arrested but returned to Glasgow on the advice of Supt. McCall

In May 1867, Greatrex and his accomplices stood trial in Edinburgh High Court. He was sentenced to 20 years penal servitude and his accomplices received 15 years each.

Superintendent McCall had pursued Greatrex relentlessly and displayed all the qualities of the great detective that he was. He went on to become Chief Constable of Glasgow in 1870 and died in office in 1888.

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