Maryhill Burgh Police was established in 1856, under the General Police Act of 1850. It was under the control of six Commissioners, three of whom were also Magistrates of the Burgh. In July 1856, the Commissioners appointed George Anderson as Superintendent of Police. A native of Brechin, he had first joined the Edinburgh City Police then transferred to the Stirlingshire Constabulary, serving at Denny and Milngavie. He subsequently served in the Detective Department of the Glasgow Police under Detective Superintendent Alexander McCall (later Chief Constable of Glasgow).
The first Police office was opened on 26 April 1857 at the corner of Maryhill Road and Fingal Street. It consisted of a police office, court, Magistrate’s chambers and a flat on the upper floor for the Superintendent of Police.
It was superseded by the new Burgh Halls and Police Office which were opened on Gairbraid Avenue at Maryhill Road in 1878.
Helmet and Helmet Badge
The helmet badge worn by Maryhill Burgh Police was designed by Alexander Thomson in 1885, who also designed the burgh coat-of-arms. The badge shows the title ‘Maryhill’ over the Skaethorn Aqueduct being crossed by the pioneer steam ship ‘Charlotte Dundas’, built in 1801, which pre-dated the most famous early steamship, ‘Bell’s Comet’ of 1812. The badge is surrounded by a knotted rope and surmounted by the Victorian Crown. It is shown here alongside a Maryhill Burgh Police helmet.
Superintendent Anderson, who was know locally as ‘The Captain’, died in office on 2 July 1886, and was buried in Maryhill Church Yard.
His successor, appointed in August 1886, was James Beddie, who had been the Inspector under George Anderson. He held the post of Chief Constable until 1 November 1891 when the force, numbering twenty officers, was annexed to Glasgow Police and became ‘H’ or Maryhill Division.