To the Editor of The Australian,
SIR,—On perusing your valuable Paper of Wednesday last, the 6th instant, I perceive your remarks upon the inefficiency of the Parramatta constabulary. I have long been looking forward with the hope of seeing this subject taken up by some person capable of bringing to light the hidden things of darkness, and as it is a subject which very much demands the attention of Government and the public, and as you are not sufficiently acquainted with the full arrangement of this constabulary, I beg leave to put you in possession of the following facts: —
There are twenty-two constables at this present time attached to the police establishment, and I will state for your information how these are employed.
One constable is attached to the gaol, acting as a night watchman.
A second constable is employed as a watch-house keeper. He lives in the watch-house, and of it he has the entire charge.
A third is court-house keeper, having on to keep the house and offices clean.
A fourth has charge of the toll-bar on the Sydney road, and has been stationed there to receive the fees, as Government has not yet let the tolls.
A fifth, who has been some years on the police establishment, has been the whole of the time employed as an assistant clerk in the Police Office, though rated as an ordinary constable, and receiving 40l. a year, when he ought at the same time to be on the establishment as an assistant clerk, with a fixed and more liberal salary.
These five are not acting as constables, so that there are seventeen more to account for.
Four of these are stationed night and day at the factory wall.
Two more are stationed in Macquarie street to receive orders, &c.
Now, Mr. Editor, you see there are eleven constables left to protect the inhabitants of the town; and in fact, in many instances, five or six out of these eleven are despatched with messages, and escorting runaways to their gangs, &c.; so that many a night the town of Parramatta is left (and this can be proved on reference to the chief constables, with only about two or three constables to protect the property of the inhabitants. Now Sir, I think that the inhabitants have cause to complain.
If Mr. Editor those five men not acting as constables, and the four stationed at the factory wall, were brought into the town to do duty, then the Sydney Gazette might have reason to say that your remarks were unfounded, and that the existing force of the Parramatta constabulary is sufficiently strong.
I hope, Mr. Editor, you will give this subject publicity, as I well know that our active and worthy Superintendent of Police is unacquainted with the mismanagement of the constables of this town.
I remain, Sir, your most obedient servant,
A well-wisher to the Superintendent of Police, Parramatta
Parramatta, August 7, 1828.
See Original: “To the Editor of The Australian,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW: 1824 – 1848), Friday 15 August 1828, p.2