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The County Police Act 1840 (3&4 Vict., c. 88) was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom to amend the County Police Act of the previous year. It provided inter alia for the voluntary merging of borough police forces with county constabularies and the levying of a new "police rate".

The main provisions of the Act were:

  • Justices of the Peace were permitted to transfer areas from one county to another for police purposes.
  • A special police rate was to be levied to finance the county constabulary, instead of the cost being part of the general county rate.
  • Where parts of one county were policed by the constabulary of another county, the rate payers were to pay the police rate to the county providing the constables.
  • Boroughs were permitted to consolidate their police force with that of the county in which they were situate, and a single chief constable could be appointed for a consolidated force.
  • The chief constable of a consolidated force could dismiss borough constables, but new constables for the area were to be appointed by the watch committee of the borough corporation.
  • Justices were empowered to divide the county into districts, each with a population of not less than 25,000. Separate police rates could be levied on ratepayers of each division. However, constables were liable to serve throughout the county, regardless of which district they were assigned to.
  • The Act repeated the definition of a county as in the 1839 Act, and noted that the Isle of Ely should be considered a county for constabulary purposes.
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