Special Metropolitan Police Exhibit 

23 November 2023 tbs.pm/78666


Stand No. 100, Grand Hall


Police Telephone Box


Plan of the Grand Hall with stand 100 highlighted


Cover of the Radiolympia catalogue for 1936

From the 1936 Radiolympia catalogue

THIS exhibit illustrates one link in the chain of the communications system of the Metropolitan Police Force in use in suburban districts, and some idea of the system as a whole is conveyed by the diagram at the back of the Stand.

The blue Police telephone boxes, which enable members of the public to obtain FREE, IMMEDIATE and DIRECT communication with the Police, have been erected throughout the outer areas of the Metropolitan Police District, which covers a radius of 15 miles from Charing Cross. In these areas it is never necessary, as a general rule, to go more than half a mile to reach one of these boxes or a Police Station. In the near future, Police Telephone Boxes or, in some cases, telephone posts, will also be provided throughout the inner areas.

In all these boxes the telephone instrument is visible through the glass door of a cupboard. To use the telephone, all that is necessary is to pull open the glass door, lift the receiver, and the caller will be answered at once by the local Police Station. Every call will receive immediate attention, and whenever necessary the special transport and wireless arrangements now available will be used.

It is hoped that the public will, in their own interests, get into the habit of using these boxes whenever help of any kind is required from the Police, and also if they have any information which they think ought to be given to the Police.

There need be no hesitation in using the telephone in a Police Box, even in trivial matters such as the reporting of the loss of property or dogs.

Valuable time will often be saved if the Police are immediately informed when anything suspicious has been observed. The Police do not in the least mind honest false alarms, and they will not blame the caller if it turns out that there was nothing wrong after all.

The Police Station receiving your message can pass it on at once to other stations and boxes and, if necessary, inform Scotland Yard, who can circulate it in a few minutes to all Police Stations in London and to more than 100 cars fitted with wireless.

The whole resources of the Police machine are therefore available to anyone who merely lifts the receiver in one of these boxes and states his difficulty, or what has aroused his suspicions.

Urgent messages can also be sent from any telephone direct to Scotland Yard. The number is Whitehall 1212, and when Scotland Yard answers, the INFORMATION ROOM should be asked for.

Direct messages of this kind to the Information Room should only be sent when the caller thinks that the matter is really urgent.


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