© 2019 West Midlands Police Heritage Project

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PC William Lines

One Sunday evening in March 1875 two detectives visited the home of a suspected burglar and arrested him. The moment they left the house with their quarry and began walking along Navigation Street, they were surrounded by crowds of angry locals intent in rescuing the suspect. Hearing the commotion, uniformed officers in the vicinity hurried to the scene. A ferocious fight ensued during which a police sergeant and a constable were stabbed. Thirty year old William Lines, married with a young daughter, had been in the Birmingham Police for 11 years and on 3 occasions when making arrests he had suffered serious injury. Following the Navigation Street riot he clung to life for 2 weeks, giving a statement about the fight from his hospital bed before dying of his wounds. Jeremiah Corkery was eventually hung for the murder of Lines.