Then and now - 100 years of policewomen in the West Midlands

As part of the celebrations of 100 years of female officer in the West Midlands, a group of serving officers and staff recreated an iconic picture (believed to be the first group picture taken of the original Women Police of Birmingham City Police) dating back to 1919.

In the original picture (top) on the back row (left to right) stand Lizzie May Peers, Lucy Charlton, Catherine Downey, Sarah Hancox, Ellen Vernon and who we believe to be Malenda Shawe - the third female officer to join back in 1917.

Sitting (from left to right) are believed to be Mary Dwelly, Evelyn Miles (one of the first two female officers in the city) and Adelaide Pearce.

Evelyn served until the end of 1939 when she was 77 years of age - giving her the record for the oldest serving female officer in the West Midlands.

In the recreation are:

Back row: Detective Sergeant Vicky Lee, Detective Superintendent Angie Whitaker (retired), Caroline Miller, Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Boycott, Corinne Brazier, Mandy Tanda

Front row: Chief Superintendent Sally Bourner, Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe, Chief Inspector Yvonne Bruton.

The recreation picture was taken in the basement of the historic Birmingham lock-up on Steelhouse Lane - where Evelyn and Rebecca Lipscombe worked as lock-up matrons before becoming the city's first two female police officers.

You can read more about the history of female officers in a book produced to mark the centenary - a Fair Cop - by Corinne Brazier and Insp Steve Rice. The book is on sale for £9.99 (with all profit going to local women's charities) and available to buy from the reception of Lloyd House, West Midlands Police HQ, or by contacting the WMP Museum on