Police Strike Centenary

At the beginning of August 1919, 120 Birmingham policemen went on strike - joined by officers from London and Liverpool as part of the National Union of Police and Prison Officers, otherwise known as NUPPO.

This followed the very successful strike of 1918 whereby 1,000s of Metropolitan and City of London officers had marched to Downing Street to demand better pay and working conditions. The Prime Minister agreed to these demands and the Desborough Committee was created to review the pay, allowances and working conditions of police officers all over the country.

But why, with a significant pay rise only weeks away, did those officers risk everything in 1919 to go on strike again? We try to answer this question, by telling the story of the 1919 police strike, including events leading up to it and the personal stories of the Birmingham officers, through our new book Out of the Blue - Police Strike 1919. This book is available to pre-order, with all proceeds going to support the relocation of the police museum from Sparkhill to the Lock-up. Please visit to pre-order your copy.

There will be a strike themed open day with a special display on policing in 1919 on August 3rd (tickets below):

We will also be hosting a talk on the police strike at 5pm on August 3rd, tickets can be purchased by clicking the below link:

Metropolitan officers on strike 1919

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