During disturbances and strikes, or when people and animals needed to be rescued, policemen in Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool in the early twentieth century were expected to be there. However, the vast majority of police work was routine, from walking their beats and checking the security of doors to talking with neighbours, directing traffic, stopping runaway horses, and helping people get out of rivers and canals. The law-breaking discovered by police constables often involved minor thefts, miscellaneous violations of public order, and traffic infractions. Some police duties were clearly related to crime prevention, but others involved enforcing a variety of government regulations.
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