Monday, 8 September 2008

Police Station, The Rocks

The traditional blue police light in The Rocks.

Why are police associated with the colour blue in so many places - blue uniforms, the thin blue line, blue lights, blue call boxes (the most famous of which is the TARDIS*: and if you don't know what that is, well, you've led a culturally deprived life ;-) ?

It seems it dates back to the first organised police force in the world, Sir Robert Peel's Metropolitan Police in London.

When formed in 1829 it was decided that their uniform should be completely different in all ways to the uniform worn by the military which had been used for policing major disorder in London and the rest of the country. So, they had a civilian uniform of blue high collared tailcoat, worn with white trousers and hardened top hats, as opposed to red uniforms of the military. The top hats, by the way served the dual purpose of providing head protection and acting as a step to allow officers to climb or see over walls!

* TARDIS: see here


  1. Great pictures and what interesting history. I had no idea why blue was/became the standard color of police forces. Now if someone could explain why sheriff's departments wear brown (probably something to do with the Wild West and cowboys wearing brown or some such thing), my life will be mostly complete!

  2. Did not know about the police uniforms, etc. Very interesting, although I have a friend who is a patrol-person and he wears black shirts to work. But I do think they usually refer to coppers as "people in blue."

    Nice photo as well. I don't think we have many 3-dimensional signs like that.

  3. An interesting history and a little Dr. Who thrown in to boot! I love it.

  4. I've been by there Sally.

    In Canada the blue lights on cop cars is new in my lifetime. They used to be red. But it seems they come up with a new more sophisticated set of lights for the cars every few years.

    The Vancouver cops' uniforms were blue but if they are now most people would have a tough time telling. They look almost black, maybe they are. I don't like them, too menacing looking.

  5. Ahhh, Doctor Who. Love it! Nice shot.

  6. you asked the police: do not hang up